Summit Racing–Alund Finally Sees Win Lights, Takes Care of Business for Team Summit

Alund Finally Sees Win Lights, Takes Care of Business for Team Summit
LAS VEGAS, Nev., March 30, 2014 – Jimmy Alund knew that expectations were high this weekend for the Summit Racing team at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The pressure was on to perform in front of the KB Racing team owners Ken and Judy Black and their son Kenny Jr. in their hometown, and also for the team’s sponsor, Summit Racing Equipment, at their title event, the NHRA Nationals. Alund rose to the challenge in good form and knocked out Team Summit’s fiercest competitor while illuminating his first two win lights in NHRA competition in his bad hot rod, the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro.
Alund qualified in the top half of the field for the first time in Las Vegas, starting from the No. 8 position and earning a first-round meeting with KB Racing-powered Vincent Nobile. It was a tough draw, particularly when young Nobile acted in typical fashion and launched ahead of Alund, recording a .010-second reaction time to Alund’s .032.
Stunningly, however, both drivers soon fell into trouble. They were the first pair of Pro Stock cars to run on the racing surface on Sunday, and they each soon found out that they had more power to give than the track could hold. Alund and Nobile were both on and off the throttle as they lurched down the quarter-mile.
“I was actually prepared to do whatever it took to take the car down to the finish line, and I was thinking that both of us were probably going to be in trouble – which we were. I drove it like I stole it and got to the finish line,” said Alund, a resident of Sweden and multi-time European Pro Stock champion racing for Team Summit while Greg Anderson recovers from heart surgery performed earlier this year. “[The tires were] shaking really bad. I put it into first gear and it was shaking. It was shaking in second gear, too. I tried to put it into third gear but it deadheaded [transmission would not go into gear] because it was shaking so bad, so I was out of gear. I just shoved it into fourth and went. It’s eliminations. You do what you have to do.”
Alund got the nod in an unusual 7.821 to 8.110 win, and he advanced to a second-round meeting with Jeg Coughlin. The representative of a rival mail order parts house had the quicker car in their late afternoon meeting – eliminations for the Pro Stock crowd were greatly delayed due to extremely windy conditions in the area – but Alund was wide awake at the starting line and launched well ahead of his opponent.
The victory was awarded by way of a holeshot, with Alund first logging a .024 reaction to Coughlin’s sleepy .062 and then edging him at the finish-line stripe to score with a 6.689, 206.92 to 6.653, 207.82. The margin of victory was a ridiculous .002-second, approximately 10 inches.
“I’ve been watching what he has been doing over the years as a driver, and I know he is one of the best out here,” said Alund, who had yet to earn a round win in NHRA competition before the day’s events. “Putting him on the trailer for the team made my day.”
The victory over Coughlin paved the way to a semifinals meeting with Summit Racing teammate Jason Line, which guaranteed a Summit car in the final round.
It was a thrilling and close race, but Alund’s weekend of firsts came to a conclusion as Line got the win with a .006-second reaction time to Alund’s .019 paired with a 6.645, 207.98 to 6.647, 208.10.
“We ran within two-thousandths of each other, and there’s not much you can do,” said Alund. “I was happy for the team. We had a good race, and it was good timing. Greg was here this weekend, and it was better to have him here. From my point of view, we work well together. We have the same thoughts on a lot of things on the car and on the set-up, too. I would say that working with Greg was making me even more comfortable than I was before.
“My wife, Anna, is here from Sweden; all the people from Summit Racing are here at the Summit race; Ken, Judy and Kenny Black are here. I couldn’t have picked a better race to do well. This weekend was something for me that I was hoping to accomplish. I’m very happy.”