For the second time in 2012, teams in the NHRA’s Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will be competing on consecutive weekends, heading directly from Houston to Commerce, GA for the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals. Although the timeframe may be compressed, the workload remains the same, and unlike their brethren in other racing series who simply exchange race cars from the fleet at their disposal, the straight-liners must work with the single chassis that they use for the entire season, performing between-race maintenance as well as any necessary repairs or modifications.
In the case of Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team, the past four days have included nearly 3,000 miles of travel by the team’s twin transporters and Sunday night flights by the remainder of the crew to maximize their time at the shop. However, the current Pro Stock championship points leader believes the stress of this very hectic week is balanced by the ability to quickly return to competition, whether to extend a run of strong performances or make up for a less than stellar showing.
“This was a very busy week for the Summit Racing team, busier than normal,” Anderson said. “The crew flew home on Sunday night after the race, while one of our transporters came straight home with both race cars so we could work on them, getting them as ship shape as we can for this weekend.
“At the same time our other truck went north to RJ Race Cars in Illinois to pick up our first Camaro, getting back on Wednesday with just enough time to unpack and reload for Atlanta. We’re really eager to see our Camaros and start this exciting new chapter. We’re a little disappointed we couldn’t bring them out here at the Summit race, but there just wasn’t enough time. Besides, we didn’t want to shake down a brand new car at such an important race.
“It’s certainly been a crazy few days, but if it was up to me I would race every weekend. When you’re doing well, you naturally want to keep going, while if you have an off race, as we did in Houston, you want to get back to the track as quickly as you can to redeem yourself. Either way, we’re ready to get back at it in Atlanta.”
With a career elimination-round win percentage of almost 75%, Atlanta Dragway, site of this weekend’s race, understandably ranks high on Anderson’s list of favorite tracks. Located one hour north of the city in the town of Commerce, it has witnessed much of the growth of his Pro Stock career, starting as a crew chief for a Georgia-based legend to his current status as one of the category’s all-time best racers. This weekend, he looks to further his reputation and put smiles on the faces of some very important people by scoring his fourth win in the Peach State.
“Naturally, as a Summit race, this is a big event for our entire team,” Anderson said. “Fortunately, we have historically done well at Atlanta Dragway, including putting both Summit cars in the final there a year ago. It’s one of the tracks that is very friendly to our team so it’s a perfect one to have our sponsor’s name on and we naturally enjoy going there.
“It has also been a very good track for me personally. People seem to forget that for many years I came here as a crew member and crew chief on Warren Johnson’s car, and we made a lot of runs down this track with more than our share of success. That gave me an invaluable amount of experience on how to tune a car here, which I believe has played a role in my doing so well here with the KB Racing team.
“We’re excited heading into this weekend. Jason and I will start off by going to the Coca-Cola Full Throttle Champions’ dinner on Wednesday night, which is always a great time, and then we head up to Atlanta Dragway where we’ll get to see many of our friends from Summit. We’ve had a very productive week, so I’m confident we’re going to have a good product for this weekend. I expect us to have a great race with a good chance of winning – after all, our primary goal is to have that Summit Racing executive hand us the Wally at the top end and then join us in the winner’s circle on Sunday night, so we’re going to do everything we can to make it happen.”