Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team are looking for history to repeat itself this weekend at the Dollar General NHRA Summernationals in Topeka, KS. During the period from 2003 to 2007, the Anderson-led crew was virtually unstoppable at Heartland Park Topeka, with three #1-qualifying performances and four wins, one shy of the all-time Pro Stock mark at the Kansas quarter-mile held by Warren Johnson. Although they have been in contention in their subsequent visits, the four-time champion heads into this event hoping to experience a little déjà vu.
“We’re heading into this weekend looking to rekindle some of the magic this Summit Racing team had with Heartland Park Topeka in the past,” Anderson said. “We seem to have misplaced it over the last few years, but we’re ready to get it back and return to the form that saw us win there four times.
A look at his season to date supports Anderson’s optimistic outlook for this weekend. Seven races into the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule, he leads the Pro Stock category by 72 points over his teammate Jason Line. In addition, he is the only competitor among the “factory hot rods” with multiple victories, having scored his third win in Atlanta 10 days ago. However, as the self-proclaimed perfectionist admits, unlike previous years, this season’s success is mostly due to the grit and determination of the KB Racing crew rather than their race car’s performance. Although naturally pleased with the final results, he knows that maintaining their position atop the standings must include a return to form.
“I have no idea how we have gotten three wins and five final round appearances this year,” Anderson said. “Who knows, maybe because we seem to struggle in qualifying, no one expects a lot from us in final eliminations, but somehow this Summit Racing team keeps getting the job done on race day, more than holding our own with what we have to work with.
“We just seem to have a love/hate relationship with this particular car, and we continue to work on swinging it more into the love side. She’s a feisty one, fighting us every step of the way, but this KB Racing crew is also a bunch of fighters, throwing everything we can at her. So far I’d have to call it a draw, and as long as we keep finding ways to win races, I’m good with that.”
While Anderson looks to get his car figured out, teammate Line is hoping his Summit Racing Pontiac continues its string of good performances in 2012.
“If there ever was a time that we had a car capable of winning the race, it would have to be right now,” said Line, who is searching for his first professional victory at Heartland Park Topeka. “My Summit Racing Pontiac has been extremely strong all year, so I feel there is a good possibility we are going fix any issues we’ve had with Kansas in the past this weekend.”
After seven races, Line’s record in 2012 is something most of his rivals would aspire to, with one win in two final round appearances, four finishes of the semifinals or better and a second-place positioning in the Full Throttle standings (behind only Anderson). Even so, with improvement still possible, the quiet-spoken North Carolina racer continues to set his expectations at a very high level.
“I know there are many people who would be more than happy to have our Summit Racing team’s record so far, and would gladly trade places with us,” Line said. “However, without trying to sound cocky or arrogant, we are only satisfied when we win. By the same token, as soon as one race is over, no matter how we’ve done, we put it behind us and start working on the next one. For example, when we pull into Heartland Park this weekend, we’re not going to worry about how we did there in the past or even what happened at the last race. Our focus will be solely on doing whatever it takes to get our Pontiac back to the winners’ circle on Sunday.
“It’s about time I took a Topeka Wally home.”