JOLIET, IL—The switch was inevitable.
Had the new Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock race cars been available at the start of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Series racing season, the Team Summit drivers would have debuted them immediately.
As it worked out, Jason Line and Greg Anderson started the season piloting their Pontiac GXPs—the same cars the two drivers have driven to championships the previous two seasons. Line is Pro Stock’s defending champion. Anderson won his fourth career Pro Stock title in 2010.
You didn’t have to be a drag racing expert to see how dominant Anderson and Line were to start the season.
Anderson won the season’s first race. Line won the second. And they never looked back, staying atop the points standings throughout the 2012 season thus far.
They looked something very close to unbeatable.
And then they switched cars. Just a month ago in Englishtown, NJ, chasing his fifth championship and leading the points, Anderson debuted his new Camaro. Defying the odds, Anderson drove his new ride to a victory—KB Racing’s historic 100th win—in its maiden voyage.
Two weeks later in Bristol, TN, Line switched as well.
“It was time to move on,” Line said. “No matter what, we were going to switch cars this season.”
Leaned over Line’s Camaro in the pits, Anderson stopped the work he was doing following the fourth qualifying session at Route 66 Raceway Saturday night.
He wasn’t annoyed with the question—he understands the “Why now?”—but there was no mistaking the look of a confident champion when he explained why sustained success in the Chevys is imminent.
“Getting the Camaro back in Pro Stock was very important to us,” Anderson said. “We weren’t scared at all, perhaps foolishly. But we’re not.”
Anderson knows there is still much progress to be made as the team continues to experience different tracks in different conditions. But every pass in varying temperatures, in varying altitudes, in varying humidity gives Anderson, Line and the rest of the KB Racing team another nugget of information they can use to fine tune their naturally aspirated engines.
The drivers feel strongly that by the Countdown to One, the Camaros will be every bit as lethal as their hard-to-beat Pontiacs were at the start of the season.
Both Line and Anderson discussed the importance of having General Motors’ technological support and the importance of having an American muscle car in the Pro Stock class.
“We need GM involved,” Anderson said. “We need to increase the popularity of Pro Stock and make it more exciting. People want us to change with the times. Having a muscle car back in Pro Stock makes too much sense.”
There were a lot of positives to take away from the race weekend in Joliet. While Line suffered a first-round elimination, his #2 qualifying position proves the car is close.
And despite working hard just to qualify eighth, Anderson raced his way to the finals where he fell 14 hundreths of a second shy of another victory.
Walking into Line’s trailer, it’s hard to miss the No Whining sign. It serves as a reminder for what these guys are all about in their relentless pursuit for victory.
“We’ll make them better—whatever it takes,” Line said after inspecting some spark plugs from Anderson’s motor. “We’re not smarter than anyone else, so we have to work harder to get to the top.”
Check out some photos from our day at Route 66 Raceway with Line and Anderson: