Before the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals slated for this weekend at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH, Summit Racing Pro Stock drivers Greg Anderson and Jason Line took a break from a testing session in Bristol, TN to answer a few questions.
After 11 of 11 wins, what do you think Team Summit’s next great achievement will be?
Greg Anderson: A win at Summit Motorsports Park. We can’t let the home team down. We can’t screw up this weekend. With the Cavs win, people don’t want any losers coming to town.
Jason Line: We feel really confident coming into Norwalk. You always want to feel like you can win. Sometimes it’s true. Sometimes it’s not. But right now we feel like we can.
How are the fans responding to the team’s winning streak?
Anderson: We seem to get nothing but positive from the fans. We hear, “We hope you get 10 in a row. We hope you get 11. This is so cool.” No negative comments at all. They’re waiting to see if we make some kind of special history here.
Line: It’s been surprisingly good. The fans are very supportive. They come up and say very positive things.
Does that correlate to an increase in autograph requests?
Line: Yeah. Increase in shirt sales, too. They want to talk to us. A lot of the Pro Stock fans, they’re car folks, they’re technically minded, so they want to know “What do you guys have that the other teams don’t have?” We don’t answer that, but they want to talk about it.
How is the response from the other Pro Stock teams?
Anderson: It’s just gotten very quiet. No one’s said anything about it that’s mean or bad. It’s just quiet. They’re not complaining, or yelling at us, or lighting our trailer on fire. They realize something cool is going on here. They’re working hard to catch us. The other teams are getting better each week. But we’ve been able to win on Sundays.
Line: As dominating as our team has been, the competitors certainly envy us in a good way. No one is trying to slash our tires yet. I think honestly they recognize we’re gracious.
I want to be a gracious winner because it’ll make the ride down that much easier. You’re not going to stay on top forever, it’s not possible. It’s really important to be gracious when you win, and gracious when you lose.
Have there been problems along the way that could have ended the streak?
Anderson: There are a lot of land mines out there. We’ve been able to dodge them. It’s takes a team effort to win. There are small problems, some special challenges. But we’ve had no aborted runs. We’ve been able to close the deal. It’s darn near error-free racing.
Line: Every day. There are always problems. It is amazing we’ve made that many runs and not broken anything, or had one single parts failure. But it’s going to happen. And when it does, I’ll take it because all good things must come to an end. The fact that it’s gone on this long is really amazing.
Do you think that the cars will eventually get back to the ETs and speeds of last year?
Anderson: They will. But this year? Probably not. We still have a lot to learn. The potential is there but you can only learn so fast. By the end of the year, the speeds will pick up. The ETs will be better. It doesn’t really matter what we ran last year because everybody is in the same boat this year.
Line: We will, but it’s going to be awhile. We’re closer than I thought we’d be. We’ll absolutely get faster as time goes on. We still a have a way to go, there’s no doubt.
What do you think the greatest challenge is to keep this winning streak going? Is it more driver-oriented, or is it the car?
Anderson: The driver. You have it in the back of your mind that you don’t want to be the one to screw it up. Rob has given us great cars. If you know you have a performance advantage, you don’t have to be reckless on the starting line. Just do a good job and you probably have a great chance of winning.
Line: At this point, I feel that it’s going to be driver related. I feel the driver is the biggest variable. There are going to be mistakes. There’s no question our competitors are going to have to push the tree, to be quick. So our job is to make that window as small as possible for them. But the other teams could figure out whatever it is that’s making us faster, then it will all change just like that.
How does the track surface at Norwalk compare to the other tracks you’ve raced so far—is it conducive to quicker/faster runs?
Line: Well it really depends on the weather. Being in Ohio at this time of year, it’s very hot, very humid. There’s a good chance it could be slow, but you just don’t know. Depends on the forecast. The track has the potential to be really fast but it comes down to Mother Nature.
Anderson: Norwalk has been good. We’ve had a lot of success there. During Friday sessions, when the sun goes down, the surface is as good as any track. But when the sun’s out, and the humidity is through the roof, you really have to finesse the race car. When the sun goes down, it gets good very fast and you’re able to run those quick numbers. It makes for a fun weekend.
Any thoughts on facing off in an all-Summit final?
Line: It’s always a fun rivalry in a good way. Greg has gotten the best of me more than I have of him. Greg is great racer. I want to win. In the finals, I’d much rather face him.