Anderson Targeting Thunder Valley Turnaround
Eight races into the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season, defending Pro Stock Champion Greg Anderson is not yet where he wants to be. Although the Summit Racing driver heads into this weekend’s Ford Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee third in the championship standings with a win in Charlotte and three final round appearances to his credit, the highly competitive Minnesota native admits that work still remains to be done.
After all, in a category where the difference between winning and losing is often measured in ten thousandths of second, he knows every aspect of a team’s operation must be at its best, a description that did not apply to his ride in recent races. However, armed with the combination of a talented crew and the data from current points leader and KB Racing teammate Jason Line’s nearly identical Summit Racing Pontiac, Anderson has little doubt he will soon be back up to full speed, with a third Bristol Dragway win in his sights.
“The first thing you look to establish in a race car is performance,” said Anderson. “The next step after that is developing the ability to repeat that performance on every run. Although we’re very close to doing that with Jason’s Summit Racing Pontiac, we’re still working to get my car back up to the level it was at the start of the season. It’s certainly still competitive and capable of winning races, it’s just not where we’d like it to be.
“The good news is that we have two cars in Jason’s and Ronnie’s (Humphrey, driver of the Summit/Genuine Hotrod Hardware Pontiac) on which we’ve made gains and are running pretty well. That not only shows us the issues are confined to my car, but also tells us it has the capability to run up front.
“On top of that, this particular car ran very well at the beginning of the year, so we can’t really say there’s something wrong with it. We’ve been working non-stop, exploring every option trying to see where we went wrong and get it turned around, because we know the performance is in there. It’s just up to us to find it, and I’m confident we will, putting us back at the top of the pack, hopefully this weekend in Bristol.”
Acknowledged by Congress as the Birthplace of Country Music, in recent years Bristol has also been known for a different type of acoustics, namely the sounds of high horsepower engines echoing across the Appalachian Mountains, justifying its nickname as Thunder Valley. Since winning the inaugural event in 2001, Bristol Dragway has been one of the favorite stops on the NHRA tour for Anderson and his KB Racing team. This weekend, they will look to elevate that opinion even higher by scoring their third win at the Bruton Smith-owned facility.
“We’ve tested twice at Bristol Dragway in the last month, because this is an important race to us,” said Anderson. “We love the racetrack and the people who work there. It’s probably one of the most efficiently run tracks in the country, typical of any of Bruton Smith’s properties. It certainly earns its nickname of Thunder Valley with the thunder echoing off the mountains whenever the cars go down the racetrack. You feel like you’re in the big time whenever you go there, making it a fun weekend, and a race we really want to win.
“Both Jason and I tested well there, learning a lot about the conditions so we’re pretty upbeat heading into the weekend. We think we’re going to have some pretty fast hot rods when we show up in Bristol, so we can’t wait to get there. Thunder Valley, here we come!”
-source: kb racing