Anderson Hopes Home Cooking is the Recipe for 4-Wide Success
Mooresville, N.C., April 13, 2011 – Throughout the course of the Full Throttle Drag Racing season, teams welcome any respite from the demanding 22-race cross-country grind. In this case of Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team, this break comes twice a year in the form of a home race, starting with this weekend’s 2nd annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals. Located a half-hour’s drive away from the KB Racing shop in Mooresville, zMAX Dragway offers the team benefits that are not available at the other stops on the circuit, which the four-time champion hopes to put to good use this weekend as he searches for his first 2011 win.
“The advantages of a home race are pretty obvious,” said Anderson. “For starters, you get to go home every night and sleep in your own bed, which is a huge plus. In addition, if the race is delayed or postponed for any reason, you don’t incur any additional travel charges going back and forth across the country. You also have the benefit of having everyone from the KB Racing shop at the track lending a hand, and with the shop a short drive away, everything we need is available to us.
“On top of that, you have the added support of your family, friends and neighbors who come out to the track to cheer you on, which is one of those intangibles that can make a difference in your weekend, as we saw when we won the race here at zMAX last fall. Of course, the flip side is that if you don’t do well, you look bad in front of your friends and family.
“Naturally, there are a few disadvantages to having a race in your back yard. There are the numerous ticket requests you have to handle, and throughout the course of the weekend, our pit area can get a little hectic with all the people you need to take care of, which can become a distraction. Even so, I still think the positives far outweigh the negatives, and just give us added reasons to want to end the weekend with our Summit Racing Pontiac in the winner’s circle.”
Anderson’s pursuit of victory will have an added twist this weekend, as for the second time in the modern era, the world’s best quarter-milers will be competing in the unique four-wide format. Although appreciative of the potential benefits of this singular event, he also acknowledges the added pressures it puts on the race team and in particular the driver, who will have to deal with the majority of the changes. As expected, the 65-time national event winner is up to the challenge.
To go completely outside of our comfort zone for this one race is a little disconcerting.
“I understand the reasoning behind the four-wide format, and I applaud Bruton Smith and his staff for trying to bring some extra excitement and exposure to our sport and our fans, but it’s certainly tougher on the drivers,” said Anderson. “You have to understand that we have done something a certain way for my entire career, so to go completely outside of our comfort zone for this one race is a little disconcerting.
“With the various changes to the tree and other things, we can’t race on instinct as we normally do, we’ll have to think about what we’re doing. Since drivers have proven many times that thinking is not our strong suit, it’s just natural that we’re going to make more mistakes. Having said that, I have to make it my responsibility to commit fewer mistakes than our competitors and put ourselves in a position to win.
“There’s no question that four-wide racing puts more pressure on the teams to have the car set up perfectly right off the trailer. With everything that’s changed in the driving department, you don’t have time to be concerned about what’s going on with the race car. If the car’s running well, you’ll probably do a better job of driving, so it’s very important to have a strong and consistent race car, so you can eliminate as many variables as possible.
“I had that type of car at the end of last year, and we won the Charlotte race with it. We’ve tested at zMAX a few weeks ago, and think we have a good combination for that racetrack, so we hope to have three strong Summit Racing Pontiacs so we can put it on the drivers’ shoulders to go out and win the race. We’ve had some time since Las Vegas to regroup, and came up with a few answers as to why we did not perform up to our expectations there, so I believe we should be in good shape, not only this weekend, but moving forward.
“I’m cautiously optimistic about our chances for this weekend. I believe both our cars and our engines will be improved over the last race, and I think I’ll do better with the four-wide format than I did last year. I’m not going to make any bold predictions, but I think we’ll be just fine.”
-source: kb racing