Anderson Switches Rides, Hopes for a Little D0x00e9j0x00e0 vu in Dallas Mooresville, N.C., September 23, 2009 -- Earlier this year, the Summit Racing team made a bold change prior to their sponsor's race in Norwalk, Ohio, switching Jason Line...
Anderson Switches Rides, Hopes for a Little D0x00e9j0x00e0 vu in Dallas
Mooresville, N.C., September 23, 2009 -- Earlier this year, the Summit Racing team made a bold change prior to their sponsor's race in Norwalk, Ohio, switching Jason Line from the Pro Stock Pontiac he had used in the first 11 races of the season to the mount his teammate Greg Anderson had campaigned in 2008. The move paid immediate dividends, as Line not only won that weekend's race, but advanced to the final round in the next five races, adding another victory in Sonoma and securing the second seed in the NHRA's Countdown to One championship playoff.
Three months later, it is Anderson's turn to make a strategic swap. In a somewhat ironic twist, at this weekend's O'Reilly Super Start Fall Nationals in Dallas, TX, the three-time champion will park his car and jump into the tangerine-colored Summit Racing GXP originally driven by Line and most recently leased and raced by Ronnie Humphrey. With this year's Full Throttle Pro Stock championship on the line, it was a gamble Anderson felt was worth taking.
"With so much on the line, we felt the time was right to shake things up, so this weekend I'll be racing Jason's Summit Racing Pontiac from the beginning of the year," explained Anderson. "Just like it was with Jason before Norwalk, I'm sure there's nothing wrong with my race car. However, for whatever reason, it has just not been responding the way we'd like, so we decided to alter the formula.
"We're not going to change anything but the driver. Hopefully, we'll not only get back to running the way we should, but we'll also see where we went wrong with the other car. It worked for Jason and Robert Hight (a Funny Car racer who swapped rides with his boss John Force earlier this season), so maybe it will work for me, putting us back into contention in the Countdown."
If the challenge of adapting to a different car was not enough, the KB Racing crew must also deal with the compressed schedule of racing on consecutive weekends. This weekend's stop in the Lone Star State is the second in a grueling four-week=2 0stretch that comprises the majority of the 2009 playoff season, putting an extra emphasis on consistency. Having already won twice at the Texas Motorplex, Anderson is well-schooled on what it takes to succeed on the all-concrete surface, and is understandably anxious to get back in the saddle.
"Racing on back-to-back weekends is the same whether you're winning or losing," detailed Anderson. "Naturally, if you're doing well, you want to keep riding the wave. But if things aren't turning out the way you need them to, you also want to get right back on the horse so you can start winning again.
"In our Summit Racing team's case, the preparation remains the same, we just have less time. We had a20little extra work this week because we spent one day testing the new car, but since the last race was in Charlotte, things worked out fine. Besides, it's the same for everyone out there.
"One good thing about this weekend is that we know we can count on the racetrack at the Motorplex. It's always very good, giving us one less variable to contend with, which is exactly what we need right now. Certainly it can be a little tricky with the groove being so narrow, but we've been there enough to know that if you get out of the groove, you have to throttle back. It all comes down to execution and the driver doing his job. It also doesn't hurt that I've won there twice.
"I'm looking forward to this weekend. I understand that I am extremely competitive and hate losing, but I'm not going to dwell on things that are already behind me. I'm ready to get back to the business at hand, which includes getting our Summit Racing Pontiac back to the winner's circle."