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NHRA: Things couldn't be better for Anderson, Summit Racing team

In pre-Countdown to the Championship days, NHRA's Pro Stock division would be a foregone conclusion. The Summit Racing Equipment team of Greg Anderson and Jason Line have dominated the class with Line leading Anderson by 30 points and Anderson le...

Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro head into this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway 30 points behind his teammate Jason Line for the Pro Stock lead.
Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro head into this weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway 30 points behind his teammate Jason Line for the Pro Stock lead.

In pre-Countdown to the Championship days, NHRA's Pro Stock division would be a foregone conclusion.

The Summit Racing Equipment team of Greg Anderson and Jason Line have dominated the class with Line leading Anderson by 30 points and Anderson leading the rest of the field by 510.

Anderson has seven victories this season and a 47-9 round record. He's enjoyed five No. 1 qualifying spots and four second-place finishes. Of Anderson's nine losses, five have been to Line.

Line is also 47-9 this season with seven wins and four second-place finishes. He's enjoyed six No. 1 qualifying spots. Of Line's nine losses, five are to Anderson.

Why the complete dominance? Anderson said it's been a complete team effort. That and overcoming a major car change in the Pro Stock class.

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Greg Anderson

  • Hometown: Duluth
  • Sponsor/car: Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro
  • Crew chief: Rob Downing/Tim Freeman
  • Last year's result: Finished second in the Pro Stock division
  • Current position: Second in Pro Stock division.
  • Twitter: @KBRacing1 

--- "They changed the rules at the end of last year and we all had to switch over to fuel injection and do away with the carburetors," Anderson said. "We did away with the carburetor, did away with the hood scoops and changed to fuel injection. They changed the maximum rpm rev limit on the engines. They capped it off at 10,500 rpm, which a year ago we were more than 1,000 rpm higher than that. It was unlimited what you could run your engine to. It's just a whole bunch of new rules engine-wise is what it came down to and everybody had to learn fuel injection."

Not everybody learned as quickly or as efficiently as the Summit team. Either Line or Anderson have won 14 of the 16 races. It wasn't until Allen Johnson captured Denver July 24 that someone other than the Minnesota duo won a Wally. The only other race the two will not win is Seattle, which will be won by either Vincent Nobile or Aaron Strong when that final is run Saturday at BIR.

Anderson said the rule changes were the most drastic he's seen in his career. When the NHRA broke the news, his heart stopped. That's not good for someone who missed the first five races of the 2014 season because of heart surgery.

"We were kind of in panic mode," said Anderson. "We were wondering if that was the end of the class and our ability to make horsepower and to race these types of engines.

"It's kind of been the deal where we always believed that anytime there is a shakeup or a new rule developed or whatever, whatever team is the most adept at adapting and can adapt the best and can develop new things, those are the ones that are going to come out with an advantage. I've always felt our team is good for that. It's set up for that and accepts challenges like that. You have to look at it that way and embrace the challenge instead of turning your nose up.

"After we drug our lip for a while, a week or two, we finally got into the game and applied ourselves and finally accepted it. We didn't want to accept it at first."

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Anderson said it was a brand new area. His team had nothing to fall back on. They had no prior knowledge of fuel injection. It was simply trial and error. They were forced to tune their cars with a laptop, which they had never done before.

To Anderson's surprise the Summit racing team learned it better than the rest of the Pro Stock field.

"When we first started, it was ugly," Anderson said. "We were way, way, way down on power and the engines didn't want to do anything right. They didn't want to run right. We changed a lot of things and basically had to rethink the way we work on our engines and we were finally able to turn the corner and start making power and making gains.

"You just had to open your mind and obviously get along and work hard together and work as a team. It took a total team effort to get where we are at. Everybody dug in this winter and worked hard. I'm proud of all the guys. They worked hard and it shows."

This is nothing new for Anderson, who in 2004 won 15 events himself on his way to the second of three consecutive NHRA Powerade Pro Stock world championships. But as a team he said this season takes the cake.

"That was a great year back in 2004 and our goal ever since then is to get back to that," said Anderson. "The competition tightened up and it's been hard to win more than three or four races in a year because the competition has been so even. With this rule change, we thought it was an opportunity to gain an advantage and get back to that level of performance we had in 2004."

"It's been a great year for us and we're extremely happy about it, but come Brainerd and Indy it's just about time to reshuffle the points and start over. All that work we've done over the year is going to be thrown out the window and we have to make sure we've still got a better product to race through this Countdown than the rest of the class. A new season turning around here and a new challenge. It's been great so far and we're still having a ball."

Having a ball and winning races. With such a large advantage, Anderson and Line have been testing different parts combinations and car setups. Fans can expect much the same come Brainerd. That is until Sunday,

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"We have been doing some testing the last three or four races so some of our qualifying efforts have been a little bit off par because we've been shuffling a whole bunch of different parts through the car," said Anderson. "We kind of figured we had that luxury we could do that where some of the other teams couldn't and try and find something special before the Countdown.

"It's been the way it is and we'll probably continue that through qualifying at Brainerd trying to test a few new parts just to see what we can learn for down the road. Come Sunday, it will be whatever package is the best for that car and we'll be trying to win that race."

Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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