|Greg Anderson, left, and Jason Line experienced great performances with their new Camaros in 2012, but fell shy of winning the championship.
After struggling for a good part of the 2012 campaign after the midseason switch to new Camaro Pro Stock cars, the KB Racing team of Greg Anderson and Jason Line is anticipating the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with excitement and enthusiasm.
“Our Camaros should be good right off the bat when we start off the schedule at the Winternationals,” said Anderson. “There were definitely some bright spots at the end of the year [including four consecutive No. 1 qualifying performances and Pro Stock’s first run to exceed 214 mph], and we made up some ground. It appears that we got about 90 percent of the work out of the way. And Jason’s 214-mph run at Reading certainly eliminates any previous concerns there might have been about the Camaro’s aerodynamic characteristics."
Of the team’s decision to make the transition to the new vehicles during the middle of the campaign, Anderson said, “Looking back on it now, it might have cost us a chance at the title, especially with the way that Jason’s GXP was running. But it was a business decision that we had to make.
“I don’t think that the KB Racing team has ever attempted anything so ambitious in the past. But we had so much confidence in our abilities as a team that perhaps we underestimated the challenge. It definitely took longer than we anticipated to get the cars up to speed. Just about everything with the Camaros, including size, weight bias, and many other factors, was completely different than what we had worked with before. We dug ourselves into a deep hole that we had to fight our way out of. The whole experience was a big eye-opener for us, but we felt it was worth the effort. There is a real positive buzz around General Motors these days. And I look forward to the day when all of Detroit’s Big Three are represented in Pro Stock with muscle cars."
Anderson believes the timing was right for the change: “[Waiting until the off-season] might have been the safe way, but when you look back and see how many runs we ended up needing to get the job done, there just wouldn’t have been enough time during the winter to get in the required testing.”
Despite the progress made in the latter stages of 2012, Anderson insists that additional work needs to be done. “There are still some areas in the Camaro that need refinement to realize its full performance potential, and we’re working hard to prevent the engine failures that caused me to lose at both Indy and Charlotte,” he said. “Another thing we have planned is more track testing. The only time we tested last year was stopping over in Las Vegas right before the Winternationals. This winter, we plan to test in Florida at least twice, if not more. And in addition to working on the cars, we’ll also be focusing on our race-day execution. Although our Camaros were very fast at the end of last year, it didn’t translate into any wins because of poor execution on our part. We just couldn’t make eight good runs in a row, and that’s something we hope to correct.”
The competition in Pro Stock seems to intensify each season, and Anderson thinks that 2013 will be no different. “It’s going to be a real challenge to take the championship away from Allen Johnson. He had a season that really didn’t have any low points or lulls. His team made great power, and Allen proved that he could get the job done with his driving."
Regarding Jeg Coughlin Jr. utilizing Roy Johnson engines next year, Anderson said, “Obviously, that will be a very dangerous combination. Erica Enders also proved that she has championship potential, and you’ll have Mike Edwards, Vincent Nobile, V. Gaines, and several others to contend with. The bar has definitely been raised.”
Anderson said that team owner Ken Black continues his remarkable recovery from the stroke that he suffered in late 2009. “Ken is doing absolutely great,” said Anderson, “and in fact, he’ll be making the trip from Las Vegas to Charlotte to visit us in a couple of weeks. Everybody on our team is looking forward to seeing him, which will really add to the holiday season.”