Former NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson will be out of the driver’s seat for the first three months of the season due to a scheduled surgery and will be replaced behind the wheel of the Summit Racing Equipment/KB Racing Camaro for the first six events of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series by eight-time FIA Pro Stock champion Jimmy Alund, beginning with the 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 6-9, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
“It’s really not a big deal,” Anderson explained about his condition. “I was born with a bicuspid aortic heart valve (two valve openings instead of three). It’s something we’ve kept track of over the years, and my doctor has decided it’s time to make some repairs so I stay in good shape. I will miss the first few races of the season, but once the doctor says I’m good to go, I’m gonna be right back at it looking for another Pro Stock championship.”
Alund is one of the most successful Pro Stock drivers in Europe, winning championships each year from 2004 through 2009 as well as 2011 and 2013. In 2013, the Swedish racer qualified No. 1 at all six events of the FIA European Championship season, won five of those six events, and reset the Pro Stock E.T. and Top Speed records (6.534 seconds, 213.31 mph).
Part of Alund’s winning formula was the KB Racing engine under the hood of his 2012 J&J Performance Camaro. It was that connection and Alund’s 2013 performance that got him the nod to drive the Summit Racing Camaro while Anderson recuperates.
“I’m really honored to be a part of this organization,” Alund said about KB Racing. “I have some big shoes to fill — Greg is one of the best Pro Stock drivers in the world, bar none. I believe that I’m up to the challenge, though. I’m looking forward to helping KB Racing win another championship.
“Just like Greg and Jason Line, I’m a hands-on guy — I work on my own race car alongside my team,” Alund continued. “I hope my experience will be valuable to the KB Racing team. It always helps to have a new set of eyes on the car.”
Alund has competed in NHRA Pro Stock racing before, running several national events during the 2010 season. The experience gave him a taste of what American Professional class drag racing is all about.
“In the U.S., you are running against the best of the best,” Alund explained. ”After all, this is the home of drag racing, so you expect that. We don’t race full time in Europe like the Pro teams do here, but racing is racing — we are just as competitive as the racers in America. This is a great opportunity for me to show that to American race fans.”
Alund will be testing in Phoenix prior to the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals. He and teammate Jason Line will begin the Winternationals with two qualifying sessions Friday, Feb. 7.