Kyle Koretsky played spoiler against his KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson, collecting his first career Pro Stock win and denying Anderson a date with history as the class’ all-time win leader. The final-round battle was an all-KB Racing affair at the track closest to the team’s Mooresville, N.C., headquarters, and it went Koretsky’s way by just .005-second. It was an emotional win for Koretsky, whose father, Kenny, raced for years without a win.
"This is huge; I've wanted my whole life," said an emotional Koretskey in the media center. My dad worked his whole life and gave me the opportunity to do this. Before the final, he just said, 'Just do what you do every round and dig deep. You're gonna have to really dig deep.
"I felt really confident the car was running great, and we come to Charlotte, Greg's hometown, you know KB Racing's hometown. So we knew Ken and Judy Black were going to be out here so we had to make sure we got an all_KB Racing final. I mean, they put their heart and soul into this team and gave a lot of sacrifices on their family and to make sure we have the best parts out here. You know, it's definitely a big win for them.
And any mixed feeling about denying Anderson the historic win?
"I think a little but not much," he said. "I needed to get this done, but that guy [Anderson] is unbelievable. He's the hardest working guy I've ever met. He's a machine. He's the best."
Koretsky, runner-up behind Dallas Glenn in Topeka and Enders at the U.S. Nationals earlier this year, losing both of those final rounds on holeshots, had a stellar .011 light in the final but Anderson was even quicker with a stunning .006 reaction time. Anderson’s HendrickCars.com Camaro which had run 6.57 just the round before, slowed to a 6.63 while Koretsky’s Lucas Oil Chevy improved from a 6.66 to 6.62 to provide the winning margin.
Koretsky qualified his Lucas Oil Camaro in the No. 4 spot just behind Anderson and opened with a 6.60 to defeat Cristian Cuadra. Paired with Glenn again, it looked like Topeka history might repeat itself as Glenn had a perfect .000 reaction time, but this time Koretsky was able to fight back for the win with a 6.64 after Glenn’s RAD Torque Systems Chevy shook the tires.
Koretsky then ended the Cinderella effort of local favorite Wally Stroupe, who had benefitted from low qualifier Stanfield’s first-round red-light and then defeated Deric Kramer, 6.65 to 6.68 in the second round. Stroupe’s fortune ran out against Koretsky as he, too, shook the tires and watched Koretsky streak into the final round with a 6.66.
Twenty years after his first career win in Pro Stock, Anderson almost became the class’ all-time wins leader, with win No. 98 to surpass class icon Warren Johnson. Incredibly, Johnson had already accumulated 83 of his 97 wins before Anderson got his first, but the steady horsepower of his KB Racing-prepared rides have delivered him scores of wins over the years, and this one, was almost emblematic of that.
Anderson qualified his HendrickCars.com Camaro just third behind Aaron Stanfield and Erica Enders, who made their runs of record on a cool Friday night, but Anderson had the best run of both qualifying sessions Saturday, making it clear that he had the upper hand.
Anderson raced to a pair of 6.59 wins over Fernando Cuadra and Troy Coughlin Jr. – the latter by just .009-second as he had to overcome Coughlin’s holeshot leave — then, as he did in the final round a week ago in Reading, bested Enders in the semifinals with a stout 6.570 after she shook the tires hard in her Elite Camaro.