Kyle Koretsky had come close to his first career Pro Stock win on two recent occasions, setting the stage for his triumph last weekend in Charlotte. The rising star in the class picked up his first NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series victory a week ago, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, putting Koretsky in the thick of the world title chase in his first appearance in the Countdown to the Championship.
He’s now third in points and carrying plenty of momentum into this weekend’s NHRA Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis. The race marks the halfway point of the Countdown to the Championship in Pro Stock, and Koretsky trails points leader and KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson by 91 points. In his second season in Pro Stock, Koretsky is simply enjoying the moment in his Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro. The team has steadily progressed, reaching the final round in three of the past four races, but Koretsky’s sole focus is doing well this weekend.
“The Countdown is huge and something we’ve always wanted to do. Now we’re racing for a championship, but I’m not even really looking at that right now,” Koretsky said. “I’m just trying to take it a round at a time, and I think I focus a little better when I look at it that way. Indy was huge and I felt really confident. The car was running great as always and I thought Indy would be my first win. We felt good in Reading, too, and we looked forward to Charlotte. I needed to get that done and get that first win.”
The busy race schedule has brought out the best in Koretsky, who has been on an impressive surge since the summer, advancing to the semifinals or better in six of the past nine races. He’s moved from ninth in points all the way to third, but things won’t be easy in St. Louis. Anderson has been the dominant driver all year, claiming three wins and is just one away from setting the Pro Stock record for most wins in a career with 98.
Defending world champ Erica Enders is 65 points back of Anderson with both veterans seeking their fifth world title. Being that Koretsky just won his first career Pro Stock race, he has a long way to go to catch them, but he’s enjoyed every bit of the start to what appears to be a promising career in the class.
“I’m out here living the dream. KB supplies me the best power and our team has just been flawless,” Koretsky said. “Everyone is a big team and we get along. This is something I’ve wanted my whole life. Pro Stock is the most competitive class out here. We looked up to Greg, and those guys are great and I knew I really had to dig deep to get it done (beating him in the final round at Charlotte). He’s the hardest-working guy I’ve ever met. He’s a machine and he’s the best.”