The merger of KB Racing and Titan Racing Engines ahead of the 2023 NHRA's Camping World Drag Racing Series was one of drag racing’s most talked about and debated developments. What will become of the legendary team that Ken Black and Greg Anderson built from the ground up over two decades ago? For five-time world champion Anderson, driver of the HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro, the answer is simple.
"We'll have some growing pains – it would be impossible to avoid that – but the merger made this race team stronger," said Anderson, Pro Stock’s most successful racer with 101 titles. "We'll have to be patient as we get gelled, but the product is definitely going to be good."
Anderson is under no assumption that it will all be sunshine and roses, but his faith in the KB Titan Racing team runs deep, and it strikes a chord of understanding: his biggest challenge this year may well come from inside the camp and his fellow KBT drivers.
Last year's Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals winner Dallas Glenn – a four-time victor in Pro Stock – is one pit over from the work area Anderson shares with six-time finalist and 2021 Carolina Nationals winner Kyle Koretsky. Further down the row, the KB Titan umbrella extends over four-time winner Deric Kramer, five-time event titlist Matt Hartford, and 2022 rookie of the year Camrie Caruso, who was No. 1 qualifier and a finalist in just her fifth Pro Stock race ever.
"Making the race team stronger means that there are more in-house cars that can win, and that's going to create an intramural battle for me in addition to the battle with tough, tough competitors outside of KB Titan Racing," Anderson admitted.
"But I'm okay with that. At this point in my career, I've gotten past all the ego stuff, and I'll be proud if they're able to go out there and win races – even if they beat me along the way. We have a great six-pack of drivers and racecars, we've got top-notch crew chiefs and crew members, and we're going to be a handful this year. I think we've made great strides over the winter. As long as KB Titan Racing wins, I'm going to be happy."
The team put in the work at the KB Titan Racing engine shop over the winter, and they tested at Bradenton Motorsports Park ahead of the season-opening Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. The conditions were hot and humid, but over the course of three solid days of testing, Anderson and his KBT cohorts were pleased.
"We needed those three days," said Anderson. "We made a lot of changes over the winter, so we utilized that time to get everything calmed down and working smoothly so that we could make good, quality runs. We'll see where we stack up, but we feel like we had a good winter's work. We have a good product, and now we get to put the rubber to the road and see what happens.
"I feel good, and I'm ready to get back to racing. It's been too long. Everybody knows I love working in my race shop, but I missed driving the car. No matter how long I do this, I still enjoy that part of it."
On Friday in Gainesville, the KB Titan team generally performed well. Through two of four qualifying sessions, all five drivers are in the field with Caruso the No. 2 seed at 6.551 seconds and Anderson in the No. 4 spot with a 6.554 best. Anderson has enjoyed considerable success at Gainesville Raceway with five Pro Stock wins between 2004 and 2021.