For the first time in several years, Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team will be in an unusual position when they pull into Lucas Oil Raceway for this weekend’s Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Ind. Even though they arrive as the defending event champions, they will not necessarily be seen as the favorites based on their struggles in recent races, which is certainly a departure from past seasons. However, having finally had time to thoroughly test their Chevrolet Camaros, Anderson is cautiously optimistic about his chances to prove the pundits wrong.
“We have a lot on our plate heading into Indy, with several things different from previous years,” said Anderson. “For example, for the first time in a long while, we are not going into the race as one of the favorites. This year, people are just not seeing us in that role because of the struggles we’ve had dialing in our new cars. It’s no secret that we’re trying to make them better and faster, getting them ready for the playoffs.
“But the U.S. Nationals is the biggest and coolest race of the year, so I am not about to discount it as just another practice race before the start of the Countdown. That race means the world to me, and I want to go win it, which is why we are trying as hard as we can to have these Summit Racing Camaros on top of their game when we roll through the gates at Lucas Oil Raceway.”
Since returning from the last race in Brainerd, the Summit Racing crew has been balancing their normal between-race maintenance with research and development efforts both at the shop and on the racetrack. Taking advantage of the first break after a hectic summer schedule, numerous days were spent making as many runs down the track as possible without the pressure of national event competition, zeroing in on the proper tune-up, determining exactly what adjustments would work and which ones would not.
“We’ve spent a lot of time at the track during the off week, testing our Summit Racing Camaros so we won’t have to look for major improvements once we get to Indy,” explained Anderson. “Basically we’re looking to have a better feeling about where we stand with the tune-up than we’ve had for the last couple Fridays at national events, which I am confident we will, putting us in a position to contend for the win.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but I believe we’ve already learned a lot of things about these cars and made up some ground. We still have some things to work on before this weekend, but I already feel we will be better than we have been at recent races.
“So while there are certainly a lot of things different about this year’s U.S. Nationals, including being the first time we’ll be there in Chevrolet Camaros, I stand by my statement that this is still the one race that means the most to win, so our goals have also not changed. For this weekend we’ll put the playoffs on the back burner and concentrate on doing whatever it takes to successfully defend our U.S. Nationals title.”
Greg Anderson & the Summit Racing Camaro crew
By the Numbers – Lucas Oil Raceway edition:
3 - No. 1 qualifying performances by Anderson at Lucas Oil Raceway, most recently in 2006.
3.83 – Average starting position for Greg in his previous 12 Indy starts.
6 – U.S. Nationals wins by Anderson coming into this weekend, including one year ago, when he defeated teammate Jason Line in the final. Anderson’s win total is second only to Bob Glidden’s 9 for the most in Pro Stock history.
8 – Final round appearances by Anderson in Indiana.
9 – Times Anderson has qualified in the top five positions in his previous 12 Lucas Oil Raceway starts.
34 – Elimination round wins by Greg in his previous 12 starts at the “Big Go”, versus 6 losses for a .850 win percentage.
211.03 – Lucas Oil Raceway Pro Stock Top Speed Record, set by Anderson in 2011.