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KB Racing on verge of eighth Pro Stock championship, Anderson leading with NHRA Finals pole

by Mike Haag | Posted on Sunday, November 12th, 2017

Greg Anderson. Auto Imagery Photo


Courtesy of Kelly Topolinski, Team Summit PR

POMONA, Calif. The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world championship will come down to Sunday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, and only three drivers are in the hunt. The championship trophy will be going home with KB Racing no matter what, and incoming points leader Greg Anderson is starting his quest for a fifth Pro Stock title locked in as the No. 1 qualifier. The pole was the 93rd of Anderson’s career and sixth of the season.

“The great news is that my Summit Racing Chevy Camaro is a great car,” said Anderson, who now holds a two-round advantage over KB Racing teammate Bo Butner, who is No. 2 in the points. Summit Racing teammate Jason Line, the reigning Pro Stock champ, is in the No. 3 spot and 80 points back. “The bad news is that I have to race against two guys who have the same exact equipment I do. It’s going to be a battle royal tomorrow. We knew that coming in, and the table has been set exactly as we thought it would. We can all run within a thousandth of a second of each other. It’s all going to come down to who does what on the starting line and exactly how quick of a run the car makes.”

Anderson claimed a total of 12 bonus points in qualifying as one of the top three cars in each session. His best qualifying pass was his first of the weekend, a 6.541-second journey down the quarter-mile at 209.79 mph. He is on the same side of the ladder as Butner, and the two could meet in the semifinals. Line is on the other side of the ladder and would need to win the race and see his teammates exit in the first round (Anderson) and second round (Butner).
“If I was a betting man, and I’m certainly on the inside here, I couldn’t handicap it,” said Anderson, who will start his day with a first-round meeting with Alan Prusiensky. “I couldn’t bet who is the favorite to win the championship. We’re all even. I’m hoping that my experience comes through for me, but you just never know. Anything can happen on raceday. This is a dream scenario for us at KB Racing – to have the three of us and only the three of us involved for the championship. We have three great, even cars, and I can’t tell you who is going to win. I know one thing, I’m going to be excited when I get here in the morning and I’m hoping I get to wear that smile the rest of the day.”
Greg Anderson
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Car No.: PS2
Anderson’s qualifying results:
Q1: 6.541-second at 209.79 mph (No. 1, +4 bonus points)
Q2: 6.561, 210.67 (No. 1, +4)
Q3: 6.556, 210.93 (No. 1, +3)
Q4: 6.563, 209.92 (No. 1, +1)
Final qualifying position: No. 1
Round one:
Greg Anderson vs. Alan Prusiensky

Jason Line. Auto Imagery Photo

Line is seeking the fourth Pro Stock series title of his career and fifth overall; he was the Stock Eliminator world titlist in 1993. The driver of the blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro launched hard into the 2017 season, scoring the win at the Winternationals in Pomona and securing the pole at the first four events. He did not visit another final round, though, until St. Louis, where he forfeited the title to Team Summit’s Anderson. The next race, however, in Dallas, he earned the trophy to keep his name in the game.

This weekend at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, his blue Summit Racing hot rod was fully alert on Saturday. Line claimed max bonus points with the quickest pass in each of the final two qualifying sessions of the season. His best pass in qualifying was a 6.546, 210.14. 
“I feel like it’s a little bit of a longshot – and it is, for sure,” said Line, who is setting up for a first-round meeting with Deric Kramer. “But honestly, I’m not thinking about the championship. I’m just thinking about trying to make my car run the best it can, and making all three of our KB Racing Chevy Camaro Pro Stockers run the best they can. Whatever happens is going to be what is meant to be, but I’m going to go up there and do the best I can. I’m going to be happy for Greg or Bo if they win, and I’m proud of our whole Summit Racing group for the effort they’ve put in this year. I don’t feel any pressure, not like I did last year. I have nothing to lose, but those guys do. The only pressure I feel is to make sure I do my job right so that I’m not messing it up for someone else.”  
Jason Line
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Car No.: PS1
Line’s qualifying results:
Q1: 6.581-second at 209.59 mph (No. 7)
Q2: 6.565, 209.65 (No. 6, +1)
Q3: 6.546, 210.14 (No. 2, +4)
Q4: 6.547, 210.93 (No. 2, +4)
Final qualifying position: No. 2
Round one:
Jason Line vs. Deric Kramer

Bo Butner. Auto Imagery Photo

Butner, the 2006 Comp Eliminator Lucas Oil Series champion, led the Pro Stock points for much of this year and earned his lofty perch by scoring his first Pro Stock trophy in Houston and following up with three more wins throughout the season. He has visited the final round a total of 10 times so far in 2017 and earned five low-qualifier awards. His best run in qualifying in Pomona was the last – a 6.559, 211.20 that sent him up to the No. 5 spot. For his efforts, he earned a total of three bonus points.
“They say you’re only as good as your last run, and if that’s true, then I’m very happy,” said Butner, who will race Shane Gray in the first round. “That run could turn the win light on. I had confidence coming into this race, and I still do. All year long, I’ve had a great car. It’s going to be fun tomorrow. I have to do well first round, and then I have to do well second round. We kind of have our own destiny in our hands, and who else do you want to control your destiny than yourself? No matter what happens, KB Racing wins, so I know everything is going to be okay.”
Bo Butner
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro
Car No.: PS4
Butner’s qualifying results:
Q1: 6.575-second at 209.79 mph (No. 6)
Q2: 6.566, 210.28 (No. 7)
Q3: 6.570, 210.01 (No. 7)
Q4: 6.559, 211.20 (No. 5, +3))
Final qualifying position: No. 5
Round one:
Bo Butner vs. Shane Gray

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Pro Stock Standings
(after NHRA Finals qualifying, Countdown to the Championship race 6 of 6)
1.  Greg Anderson, 2,664
2.  Bo Butner, 2,611
3.  Jason Line, 2,584
4.  Tanner Gray, 2,468
5.  Drew Skillman, 2,446
6.  Erica Enders, 2,337
7.  Jeg Coughlin Jr., 2,288
8. Allen Johnson, 2,284
9.  Chris McGaha, 2,257
10.  Vincent Nobile, 2,052
Race Info
53rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
November 9-12, 2017
Run Schedule (all times PT) 
Sunday, November 12
            11am – Eliminations
Television Schedule 
Sunday, Nov. 12, FS1 will televise three hours of LIVE finals coverage starting at 4 p.m. (ET).
KB Racing has 142 Pro Stock wins & 7 NHRA Pro Stock Championships

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 30 years. In addition to working for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 15 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike also teaches English at Floresville High School.

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