In drag racing, a little bit of luck never hurts.
As the drivers under the KB Racing awning strap in for the second round of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, the cheers of the team’s home crowd may just be what they need to score big this weekend.
Last year, Pro Stock driver Kyle Koretsky powered to his first victory at zMAX Dragway, defeating his KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson. Koretsky’s 6.629-second elapsed time would stand strong, allowing him to secure a victory in only his second season of competition.
This year, he’s looking to repeat that performance.
“Try to get our second win here. Charlotte’s been good to us,” Koretsky said. “It’s the Countdown, it’s time to step it up.”
Though Koretsky has gone without a win through the regular season, he has still enjoyed enough success to put himself third in the Countdown standings. Going into the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, Koretsky is 88 points behind points leader Erica Enders, who has dominated the Pro Stock class all year long.
At this point in the championship, Koretsky realizes it will take an Enders-level of consistency to win the title.
“I think consistency is going to win. We have a good car, I feel really good and, yeah, we’ll take it one round at a time and see if we can make it happen. But championship is on the list,” Koretsky said.
His belief in KB Racing and the idea that they win and lose as a whole, is part of what has kept him motivated to fight every round and bring in results. On race day, his focus is on his job behind the wheel and doing the best he can.
“That’s all I can do,” Koretsky said.
He qualified sixth with a 6.544-second ET on Friday night at zMAX Dragway.
It’s been a steady team effort for KB Racing as they’ve progressed this season, recently picking up some historic accolades with Anderson’s 100th career victory at the U.S. Nationals on Labor Day.
But even with the momentum carrying on from the milestone win, Anderson is still hoping the home crowd can provide the mojo he needs to claim another win.
“I only got a 25-minute drive to my bed,” Anderson said with a smile. While the dragstrip’s proximity to his home is certainly a factor in why the track has become one of his favorite’s, he’s also a fan of the facility. He added, “It’s a good feeling when you come out here.”
For Anderson, a “feel-good” race often translates to good driving ability in his Chevrolet Camaro. And the defending Pro Stock champion needs all the help he can get in his battle with Enders – Anderson is 81 points behind the Elite Motorsports driver.
Yet, he has more on his mind than just gaining points on Enders.
He counts every single Pro Stock competitor in the pits as a challenge.
“It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a battle, but I like that. The tougher the competition is, the better you feel at the end of the day,” Anderson said.
He lost a bit of ground in regard to the championship at Maple Grove Raceway last weekend, and took second place in Friday night’s qualifying session at zMAX Dragway. Enders qualified as the provisional No. 1 with a 6.513-second ET.
With those results in mind, inching his way to the top of the playoff chain and winning his 101st race in front of the Charlotte fans are two items he hopes to check off his list this weekend.
And Enders better watch out, because Anderson seems to like the way No. 101 sounds.
“It would be a win-win,” Anderson said. “That’s a cool sounding number. It’s almost better sounding than 100.”
Dallas Glenn is KB Racing’s third Pro Stock driver. Glenn is in his second season of competition and is sixth in the Countdown to the Championship standings.
He will also be vying for a win at the Carolina Nationals after qualifying third on Friday.
Listen to SPEED SPORT’s interview with Kyle Koretsky at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals below.