READING, Pa. (September 15, 2018) – The first race in NHRA’s 2018 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship is well underway at Maple Grove Raceway. Qualifying is complete for the Dodge NHRA Nationals in Reading, and three of the five KB Racing cars are qualified in the top half of the field, including the two Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros piloted respectively by Greg Anderson and Jason Line, as well as the Jim Butner Auto Chevy wheeled by reigning NHRA Pro Stock champion Bo Butner.
Final eliminations for the 34th annual Dodge NHRA Nationals will take place on Sunday, September 16th at Maple Grove Raceway beginning at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Final qualifying position: No. 7
First round opponent: Deric Kramer
Greg Anderson, who has reached the Maple Grove Raceway final round in each of the most recent three seasons, enters raceday in the No. 7 position. He will square off with KB Racing teammate Deric Kramer as he aims to return to the points lead at the first race in the Countdown to the Championship. Anderson has two previous wins in Reading.
“We’re working on it, but I don’t feel like we’ve got the tune-up for this racetrack just yet,” said Anderson, who so far this weekend has recorded a best time of 6.562-second at 209.69 mph. “I’m surprised that we don’t, but the cars are getting happier. Bo’s has been happiest so far, and it shows that it wants to run, but we’ve had to work very hard to produce a number out there. That will make it tough going into tomorrow, but we’re looking back at our notes from a few races ago. We’re going to make our cars happier tomorrow, it’s as simple as that. There are a lot of guys making really nice runs, and we’re hoping to be part of that group tomorrow when it matters the most.”
Anderson’s qualifying results:
Q1: 6.599-second at 208.42 mph (No. 9)
Q2: 6.585, 208.78 (No. 11)
Q3: 6.562, 209.69 (No. 6)
Q4: 6.574, 210.14 (No. 7)
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Final qualifying position: No. 8
First round opponent: Chris McGaha
Two-time Maple Grove Raceway winner Jason Line is in pursuit of his 50th national event victory, and the driver of the blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro would like to accomplish that feat during the 2018 season. There is no greater time to achieve the goal than the first race of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship. Line and Team Summit saw improvement with their Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stockers throughout qualifying, starting off with a disappointing Friday performance and improving on Saturday with cars that moved into the top half of the field.
No. 8 qualifier Line will race Chris McGaha in the first round in Reading. He is on the opposite side of the ladder from fellow Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro campaigner Greg Anderson but the same side as KB Racing-powered teammates Bo Butner and Fernando Cuadra.
“The weather wasn’t a whole lot different today than yesterday, so the difference was really in the tune-up between yesterday and today,” said Line. “We’re challenged with our cars in the front part of the racetrack here. We’re running good down the back, we’re just not great up front.
“The good news for tomorrow is that McGaha and I are about on an equal playing field, so it should be interesting. We made some improvements from yesterday to today with our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros, so hopefully that continues tomorrow. Greg is on the opposite side of the ladder, so that’s good. I’m over on this side with a couple of our teammates, so I’m going to be very happy if I get to the semifinals and see another KB Racing car in the other lane.”
Line’s qualifying results:
Q1: 6.67-second at 208.39 mph (No. 10)
Q2: 6.584, 209.75 (No. 10)
Q3: 6.564, 210.34 (No. 7)
Q4: 6.573, 209.79 (No. 8)
Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro
Final qualifying position: No. 5
First round opponent: Kenny Delco
Last season, the NHRA Nationals in Reading proved to be a pivotal race for Bo Butner. He won the event with a final-round defeat of KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson, and at season’s end, the difference in points gave Butner the nod for the championship over Anderson. This year, although Butner enters the Countdown to the Championship in the No. 9 spot, he knows anything is possible. He is the defending event champion, but the driver of the Jim Butner Auto Chevrolet Camaro doesn’t necessarily believe he has a target on his back.
“This is about like we raced last year. We’re trying to find last year’s mojo and bring it into the Countdown,” said Butner, who is qualified in the No. 5 position with a best time of 6.574-second at 209.36 mph. He will race Kenny Delco in round one. “I feel very good about our car. The whole field is so close, and tomorrow, all we have to do is drive. Hopefully, if we all do our job, we’ll have KB Racing Chevys in the semis and the finals.
“It’s not great to be on the same side of the ladder as your teammates, but you’re going to have to race everybody at some time if you want to get to the final. The goal is just to win rounds, and we’ve got a car that’s making good runs and would make a good bracket car. I won this race last year, but I’m kind of hoping that everyone has overlooked us. I’m hoping that for the whole Countdown deal, and I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Butner’s qualifying results:
Q1: 6.576-second at 209.36 mph (No. 5)
Q2: 6.574, 208.62 (No. 6)
Q3: 6.557, 209.20 (No. 5)
Q4: 6.566, 209.72 (No. 5)
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Pro Stock Standings
(after Dodge NHRA Nationals qualifying, race 19 of 24, race 1 of 6 in
NHRA Countdown to the Championship)
1. Tanner Gray (5), 1243
2. Greg Anderson (1), 2113
3. Erica Enders (1), 2111
4. Jeg Coughlin Jr. (3), 2107
5. Vincent Nobile (2), 2085
6. Deric Kramer (2), 2072
7. Drew Skillman, 2068
8. Jason Line, 2053
9. Bo Butner (1), 2044
10. Chris McGaha (2), 2032
34th annual NHRA Nationals
Maple Grove Raceway
September 14-16, 2018Run Schedule (all times ET)
Sunday, September 16
11am – EliminationsTelevision Schedule
Qualifying / Sunday – 1 PM-2 PM ET | FS1
Finals / Sunday – 7:30 PM-10:30 PM ET | FS1
Join the conversation by using #ReadingNats on social media
**Full results posted throughout the weekend at DragRaceCentral.com**
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery, Driver photos: NHRA
KB Racing has 147 Pro Stock wins & 8 NHRA Pro Stock Championships