Progress and Projection with Team Summit crew chief Rob Downing

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Progress report following the Virginia NHRA Nationals (race 5 of 18)
and ahead of the Route 66 NHRA Nationals

In Virginia:
Everything went really well. We took some time over the break to stand back and look at some things, and we went back to basics. That really helped. The engines ran good, the cars ran really good Friday, Saturday was a little iffy, but then Sunday went just about as good as it could go. We struggled with Jason’s car a little bit, but overall we were super happy.

What was our challenge in Richmond:
Last year that track was really good, so we felt encouraged about that, because that generally helps our cause. Our biggest concern was getting the red Summit Racing Chevy running better, and we feel like we did that there. It’s a lot better than it was, and we’re looking forward to Chicago and seeing what we can do.

Virginia was the first truly hot race this year for us; how did the heat affect what you do as the crew chief?
Just staying on top of what the track is doing. It was definitely changing every run, and that was a challenge, for sure. It wasn’t easy by any means, but we just powered through it. We missed it a little with Jason’s car on Sunday, but Bo and Greg’s cars made it to the final, so it was a good day.

Overall grade:
B+

Our biggest challenge heading into Chicago:
Building on the momentum that we created in Virginia. We still want to improve with the red car. Even though it was in the final in Virginia, we know it can run better. It’s kind of frustrating knowing what’s in there and just not being able to get it out. It’s always been a car that’s fought us a little bit, but we’re improving little by little, and hopefully we’ll be able to move to the next step.

Fernando Cuadra Sr. had top speed of the meet in Virginia, we’re now at 153 KB Racing Pro Stock wins, we had two cars in the final round; do you allow yourself to feel a sense of pride at the end of a weekend like that?
Yeah, I mean, overall when you walk away with results like this, you have to think about it. Big picture, KB Racing won. You do think about it to keep excited, but you definitely always want to do better.

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