Progress and Projection with KB Racing Crew Chief Rob Downing

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Progress report following AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals (race 2 of 6 in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs) and before the NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals in Charlotte

St. Louis wrap-up:
We tested well with Greg’s red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro before St. Louis, and I felt strong about Jason’s silver Summit Racing Chevy. I was more optimistic than I normally would be going to that race. Walking out of there on Friday night, though, I was really disappointed. Then Saturday, we felt pretty good. I felt like we’d made the red car better, and that was something we’ve been working at. That was exciting. Overall, we didn’t have the outcome we wanted for Team Summit, so I’m excited to get to zMAX Dragway for the next race.

Overall grade for St. Louis:
As bad as it looked, we rebooted after Friday night with Greg’s car, and we tried some stuff on Saturday that worked and looked really promising. On Sunday, we made a decent run first round, we just didn’t do what we needed to in order to make a good run second round. We made gains, but we didn’t make the adjustments. You always say that hindsight is 20/20, but it was painfully obvious what we should have done. With Bo’s car, we overdid it for the semifinals, slowed it down too much, and it just didn’t run. Overall, I’d give our performance in St. Louis a D+.

The Charlotte challenge:
It’s nice to have so much support there between our families and all of the Charlotte-area race fans. It’s an enjoyable race. That track is probably the hardest track to race on that we go to, so that’s the challenge for all of us. There are two or three factors that add up to the starting line being really hard to manage. But knock on wood, we’ve run okay there in the past, and we’ve made a lot of runs on that track, both testing and racing.

Best Charlotte memory:
We’ve had a bunch of good memories there. It used to be the start of the Countdown to the Championship, and that was pretty fun – especially when you win it, and we were fortunate enough to do that a couple of times. I remember testing at zMAX Dragway the first time; we were the first car to make a run on the track, and that was really cool. Right away, you could see how impressive the facility is, and how different it is than anywhere else. I’ve had the chance to race my own car there, so that’s another fun thing. We always look forward to this race, challenges and all.

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