Holley EFI Puts KB Racing in Victory Lane on Historic Day in NHRA Pro Stock02/23/2016
The two decade old question of “When will NHRA Pro Stock switch to EFI?” was finally put to rest on Friday, February 16, 2016 at the Circle K Winternationals in Pomona, CA. Holley EFI powered the entire Pro Stock field at the Winternationals, which included the eventual event winner Greg Anderson.
Not only did Anderson win, but the weekend was bookended by dominant performances from KB Racing-powered cars. Saturday's qualifying session ended with two familiar faces at the top of the qualifying ladder, as both KB Racing/Summit Racing Camaros were at the top. Greg Anderson earned the #1 qualifying position with a 6.585-second pass, and Jason Line slid into the #2 spot with a 6.592-second effort.
In the semi-finals, the KB Racing cars were joined by Drew Skillman's Camaro and Bo Butner's KB Racing-powered Camaro. Jason Line dispatched Butner thanks in part to a 0.003 reaction time, and Anderson made the fastest pass of the round against Skillman to set up an all KB Racing, Summit Racing, and Chevrolet final. Anderson grabbed a 0.018-second advantage on the tree and was able to hold Line off for a holeshot victory. The starting line advantage was just enough, as Anderson's margin of victory was just 0.0101 seconds or three feet at the end of the track.
Anderson was thrilled to earn the victory after only working with the Holley EFI system for three months. Anderson stated, "There's one word to describe this weekend: Overachievement. Everyone overachieved. Going into the season with a new set of rules, everyone expected there to be plenty of issues and problems to overcome. At the end of the day, there were none. The fact that Holley and the racers got the results they did was amazing."
Implementing all of the new rule changes in such a short time created a unique situation for the NHRA, Pro Stock teams, and for Holley. This successful first weekend was the culmination of months of around the clock work by everyone involved, and it elicited a few sighs of relief. Holley's Director of EFI Business Development, Robin Lawrence, came away very impressed with the performance of the Pro Stock teams in Pomona, stating "These guys went from zero to full tilt in a three month period. The KB team was probably hit the hardest since they were running their previous combination past 11,500 RPM. With them now being limited to 10,500 RPM, as well as all of the other changes, to come out and qualify 1-2 and take winner and runner-up speaks volumes about the time and dedication invested in their program."
The NHRA's director of Engineering, Tim White, also shared in the satisfaction of a successful Winternationals for Pro Stock. White said, "The entire Holley organization has spent countless hours in technical support and added valuable expertise in aiding the transition to EFI. Their hard work and dedication to this project were evident during the season opening event and in the Pro Stock teams' performances on the track."
While the Pro Stock ECU looks similar to Holley’s standard HP ECU, it is actually limited to ensure that Pro Stock teams abide by the NHRA's new rules for the class. And, while the days of Pro Stock cars being a variation of a production car that you can buy from the dealership may be in the past, the Holley HP EFI ECU used on them is almost identical to the HP ECU that anyone can purchase for their race car or even classic hot rod.