rounding up the horses
formed an alliance with KB Racing] is a
great young driver. Is he going to kick my
butt a few times this year with power he got
from us? Absolutely. It’s going to happen.”
A decade ago, Anderson and Line had
a huge advantage on the field, winning
four consecutive championships between
them, highlighted by Anderson’s epic
15-win, 19-final 2004 season. And that
was in large part because they raised the
power band in their engines.
“I think we’ve reached the limit there,”
Anderson says. “We’re onto other things
now – everybody is. Where we shift has
gone up 1,500 rpm, from 9,500 to
11,000, and the higher it goes, the more
parts you’re going to break.
“You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to
knock power out of these things. You
can’t just put another 10, 15, 20hp into
them with one stroke of genius, but you
sure can lose that much...”
The KB team has won another pair of
championships since the heady heights
of the mid-2000s, but no one in the class
has dominated to that degree since. In
fact, five different drivers have won titles
in the past five years: Mike Edwards
(2009), Anderson (’ 10), Line (’ 11), Allen
Johnson (’ 12), and Jeg Coughlin (’ 13).
“We’re all so close now that it never
ends,” Anderson says. “You’re always
going to work on the cylinder heads,
manifold and camshaft, but you don’t
focus on just one thing in the offseason
like you used to. It’s everything from the
front bumper to the back bumper. Shock
development has been big over the past
five years, and we still head to the wind
tunnel a couple of times a year.
“But horsepower is always going to be
the name of the game. There are no more
major breakthroughs, but there’s always
something else you can do. You think
you’ve hit the wall, found everything
there is to find, but it hasn’t happened
yet, and it’s never going to. There’s always
a little bit more out there somewhere.”
For stock eliminator racers, Chevrolet is
producing 69 Copo Camaros for the
2014 nhrA season (BeLo W), and interest
among racers has been off the charts.
More than 3,000 individuals have entered
a lottery to be one of the lucky 69.
Four engine packages will be offered
for the Copos, including a 350 rated by
nhrA at 530hp that comes with a
Whipple supercharger, a 3-speed
transmission, and was designed
specifically for the AAA/sA class.
three normally-aspirated versions
also are available: a 427cu.in. engine
rated by nhrA at 430hp, a 396 rated
at 390, and a 350 rated right at 350.
each comes with either a 3-speed
transmission or a manual 4-speed.
pricing has not been established, but
the cheapest, the 350 with a 3-speed,
should be available for somewhere in
the neighborhood of $90,000.
“We’re also building what we call
‘CrC’ [Camaro racing Chassis ]cars,
which basically are Copo Camaros
without a powertrain,” says Chevrolet’s
drag racing program manager, roger
Allen. “these will be sold to order –
there might be five, and there could
be 25 – because there are such a
limited number of Copos available. in
a perfect world, you’d want top drivers
like Jimmy deFrank and dan Fletcher
to have these cars, but, obviously,
there could be good racers who want
Copos who weren’t lucky enough to
be one of the chosen 69. these CrCs
are being built with them in mind.
racers can drop their powertrains
into these rolling chassis and be
competitive right off the bat.”
suppLy And deMAnd
“You think you’ve hit the
wall, found everything
there is to find, but it
hasn’t happened yet”
(ABOVE LEFT) It’s
Jason Line...and he’s
not in the dyno.
Quick, take a picture!
(ABOVE RIGHT) Dave
Connolly launches his
COPO Camaro down
the strip at Charlotte.
(LEFT) Biggest of six
wins for Camaro racer
Mike Edwards was
victory in the Chevrolet
U.S. Nationals in Indy.