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KB Titan Racing’s Eric Latino Taps Historic U.S. Nationals as His Second Pro Stock Race

Photo by Shawn Crose

The KB Titan Racing NHRA Pro Stock team will be one car stronger at the most prestigious and historic race on the Camping World Drag Racing Series tour as Eric Latino slides into the driver’s seat of the Global Emissions Systems, Inc. (GESi) Chevrolet Camaro. Latino has campaigned racecars – specifically Pro Mod cars – for many years, but this weekend’s Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals will be just his second race in the naturally aspirated factory hot rod class.
“I haven’t been in the car since Norwalk, but I’m really comfortable. Pro Stock is difficult, and I always worry about screwing up, but I’m excited,” said Latino, who was inducted into the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2017 after setting the world record for elapsed time (then 5.72) at the NHRA Gatornationals in a supercharged Pro Mod Camaro. “This is the biggest race of the year, a great weekend, and we’re all looking forward to it.”
Latino made his Pro Stock debut earlier this year at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in fine form. He secured a spot in the tough field and earned a ticket to race defending Pro Stock series champion Erica Enders in the first round. There, Latino tapped into years of experience behind the wheel and launched with a .016-second reaction time to his opponent’s .067, but as they made their way down the track, his car fell dishearteningly silent.
“I had her beat, but the cam sensor shut down, and the car shut off,” explained Latino. “It was exciting to be up against last year’s world champ, get a holeshot, and be out on her. For the car to shut off and quit sucked, so I hope this weekend I’ll be able to run her again.”
Latino is eager to get back in the seat and race alongside his KBT teammates, including five-time world champion Greg Anderson – the most winning Pro Stock driver in the history of the class – and points leader Dallas Glenn; Matt Hartford and Deric Kramer, who are respectively No. 2 and No. 3; 2022 Rookie of the Year Camrie Caruso; and Kyle Koretsky, who reached the final next to Glenn at the most recent event.
“The whole merge of KB Racing with Titan Racing Engines to create KB Titan Racing is pretty cool,” said Latino. “We didn’t know how it was going to work, bringing these two teams together, but it’s just awesome. Everybody knows what they’re doing, they all understand their job. There’s no B.S., no back-talk, no individual groups. I call it a family. It’s like these guys have worked together for 20 years – it’s incredible.”
The U.S. Nationals is the most historic, prestigious, and biggest race on the NHRA tour, with nearly 900 cars on the property racing for a little bit of that Indy magic over the course of six days. Although the Sportsman racers have been on-track since Wednesday, the Pros will take to the track for the first time on Friday for the first of five qualifying sessions before Labor Day Monday eliminations.
When KB Titan lowers the doors on their seven racecar haulers and release the hounds on Monday, they’ll be in the hunt for their eighth trophy of the season and a ninth U.S. Nationals title for the team: Anderson’s seven Indy wins are more than any other active driver in the category, and former KB Racing wheelman Jason Line earned one trophy on the hallowed grounds of Indy. Dave Connolly, a well-decorated Pro Stock driver-turned-crew chief who is now part of the KBT braintrust, came to the team with three U.S. Nationals wins as a driver.
“There is so much depth to this team, and that’s a good feeling going into a race like this,” said Latino, who plans to run a handful more races this season and, in the near future, a full slate of events in his GESi-branded Chevrolet Camaro. “Of course, I’d like to put my name up there as an Indy winner, and it would be a dream, for sure, to be in the finals with Greg Anderson. But I’m thinking this might be his race. He was the No. 1 qualifier and had the best car in Topeka, and he really got ripped off in the final. I’d like to see him win this, but I’m really looking forward to getting back out there myself. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

This story was originally published on September 2, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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