Greg Anderson Tops Teammate, Scores Breakthrough Win in Brainerd Brainerd, Minn., August 16, 2009 -- Summit Racing Pontiac driver Greg Anderson made a long-awaited return to the winner's circle on Sunday, taking home the Pro Stock title at the...
Greg Anderson Tops Teammate, Scores Breakthrough Win in Brainerd
Brainerd, Minn., August 16, 2009 -- Summit Racing Pontiac driver Greg Anderson made a long-awaited return to the winner's circle on Sunday, taking home the Pro Stock title at the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, MN. After qualifying third, Anderson defeated Larry Morgan, Jeg Coughlin and Allen Johnson in the early rounds before facing his Summit stable mate Jason Line in the final for the second consecutive race.
In one of the closest races of the day, Anderson used his quickest and fastest pass of the weekend at 6.641 seconds and 207.53 mph to edge his teammate by 2/1000ths of a second. It was Anderson's first win of the season, 58th of his career and second at Brainerd International Raceway, allowing the Minnesota native to celebrate the victory with his family and friends, and make a special trophy presentation.
"It is a tremendous feeling to finally win again," said Anderson. "It's like the first race I ever won. I know it seems crazy to talk like that considering that I have been very fortunate to win a lot of races over the years, but I was absolutely starting to doubt I could ever do it again.
"But we never gave up, and this Summit Racing team was able to break through today. I've said it before that you never know when it might be your last win, so you have to treat them like they're special, and this one is extra special because of it being in Minnesota in front of my hometown friends and family.
"After all, this was where I got my start, my introduction to drag racing. If it wasn't for coming here with my dad as a little whippersnapper, I probably wouldn't be on this path of life I'm on. I owe it all to him, and that's why I gave him the trophy today."
Anderson's route to the winner's circle was far from easy, as he had to race a series of former champions and race winners. As if this were not enough, the start of final eliminations was delayed by several hours due to rain which eventually changed to clear skies by the final, constantly challenging crew chiefs to find the right set-up.
Through it all, the Summit crew never flinched, improving their performance on every run. The three-time champion also did his job behind the wheel, culminating in his semifinal vict ory over Allen Johnson, where he combined a stellar .012 light with a 6.661 second, 207.46 mph pass to win on a hole shot, as his rival posted a quicker 6.655-second time in defeat. This sent Anderson to the 85th final round appearance of his career, third of the season and fifth at Brainerd International Raceway, where, for the second week in a row, he would face his teammate Jason Line. Although this time the results were reversed from their race in Sonoma, Anderson was quick to praise his running mate, as well as his entire crew for their role in his success.
"That was an awesome final to have both Summit Pontiacs in there with the race decided by two thousandths," said Anderson. "You can't draw it up any better than that. We obviously both wanted to win, and it was decided by inches, which is the way it should be. I feel bad for him, but we put on a great race and a tremendous show for the fans.
"There are a lot of bad cars in this class, with a lot of guys that are as tough as nails, but nobody is tougher than Jason Line. He is just an awesome driver, and is hotter than a firecracker, making it to five finals in a row. He's a very tough out right now, so I feel fortunate to have gotten around him.
"We both should be proud of our crew chief Rob Downing. That's two races in a row he's put both cars in the final, and there's not too many crew chiefs who can do that. He's a stud right now, and he and the entire Summit crew are the reason why we are able to celebrate."
Having finally br oken his victory drought, Anderson immediately turned his attention towards establishing a different type of run, one for which he is better known -- a winning streak.
"With this win under my belt, I can now have a little faith and confidence in myself, and start driving this Summit Pontiac like I know I can," said Anderson. "I needed a day like this for a long time. We're getting close to the Countdown (the NHRA's championship playoff) so it's time to start getting your game face on, and it seems like I am. I feel pretty good right now, and hopefully this will be the start of bigger and better things."