Pontiac's Greg Anderson captures NHRA Fall Nationals, clinches 2003 Pro Stock Championship ENNIS, Tex., Oct. 12, 2003 - Pontiac's Greg Anderson dominated the Pro Stock field today at the NHRA Fall Nationals by driving his Vegas ...
Pontiac's Greg Anderson captures NHRA Fall Nationals, clinches 2003 Pro Stock Championship
ENNIS, Tex., Oct. 12, 2003 - Pontiac's Greg Anderson dominated the Pro Stock field today at the NHRA Fall Nationals by driving his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to his 10th win of the season and a final-round victory over Jeg Coughlin Jr. During his sterling bell-to-bell performance, Anderson clinched the 2003 POWERade championship and provided Pontiac with its 123rd all-time victory in NHRA Pro Stock competition.
The 42-year-old Anderson came into today's eliminator qualified in the No. 1 position after turning in a run of 6.826 seconds at 203.11 mph during time trials. The Pontiac Grand Am driver defeated Mark Pawuk in round one and clinched the championship in round two with a victory over Gene Wilson. Anderson then went on to defeat Allen Johnson in the semifinals before facing Chevy Cavalier's Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the championship round.
Anderson secured his 14th career victory by driving the Vegas General Construction Pontiac to an elapsed time of 6.807 seconds at 203.66 mph. Coughlin fouled out with a starting-line red light.
"I don't even know where to start," said Anderson. "What a year we've had. This team, our program, the performance of our Pontiac Grand Am - we've got the total package. It's pretty amazing and I feel very fortunate. Ken Black (team owner) has been great and I wouldn't be here if it weren't for him. He has given me this opportunity and I will forever be grateful to him.
"I've seen so many people win the championship and then they lose the race. But to me, when you win the championship that means you are the best and you should win the race. If you win the championship you need to have a good resume full of wins. I don't want to finish this season so-so. I want to go out leaving everyone worried about us next year. You have to keep your competitors thinking."
Today's results marked the fifth victory and the seventh final round in the last eight events for Anderson. With two races remaining on the schedule, the Duluth, Minnesota native, and current resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, has now collected 59 round wins and has earned the low qualifier award 12 times. He needs just one more victory to tie the NHRA Pro Stock record for most wins (11) in a season set by Darrell Alderman in 1991.
"We're not done with the season yet," said Anderson. "We're going after the race win record. That's the only thing I see left that we need to do this year. We have to win both races to do that. That would make this campaign complete."
Runner-up Jeg Coughlin piloted his yellow and black Chevy Cavalier past Scott Geoffrion in round one, Larry Morgan in round two and David Connolly in round three before falling short to Anderson in the finals. This was Coughlin's seventh final-round appearance of the season and his fifth runner-up.
"We had a good weekend and we moved closer to the No. 2 spot in the NHRA POWERade championship," said Coughlin. "Our Chevrolet was a threat all day and we look forward to continuing this trend for the rest of the year."
In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Steve Gasparrelli drove his 2003 Pontiac Firebird passed Bob Newberry in the final round of eliminations.
In Competition Eliminator, Mike Trumble powered his 2003 Pontiac Sunfire to the winner's circle defeating Joey Tansley in the final round. Trumble collected victories earlet this season at Houston, and at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis where the Texas native defeated Larry Pritchett in an all Pontiac Sunfire final.
The next event on the NHRA POWERade tour is the ACDelco Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 23-26.