DALLAS, Sept. 21, 2007 - Qualifying for the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals got underway today at the Texas Motorplex, and Pontiac's Greg Anderson took the provisional pole in Pro Stock with two rounds of time trials yet to be contested...
DALLAS, Sept. 21, 2007 - Qualifying for the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals got underway today at the Texas Motorplex, and Pontiac's Greg Anderson took the provisional pole in Pro Stock with two rounds of time trials yet to be contested on Saturday. With scorching heat and humidity more like that of mid-July rather than late September, Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac GTO was able to run the quickest elapsed time in both qualifying rounds and closed out the night with a 6.668 second run at 206.92 mph.
"I'm liking that number right now," said Anderson. "In fact, both runs today made me pretty happy. I feel bad for Jason (Line) because he had to go out first, but we were able to make some adjustments to my car after seeing his run. We made some mistakes on his car and that gave us time to make some changes to my Summit Racing Pontiac. Having a two-car team definitely helped us out in that situation.
"Dave's (Connolly) on a roll, he's not doing anything wrong right now and he's going to be tough to beat. It's going to be dogfight but you can't rule out the rest of these guys. There are still a lot of tough cars out there and it wouldn't surprise me to see a couple of them running just as strong as Dave and I are right now."
So far this season Anderson has 10 No. 1 qualifying awards and 61 for his career. Anderson has been the No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Fall Nationals three times (2003, 2005-06) and won the race twice (2003, 2005). He's currently in second place in the points standings behind Dave Connolly.
"This kind of competition definitely gets the blood flowing," said Anderson. "When it gets tough out there and the mistakes become more costly, that seems to be when we do our best. Even when you think in your heart you're giving a hundred percent on every run, it's nice to be able to find a little more."
Points-leader Dave Connolly is qualified in the No. 2 position and has the quickest Chevy Cobalt in the Pro Stock field tonight with a 6.686 e.t. at 205.72 mph. Connolly won this event in 2004.
"It wasn't too bad of a run," said Connolly. "But with the all the good cars that were coming up behind us I wasn't so sure that it would hold on. We made a nice pass in the first session and tomorrow we'll see if we can get back around Greg."
In Funny Car, Tim Wilkerson is the provisional pole setter tonight in a Chevy Impala SS. Wilkerson broke the finish line beams in the evening qualifying session with a 4.787 e.t. at 318.17 mph. The resident of Springfield, Ill., is looking to hold onto his 10th career No. 1 qualifying spot and his second pole this season. He earned low qualifying honors earlier this summer in July at Bristol (Tenn.).
"After last weekend with our classic drama," said Wilkerson, "we were down to the last run and I wasn't in the show - we had an electrical problem we couldn't find. We had it in Indy too. We got to Memphis with the same performance we had in Indy and it was driving me crazy. I think we figured out what was wrong because obviously the LRS Chevy Impala is running right again. It was good the first run today too. It just got down there and spun the tire a little bit and put a hole out.
"We're trying our best. We really have nothing to lose. We're trying to learn how to run our car better and if we can ruin somebody's day, more power to us."
In addition to Wilkerson, three drivers in Chevy Impalas are qualified in the top four positions with Jeff Arend (4.788ET/320.26MPH) in the No. 2 spot and Arend CSK Chevy teammate Del Worsham (4.808ET/294.37MPH) in the four spot.
-credit: gm racing