Greg Anderson Toughs Out A Big Win in Dallas Dallas, Texas, September 27, 2009 -- Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson restated his claim for the 2009 Full Throttle championship on Sunday, taking home the Pro Stock title at the O'Reilly Super ...
Greg Anderson Toughs Out A Big Win in Dallas
Dallas, Texas, September 27, 2009 -- Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson restated his claim for the 2009 Full Throttle championship on Sunday, taking home the Pro Stock title at the O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, TX. After qualifying fifth, Anderson battled his way through a gauntlet of top competitors, besting Warren Johnson, Allen Johnson and current points leader Mike Edwards in the early rounds before squaring off against former Funny Car driver Johnny Gray in the final.
Although Gray gained a slight advantage at the start, Anderson was able to run him down, edging him at the finish line by 2/1000ths of a second. It was the 59th national event win of Anderson's career, second of the 2009 season, and third at the Texas Motorplex.
"I have never had a day like this one," stated Anderson afterwards. "I feel like we stole one, because there was no way we came into today thinking we were going to win. That is a very odd feeling for us, and one we certainly don't like. I don't know how it happened, but as we went through the day, we caught a couple breaks, and this Summit Racing Pontiac kept making beautiful runs.
"It was almost on autopilot all day long, and sooner or later other guys started making mistakes that we were able to capitalize on. We weren't the fastest car today, but we were the most consistent, and we found a way to win, keeping ourselves in the points battle. I can't say enough about this KB Racing crew -- they hung in there, and we got the job done."
Without a doubt, the crucial point in Anderson's road to victory was his semifinal matchup against Edwards, who had been the quickest car throughout the weekend. In one of the strangest races of the day, Edwards first had difficulty staging, and then shook the tires almost immediately after launching, forcing him to shut off and allowing Anderson to advance to the 86th final round of his career.
"The semifinal against Edwards was bizarre," said Anderson. "I knew I needed a break to win, so we went up there with the attitude that we had nothing to lose, and it ended up being a freak deal. His light kept flickering and I didn't know if there had been a malfunction in the tree or it was something he was doing, but I couldn't take a chance, so I put my foot to the wood.
"Apparently he had gone in too shallow, and when the tree did trigger, I was ready to go and he wasn't. I certainly caught a break, but when you don't have the performance, you need a little luck, and for a change things went my way today."
Making Anderson's win even more impressive was the fact that he was racing hurt in his first race with this particular chassis. Not happy with how his car had responded in recent events, he had opted to switch into the car his teammate Jason Line had used in this year's first 11 races. Just as Line had done in Norwalk he changed mounts, Anderson won his first outing, albeit driving with an extremely sore wrist.
"As I said coming into the weekend, I am certa in there was nothing wrong with my other Summit Racing Pontiac," said Anderson. "However, with so few races left in the season, we needed to shake things up, and it paid off. We changed a few things around, and got the result we were looking for.
"The car made nice clean runs every time, which I had not been doing with the other car. As it got hot this afternoon, it stayed consistent and smooth, while other guys struggled. If for no other reason, it was a wise move because I was able to make the same run every time.
"It was also easy to drive, which was extremely fortunate considering I made a silly mistake last night injuring my wrist in the workout room. Although it throbbed all day long, I guess it took my mind off of worrying about who was in t he other lane, or how fast their car was. So, in a strange way, it actually helped my mind get right, but it's not something I plan on doing again."
Finally, today's win not only allowed Anderson to move up to third in the standings and gain 40 points on leader Edwards, it also gave the KB Racing crew's morale a welcome boost. In the midst of a grueling and crucial four-week stretch of consecutive races, this gritty performance provides added motivation which could certainly pay dividends.
"We needed to win today to keep ourselves in contention for the championship," said Anderson. "If we had gone out early, our season might have been over. But we didn't. We scratched and clawed our way to the win, giving us something to look forward to, but our work has just started.
"A win always feels great, especially when you tough it out like we did today. But, to be honest, it bothers Jason and I if we don't outperform our competition, so the two of us are not 100% satisfied. We're going to rush home and try and find some additional performance that will allow us to run with Edwards. Today's win was big in many ways, but most importantly, it bought us some time to find some speed. We'll enjoy this win tonight, but we're going to make the most of the couple days we have before Memphis. We're far from done."