Pontiac's Greg Anderson Wins SuperNationals/Sets National Records ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., May 18, 2003 - Greg Anderson drove his Pontiac SC/T Grand Am to a national record setting weekend and his third victory of the season today at the K & N...
Pontiac's Greg Anderson Wins SuperNationals/Sets National Records
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., May 18, 2003 - Greg Anderson drove his Pontiac SC/T Grand Am to a national record setting weekend and his third victory of the season today at the K & N Filters SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Anderson defeated Darrell Alderman in the final round of eliminations for his second consecutive win at this event and moved into first place in the POWERade Pro Stock points standings. It was also Pontiac's 114 NHRA Pro Stock victory, the most by any manufacturer in the history of the sport.
"This Pontiac Grand Am is an outstanding racecar and we have a tremendous engine program making great power," said Anderson. "When you put the two together it makes for a winning combination and that's what we were able to accomplish this weekend."
With Anderson's Pontiac blazing into uncharted performance territory on almost every lap, the NHRA record book faced a weekend-long assault from the 40-year-old North Carolinian and his Vegas General Construction team. On Saturday, Anderson's purple and silver SC/T Grand Am took the No. 1 qualifying spot for the second consecutive race with a national-record lap of 6.684 seconds at 207.08. Anderson's Pontiac also became the first NHRA Pro Stock car to run a sub 6.70 lap and a top speed over 207 mph.
"Just to make a 16-car Pro Stock field is an accomplishment," said Anderson. "If you survive qualifying then you have to get ready for a completely different type of race on Sunday. The bump spot this weekend was quicker than what the national record was two months ago. That just shows you how tough it is out here in Pro Stock and what a unique opportunity we had here this weekend to run some big numbers."
Anderson again rewrote both ends of the record book during the Sunday eliminator. In a round two victory over Terry Adams, the Vegas General Construction Pontiac raised the performance bar even higher, roaring to a 6.670-second elapsed time at 207.18 mph. Anderson then advanced over semifinal opponent Kurt Johnson before squaring off against Alderman in the championship heat. In the title round, Anderson's Pontiac launched first and never relinquished the lead, crossing the finish line in 6.724 seconds at a speed of 205.98 mph. Alderman's Dodge followed in 6.747 seconds at 205.38 mph. The margin of victory was .042 of a second.
"The track this weekend provided some amazing atmospheric conditions," said Anderson. "That's what drives these naturally-aspirated Pro Stock engines. We had better air today but a tougher racetrack to tame. We had it figured out on the first two runs and then slipped up in the semis and finals. This is a fast racetrack but you have to stay in the middle. If you could keep it straight today, then the record was possible and that's what we were able to do. We stepped it up and no one was able to come around us."
It was Anderson's seventh career victory in 16 final rounds; his first win since last month at Las Vegas and the first time that he's held the NHRA national record in either elapsed time or top speed. The elapsed time record was worth an extra 20 points and was the additional boost needed to push Anderson and Pontiac back into first place in the Pro Stock standings, just 10 points ahead of second-place Kurt Johnson.
"It's great to be leading the pack," said Anderson. "Kurt (Johnson) and I are going to have some great battles all the way to the end, and neither one of us is going to back down, I can guarantee you that. But we're like brothers. We spent a lot of time together when I worked for Warren (Johnson) and there's no one I enjoy racing more. It's neat when you can beat him, but it also hurts a little more when you're the one that gets beat. We got the points lead back, and need to add some distance, but in the back of my mind, I know that Johnson race team is going to be right there every step of the way. It's going to be a blast.
"My crew and engine guys work night and day on this project and the results are starting to show on this Grand Am. It's our job now to maintain that performance advantage."
After winning the $50,000 King Demon Crown on Saturday, ACDelco Chevy Cavalier driver Kurt Johnson was looking to parlay a Sunday eliminator victory into an additional $25,000 bonus check. Although coming up short in his round-three battle with Greg Anderson, Johnson remains the only competitor left this year in Pro Stock to advance to round two at every event.
"That was definitely a wild ride in the semis," said Johnson. "We used up the tires and the asphalt trying to get to the finish line first. I didn't see Greg (Anderson) out the window so I stabbed the throttle near the end. It really got crazy and he was able to get by. Even though we had the extra $25,000 incentive, we wanted to win today's race for the points.
"We can't be upset with a third-place finish. I felt like I drove well all weekend, with good lights and a great racecar on every run. We'll go back to the shop, make a little more power and take this ACDelco Chevy Cavalier for another ride next weekend at Topeka."
The next stop on the schedule is the O'Reilly Summer Nationals on May 22 - 25, at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.