Anderson Scratches Out a Semifinal Finish in Bristol
Despite battling an ill-handling car and constantly changing weather conditions, Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team were able to fight their way to a semifinal finish in Sunday’s final eliminations of the Ford Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. At the start of the day, there seemed little chance that the race would even be run at all, as rains moved into the area early in the morning, drenching the track for several hours.
Fortunately, two hours after the scheduled start time, the skies cleared, and thanks to a yeoman effort by the NHRA’s Safety Safari, final eliminations got underway two hours later. Facing veteran Greg Stanfield in the opening stanza, Anderson got off to a great start using a lightning-quick .005 reaction time to gain the advantage by over two hundredths of a second and never looked back, with his 6.710-second, 204.32 mph pass outdistancing his rival’s 6.726-second, 204.17 mph run.
It was a similar situation in the second round against No. 3 qualifier Rodger Brogdon, as Anderson gained another two hundredths of a second advantage at the line with a .010 reaction time, advancing to the semifinals for the sixth time in nine races with a 6.702-second, 205.10 mph clocking. This set the stage for a semifinal encounter with defending event champion Mike Edwards, who had consistently been among the quickest throughout the weekend.
Despite running without lane choice, Anderson gave eventual winner Edwards all he could handle, with his 6.710-second, 204.98 mph pass falling just shy of overcoming his opponent’s 6.708-second, 204.82 mph run, a premature exit that left the four-time champion looking for more.
“We had a chance to at least make it to the final, but had issues both with the race car and in the cockpit,” said Anderson. “I was on the tree in the first two rounds, but for some reason, just missed it against Mike. I didn’t think it was that bad (.039) when I left the line, but obviously it did, and on top of that, we didn’t make a very good run. The bottom line is that it was just a missed opportunity.
“Even so, considering how much we were struggling with adapting our car to the track and the changing weather conditions, we can’t be too upset with making it to the semifinals. Having said that, we come to the races with the sole purpose of winning and when we don’t, we are not happy, and immediately start working on improving for the next race.
“We’ve been trying to find something to make things better, which means taking a step back every now and then. That seems to be the situation we’re in right now with my Summit Racing Pontiac. We have a few days in which to get things figured out, and I’m confident we will. We have two big races this weekend in Norwalk, and it’s vital that we bring a better product to the table. We certainly have some work to do.”
-source: kb racing