Anderson Scores Milestone Win at Route 66 Raceway
Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson completed an impressive weekend on Sunday, claiming the Pro Stock title to sweep the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Illinois. After capturing the No. 1 position in qualifying and setting low elapsed time and top speed of the event, Anderson posted consistently quick times in the early rounds to defeat Steve Spiess, Rodger Brogdon and Shane Gray and advance to the final round against Erica Enders, who was looking to become the first woman in Pro Stock history to win a national event.
“The run against Erica was a great drag race and I was lucky enough to win.
Running in the right-hand lane, Anderson used his best reaction time of the day at .011 to gain the advantage at the starting line and powered through the quarter-mile in 6.670-seconds with a top speed of 207.18 mph to score the hole shot win over Enders, who posted a quicker 6.659-second time in the losing effort. It was the 67th national event win of his career, second of the season and first at Route 66 Raceway, giving him at least one win at every track on the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle circuit.
“It feels great to finally get the Route 66 Raceway monkey off my back,” said Anderson. “I’ve always liked this racetrack, but for some reason, it was the last track on the circuit where I had yet to win, so to get the job done today was pretty cool. I feel even better knowing that we have a great Summit Racing Pontiac going forward.
“My hat is off to Rob Downing, Tommy Utt, Jeff Perley and all my KB Racing guys – they worked so hard and somehow got my car turned around, allowing me to sweep the weekend. It’s been quite some time since I was able to do that, with things just turning out perfectly today, and I appreciate everything they’ve done to get us back here.”
After qualifying in the late afternoon and early evening for the last two days, competitors were greeted by the warmest conditions of the weekend on Sunday, requiring a completely different tune-up for the naturally aspirated “factory hot rods”. Undaunted, Anderson posted the second-quickest time of the opening stanza at 6.655 seconds to defeat Steve Spiess.
It was a similar situation in the second round, as the four-time champion used another 6.65-second pass to eliminate Rodger Brogdon. This was the 500th elimination round win of Anderson’s career, making him only the 10th professional driver in NHRA history and fourth Pro Stock driver to reach that plateau.
The final obstacle between Anderson and the 99th final round of his career was sophomore runner Shane Gray. Although Gray was able to gain a slight edge at the start, Anderson used yet another 6.65-second run to run down his rival, who was slowed by tire shake, setting the stage for his final-round encounter against Enders, who had been the quickest car in the first two rounds and for whom Anderson had high praise after the race.
“The conditions today were absolutely brutal,” said Anderson. “Each time I put on my firesuit today, I felt like a worn out rag, and it was even harder on my crew chiefs. This is a great facility with a tremendous racing surface, but when the track temperature is over 130 degrees, you don’t have a lot of traction to deal with, but they gave me a great Summit Racing Pontiac to drive all weekend. They saved me in the early rounds today, and I was glad to do my part in the final, getting the light I needed to win.
“The run against Erica was a great drag race and I was lucky enough to win. Don’t get me wrong, she is doing a fantastic job, and I was worried running her in the final. She’s the real deal and has a great team and hot rod, so they’ll get that first win, but at least for this week, we were able to hold her off. The entire class is just awesome – everyone who qualifies can win, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Anderson’s performance not only allowed him to move into a tie for fifth with seven-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher on the all-time wins list, but moved him into second place in the Full Throttle championship standings behind his teammate Jason Line.
“It was a great weekend,” said Anderson. “We had three tremendous days, and Route 66 Raceway is finally off the list, and we did it in style, qualifying No.1, setting top speed and low elapsed time and then winning the race. That’s the way to come back and conquer your gremlins. Best of all, until they build or add another racetrack, I’ve won at every one, which is a pretty neat accomplishment.
“But we couldn’t do this alone so I want to thank my sponsors, Summit Racing Equipment, Red Line Oil, Cometic Gaskets, Mac Tools, PAC Valve Springs, Wilson Manifolds, Diamond Pistons and everyone else who support us, as well as Ken and Judy Black, who make this all possible. I’m just the lucky guy who’s along for the ride.
“We learned a lot this weekend and continue to make progress. It’s going to be a dogfight, but it’s good to know we’re going to be in the mix. I have a great horse and believe it’s going to get better, so I’m looking forward to the future, because it’s going to be good.”
By: kb racing