Greg Anderson Leads Pro Stock Qualifying Field At The U.S. Nationals Pontiac GTO Blisters E.T. And MPH Records at IRP INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 3, 2005 - After two days of time trials and the completion of three qualifying heats for the 51st annual...
Greg Anderson Leads Pro Stock Qualifying Field At The U.S. Nationals Pontiac GTO Blisters E.T. And MPH Records at IRP
INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 3, 2005 - After two days of time trials and the completion of three qualifying heats for the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Greg Anderson's quest for a third consecutive Pro Stock title at Indianapolis Raceway Park is right on schedule. The driver of the Summit Racing Pontiac GTO currently holds the top qualifying spot tonight after posting a track-record elapsed time and speed of 6.698 seconds at 205.51 mph, shattering the previous track-record e.t. by .089 of a second and the speed record by half-a-mile-an-hour.
"Since we got the Pontiac GTO all we've done is move forward with our program," said Anderson. "It has to be the best Pro Stock racecar that GM has ever developed."
"The track is absolutely awesome and has gotten a little better with every run. We were a little over center last night with our setup. We came out this afternoon and were a lot closer. We backed it down a lot, but we were still a little bit over center and it still ran great. We knew we couldn't leave it alone for the night session because the track was certainly going to get better, and bulls eye, we hit it right on the money. That was a nice looking run and I'm not going to stand here and say we can do better than that because that one got it all."
"It felt real good in the car. Last night's run didn't feel as good and neither did the run we made this afternoon. But that's the beauty of Indy. Every one still has two more shots at us and we'll have good weather again tomorrow. We have an 11 a.m. session in the morning and we feel the pole position is still up for grabs, so we're certainly not overconfident. We have to come back and make another great run in the morning and get ready for Monday."
In addition to tonight's record-setting lap, Anderson's 2005 Pontiac GTO has run the quickest three passes in time trials including an impressive 6.706 e.t during today's hot afternoon round of qualifying. Anderson is a three-time winner of the U.S. Nationals (2001, 2003-04) and captured the pole at last year's U.S. Nationals. If the current points leader can hold on through tomorrow's two rounds of time trials it would be his 37th career starting pole award and his fourth this season.
"At least we know we're close right now with our setup," said Anderson. "We also know the weather won't change all that much by Monday and therefore we have a good package for raceday. It's going to get exciting before it's all over with, but anytime you can run in the 6.60s that makes it a lot of fun, especially in front of a crowd like this at Indianapolis."
Kurt Johnson currently has the quickest Chevrolet in the field and is qualified in the No. 2 slot after the ACDelco Cobalt ran 6.728 seconds at 205.35 mph. Johnson has been the pole sitter for the U.S. Nationals twice (1997, 2003) and has also been a two-time winner at Indy (1996-97).
"Somebody's making good runs to the 330 and we're just off," said Johnson. "To run up front, that's what we're going to have to do. Executing and getting it done is going to be the issue. We're game to throw some stuff at it and see if it sticks. We have to run better 60-foot times - there are two-hundredths there, and another hundredth-and-a-half to two-hundredths to the 330. If one car can do it then we can do it too. We have our work cut of for us but we're running good speed on the backhalf - the engine's fine and the Cobalt's good there. Monday's a whole new ballgame though and tomorrow will give us a good setup opportunity for raceday."
Jason Line is qualified fourth in a Pontiac GTO (6.736 seconds), Rickie Smith is sixth in a Chevy Cobalt (6.737 seconds), Warren Johnson is seventh in a Pontiac GTO (6.744 seconds), Greg Stanfield is eighth in a Chevrolet (6.744 seconds) and Dave Connolly is ninth in a Chevy Cobalt (6.746 seconds).
"I think we may have snuck into the show at Indy," said Connolly. "I couldn't have said that last night. After that first run on Friday I wasn't sure if we were going to stay in this weekend. But we made real good runs today and got this Chevy Cobalt going into second gear real nice. The result is that we're making much better runs. Even though we may still be a little down on power we're making up for it on the front half. If we can continue to run good again tomorrow then we can seal the deal and race on Monday."
Dave Howard is currently qualified 12th in a Chevy Cobalt (6.751 seconds), Mark Pawuk is 14th in a Pontiac GTO (6.755 seconds), Erica Enders is 15th in a Chevy Cobalt (6.758 seconds) and Jim Yates is 16th in a Pontiac GTO (6.758 seconds).
"This new Pontiac GTO is an awesome racecar," said Pawuk. "It's unbelievable that we've been fighting an old racecar for over a year now, but this new GTO is absolutely awesome and it's such a great car to drive. It has a different feel and my hat's off to the GM engineers for the great job they've done in designing the fastest car our here right now. It's a nice change for us. I was trying to figure out how to paint it and I decided to go back to my old 1992 Oldsmobile paint scheme - it had very similar characteristics to this car. The team has been doing a great job with the setup and the result is that we've made a number of very strong runs in testing and here this weekend in qualifying. Hopefully we can hang in there tomorrow and qualify for our first race of the season."
"The whole combination is outstanding. We just need to run a little faster and we have the equipment to do that now. I also want to thank Ron Krisher and his guys, a fellow GM teammate for helping us out. That group has provided us with good power and if I do my job then we'll be alright."