Anderson denied historic 5th consecutive Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Win CLERMONT, Ind. (September 3, 2007) -- By eight thousandths of a second, Greg Anderson, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing Equipment-back Pontiac GTO, was...
Anderson denied historic 5th consecutive Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Win
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 3, 2007) -- By eight thousandths of a second, Greg Anderson, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing Equipment-back Pontiac GTO, was denied a place in the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals history book.
After winning 19 consecutive rounds of racing at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals over the last five races here at Indy, Dave Connolly turned back Anderson in the final round at the 53rd running of the one event that most call the most prestigious race on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
For Anderson it was the ninth final round of 2007. He now has 7 wins and two runner-ups. For his career, the 47-year-old Anderson, who started driving in 1998, has earned 50 wins in 73 final rounds.
"I'm happy and I'm sad," said Anderson following the disappointing loss. "I certainly enjoy winning here (at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals). It's the biggest race of the year. I treat it like it's the biggest race. It means the most to me and always will. It's a magical place but it very, very difficult to win here.
"This weekend we made it more difficult, but it proves what type of team we are. We almost won it, losing by only eight thousandths of a second. And we did that by having to run out of the less desirable lane all day long. It would have been quite an accomplishment to win the fifth straight out of the right lane. We almost pulled it off. I'm very proud of the team.
"For the near future and the Countdown, we've just got to make sure we qualify better and not stick ourselves behind the eight ball. We got all we could out of it and didn't dig our self too bad a hole point wise at least with my car. We've got to get Jason's (Line, teammate) Summit Pontiac back up in points though.
"In closing, I have to say how proud I am of the team. They never gave up and it just the character of the team and I'm so proud to be a part of it."
Anderson road to the final round was as follows:
After qualifying in the ninth position, Anderson said it would take a miracle just to win the opening round. Well, the miracle happened as Anderson was out first, leading over Jeg Coughlin from wire-to-wire. Anderson ran an elapsed time of 6.738 seconds at 206.89, the fastest speed of the opening round.
In the second round Anderson turned back No. 1 qualifier Max Naylor on a holeshot. The three-time champ gained an advantage of .035 seconds over Naylor at the green and never looked back crossing in 6.735 seconds. Naylor followed in a losing 6.732 seconds. Anderson gained lane choice for the semifinals over Kurt Johnson (KJ).
In the semifinals, once again Anderson was away first and headed straight down Broadway. With a track temperature of about 130-degrees, Anderson recorded a 6.719-second pass to 6.749 seconds for KJ. With Connolly, in a Cobalt, winning on the other side of the Pro Stock bracket, that set the stage for the final round with Connolly. Connolly had lane choice.
Connolly recorded a 6.710-second pass, while Anderson stopped the clock in 6.729 seconds.
With today's runner-up, Anderson has now advanced to the final round at Indy seven times. He won here at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis in 2001 and 2003-2006 and was also runner-up in 1999.