LAS VEGAS, Oct. 26, 2003 - Pontiac's Greg Anderson captured his 11th win of the season today by defeating Kurt Johnson in the final round of the ACDelco Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The victory tied Darrell Alderman's 1991 record for...
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 26, 2003 - Pontiac's Greg Anderson captured his 11th win of the season today by defeating Kurt Johnson in the final round of the ACDelco Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The victory tied Darrell Alderman's 1991 record for most wins in a season by a Pro Stock driver. It was also Pontiac's 15th victory this season in the factory hot rod category, and it's 124th all-time in NHRA Pro Stock competition, the most ever by an automobile manufacturer in the history of the sport.
"Being a Pontiac driver we're hoping we can knock that Dodge out of the record book once and for all at Pomona," said Anderson. "That would be just wonderful. We've had so many great stories to tell this year and it keeps getting better and better. Sometimes I don't think I deserve this much good fortune and I am absolutely in awe of the things my team has been able to do to get us this championship.
"The power of the GM DRCE under the hood allows us to continually drive around the cars in the other lane. I haven't been driving bad, but everyone I race seems to be cutting phenomenal lights on the Christmas Tree and coming from behind seems to be a regular occurrence. Everybody's been taking their best shot at us, but this Pontiac Grand Am, the motor engine and the support and faith of Ken Black is what continues to get us to the winner's circle."
Anderson came into today's eliminator with his SC/T Grand Am qualified in the No. 1 position, the 13th time this season that the Vegas General Construction Pontiac has started at the front of the Pro Stock pack. His Grand Am ran 6.852 seconds in round one against Mike Corvo, 6.881 seconds in round two against Ron Krisher and 6.860 seconds in round three against Jeg Coughlin Jr.
In the finals against Johnson's Chevy Cavalier, Anderson's Pontiac set both ends of the track record crossing the stripe in 6.837 seconds at 201.73 mph. It was the 15th career victory for Anderson and the second time this season that his Pontiac Grand Am had reached the Las Vegas Motor Speedway winner's circle. It was also Anderson's 26th career final round and his eighth in the last nine races.
"We were able to set low e.t. at both races, qualify No. 1 and sweep the dog-gone season here," said Anderson. "We've had so many highlights this year, winning Indy, setting the national record at Englishtown, winning the championship, but to win in Las Vegas in Ken's hometown is really special. Nothing is certain in drag racing, everything can change day to day, but I'm hoping to have a long future with Ken Black.
"It's great to be Greg Anderson right now. No matter how good we run though, it still takes luck to win and we've had it. I thank the good Lord above for what he's done for us. I keep wondering how we're going to top this next season, but we have such an outstanding corps of guys, hard workers who never give up, that we could be even stronger. What we have in place with the people, the race facility the backing of Ken Black, and an awesome racecar with the Pontiac Grand Am, the potential is there for us to do even better. I feel very, very fortunate."
The NHRA performance records continued to tumble today for the 42-year-old Anderson. His 63 round wins (reached by winning the finals) are the most ever in a single season by a Pro Stock competitor. It also marked the 14th final round this year for the 2003 POWERade champion, which ties a mark previously set by Darrell Alderman in 1991, and later tied by Jeg Coughlin Jr. in 2000.
"Rob Downing, Jeff Perley and Jason Line have done a better job getting this Pontiac down the racetrack than everyone else in the class," said Anderson. "My guys have absolutely shined this year. You can have all the horsepower in the world, but if you don't do the right things with the setup of the car, the clutch, the suspension, and so forth, you're just another also ran. I knew that when I tried to get them to join the team.
"My car is so consistent - it's not only fast, it's consistent and that's what it takes. It just not a good run every once in a while, it's every time down the track and that's because of Rob and Jeff tuning the car, and Jason and Joe Horn building the engines. They know what each other's thinking and sometimes it's fun just to watch them work. I've done a decent job tuning cars over the years but they are much better than I ever was. I take pride in the fact that I was able to pick the right guys. They make this Pontiac Grand Am an absolute dream to drive."
The next event on the NHRA POWERade tour is the NHRA Finals on Nov. 6- 9 at Pomona Raceway in Pomona, Calif.