Greg Anderson Captures Third Consecutive NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Title Introduction of Pontiac GTO Helps Propel Him to Repeat Championship
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 22, 2005 - Pontiac GTO driver Greg Anderson had a race season for the ages last year, capturing his second consecutive NHRA POWERade Pro Stock championship on the strength of a slew of single-season records including 15 Pro Stock wins, 19 final-round appearances, 76 rounds won, and 16 No. 1 qualifiers. Anderson's race resume might not have been quite as impressive in 2005, but it was still good enough to clinch his third consecutive Pro Stock crown after today's final qualifying for tomorrow's eliminations at the ACDelco NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 2003-04 Pro Stock champ merely had to qualify in the top half of the 16-car Pro Stock field, and he did so in championship fashion by posting his seventh No. 1 qualifier of the season.
"That's it, it's in the books!" exclaimed Anderson. "Three in a row! It's been a great year and it's been a heck of a battle. I really thought it was going to go down to Pomona and I'm glad it didn't. But really for most of the year I figured it was going to go down to Pomona with four or five of us duking it out. It's been an exciting year in Pro Stock. Nobody can say this year it was just one guy all year long and it's been boring. It's been pretty exciting in this class and it's made it tougher on us as drivers, but that's what it's all about and the way it's supposed to be, and I'm proud to be a part of this class. I think I'm getting a little bit more enjoyment out of this one because we had to dig ourselves out of a hole, and we had to really find a way to look inside ourselves and find out what we were made of. But we came back strong and we came back to the top."
Anderson became the first NHRA Pro Stock driver since Bob Glidden's run in 1985-89 to win three consecutive titles. The Summit Racing Pontiac GTO driver joins Glidden and Lee Shepherd as the only Pro Stock drivers who have captured three consecutive NHRA crowns. It was also Pontiac's eighth NHRA Pro Stock title since 1996.
Anderson battled his way to the 2005 POWERade championship by winning eight national events through the season's first 21 of 23 races, advancing to 10 final rounds and earning now 7 raceday pole awards. In March at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville (Fla.), the 2004 SPEED Driver of the Year drove his Pontiac to both ends of the national record (records he previously held) with a run of 6.633 seconds at 208.23 mph. Anderson also introduced the GTO into Pro Stock competition in June at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver and quickly showed the new car's potential by capturing the No. 1 qualifying spot and setting low elapsed time of the meet. Anderson also gave the GTO its first victory in NHRA Pro Stock competition on July 31 at the Fram/Autolite Nationals in Sonoma (Calif.) and he won his third straight U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Sept. 5.
"My hat's off to my entire crew," said Anderson. "They have done this, it hasn't been me. I've just been one small part of the equation and they have done it. For them to make that car go fast time after time is just incredible. I can't say enough about them, they are the greatest. They are the three-time defending POWERade champions. I couldn't dream of having a better group of guys working for me and doing all they can, giving up their personal lives for me. I'm a lucky man because of that."
Anderson's third consecutive POWERade crown also marks the fourth NHRA Pro Stock title in the last five years for Pontiac. GM Performance Parts Pontiac driver Warren Johnson won the 2001 NHRA title during the Pontiac Grand Am's debut season to go with Anderson's trio of championships, and Pontiac leads all manufacturers for most Pro Stock wins in the history of the sport.
"Because of their hard work and dedication, the Ken Black Racing team and Greg Anderson have reached the very pinnacle of our sport and put themselves in great company in Pro Stock history," said Fred Simmonds, GM Racing group manager of drag racing. "Everyone at GM Racing and Pontiac are very proud of what Greg and the team have accomplished during the last three seasons and we wish them continued success in the future."