Pontiac's Greg Anderson Captures Pro Stock Victory at NHRA Finals Defeats 2006 Champion Jason Line in All-GTO Final 2006 - Pontiac's Greg Anderson put the bookend on another terrific season by winning the 42nd annual Automobile Club of Southern...
Pontiac's Greg Anderson Captures Pro Stock Victory at NHRA Finals
Defeats 2006 Champion Jason Line in All-GTO Final
2006 - Pontiac's Greg Anderson put the bookend on another terrific season by winning the 42nd annual Automobile Club of Southern California Finals at Pomona Raceway. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock champion, who won the season-opening contest here last February, but acquiesced this year's title to Jason Line, defeated his teammate in the championship heat in today's all-Pontiac GTO final round.
"This was a great confidence builder," said Anderson. "Jason had a fantastic year, and I had a good year even though he knocked me around pretty good. Head-to-head he flat out mopped me up, so it meant something to me to draw a little scratch on him there in the final. It's not going to make much of a difference in the outcome this year, but it makes me feel better in the short run. It's fun when we race and this weekend has been great - no pressure and you don't get many chances like this. We made the most of it. Our two Pontiac GTOs ran great all weekend and we both drove pretty good. You couldn't possibly ask for a better result for the KB Racing team. It's going to motivate the whole team and make us work even harder toward next year."
Anderson qualified his Summit Racing Pontiac in the No. 2 position after posting a 6.668 e.t. at 207.18 mph, and on raceday his Pontiac was a model of performance consistency. He defeated Bob Panella Jr. in round one running 6.641 seconds at 208.10 mph, Ron Krisher in round two with 6.640 e.t. at 208.07 mph and Allen Johnson in round three with a 6.643 second run at 207.78 mph. In the finals against Line, both GTOs launched with identical .005 reaction times, but Anderson's Pontiac reached the finish line first with a 6.665 second run at 208.14 mph. Line's Pontiac followed with a 6.691 second run at 208.46 mph. The margin of victory was .039 of a second.
"It's been a long time since I've raced a car that been as good as this GTO was today," said Anderson. "Maybe we now have two cars that are equally fast and can go out and run like this at every race next year. We're not going to mess around and be switching around cars. We're going to be sticking with these two horses and that's why I wanted to break this one out at Vegas and get some laps on it before next year. We've gained on it on every run and now it's very close to Jason's car - and we know what his car can do.
"That starting light is all in your head. How you do that (cut a .005 light) consistently with all the pressure is something we have to figure out. That's what makes some drivers better than others. We didn't that a lot this year. We let the pressure get to us a little too much and we learned from that. The bottom line is to relax a little and have fun."
For Anderson, it was the Minnesota native's 43rd career victory, his third NHRA Finals win (2003-04, 2006) and his fifth victory at Pomona Raceway, and it marks the second time in his career that Anderson has won both year's events at Pomona Raceway (2004, 2006). It was also Pontiac's 171st all-time win in NHRA Pro Stock competition and it's 12th this season.
"We'll get back to North Carolina on Wednesday, we may take an afternoon off and then it's back to work," said Anderson. "We're hungry to develop this new (GM) DRCE3. We're going to dig into it when we get home, put a 100-percent effort into that and stop working on the DRCE2 for awhile. We see a lot of potential in the GM Gen3 and we're excited about getting back to work."
Jason Line put a nice exclamation point on his first Pro Stock championship season by advancing to his ninth final round this year. Line qualified his Summit Racing Pontiac in the No. 1 spot by posting a 6.634 e.t.. He then did everything but win the race running a track record e.t. of 6.634 seconds and track-record speed of 208.68 mph.
Line earned his way to the championship round by defeating Jim Yates in round one with a 6.634 e.t. at 208.68 mph, Dave Connolly in round two with a 6.641 e.t. at 208.36 mph and V. Gaines in round three with a 6.653 second run at 208.65 mph.
"The right lane at Pomona is an Achilles Heal for me," said Line. "I raced Greg here a couple of years ago and pretty much had the same result. But it was a fun day - probably the most relaxed I've been in a long time, maybe ever. As long as the team won then that's all that counts. It's a good way to send Jeff (Perley) off. He'll be leaving us and we're going to miss him. Both of our cars were in the finals so we won both the battle and the war, just with two different cars."
In the Sportsman categories, Jeff Taylor of Floyds Knob, Ind., won Competition Eliminator in a Pontiac Grand Am, Dan Fletcher of Churchville, N.Y. won Stock Eliminator in a Chevy Camaro and Wayne Newman of Lancaster, Calif. Won Super Gas in a Chevrolet.
The next race is the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona Raceway on Feb. 8 - 11, 2007; the first event on the 23-event NHRA POWERade tour.
-credit: gm racing