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READING, Pa., Aug. 17, 2007 - The first day of qualifying for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove is in the books with Greg Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac GTO at the top of the qualifying ladder. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock...

READING, Pa., Aug. 17, 2007 - The first day of qualifying for the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove is in the books with Greg Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac GTO at the top of the qualifying ladder. The three-time POWERade Pro Stock champion took the provisional pole tonight after posting an elapsed time run of 6.685 seconds at 206.26 mph.

"This Pontiac's fantastic," Anderson said. "You know, we really have been concentrating the last couple of races on getting our setup back to what we had in the early part of the year where the car was really happy and it was making real nice consistent runs. So far today it's made two beautiful runs. We're out of time. We've got two stop quit messing around. It's time to get ready for that Countdown. I've got a great hot rod again. My hat's off to the guys at Pontiac - they built a great car in that GTO.

"The only thing we lacked, we had a little bit of humidity today," Anderson said. "That saps the power out of these engines. We're not making a lot of power out here this weekend yet, but I think that's going to change tomorrow. I'm thinking today's just a warm-up for tomorrow, but either way, we've got a great tune-up and it looks like we've got a handle on the racetrack. I can't wait until the weather gets cooler and we can run some bigger numbers tomorrow."

The 45-year old Anderson is the defending champion at this event (he also won here in 2005) and has advanced to the final round here three years in a row. Anderson has already earned nine No. 1 qualifying awards this season, and 60 for his career. Two of the those 60 career pole positions came at Maple Grove Raceway in 2003 and 2004.

Anderson's teammate Jason Line had his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO close behind in the No. 2 qualifying position. The 2006 POWERade Pro Stock champion, who won this event in 2004, had an elapsed time of 6.702 seconds at 205.51 mph.

"I can't even remember the last time we qualified (Numbers) 1 and 2," Line said. "Obviously qualifying's not over yet, but it's a good way to start, for sure. Typically this is not the type of air condition that we run that well in, so we're pretty happy. We're off to a decent start."

Del Worsham in the Checker Schuck's Kragen Chevy Impala SS moved to the top rung on the Funny Car qualifying ladder with an elapsed time of 4.800 seconds at 323.97 mph to edge out Jack Beckman for the provisional pole. Beckman had an identical 4.800 e.t. but his slower speed of 322.81 mph relegated him to second. Worsham is currently in 10th place in the standings with one race to go, 84 points out of the eighth and final spot to qualify for the next segment of the Countdown to the Championship. If Worsham can hang on to the pole position it will be the California native's first No. 1 qualifier since Las Vegas 2 2004.

"I think (it might be a little too late)," Worsham said. "You just don't know. This Countdown can benefit a lot of people, and it can really, really harm some. Right around Englishtown (N.J.) the car turned around. It made some nice runs at Englishtown and we had a blower pulley come off there. Then we went to Norwalk and had the body blow off there. We were making great runs but not winning anything. Parts are breaking, things are happening, and we're losing some great races.

"Finally in Sonoma it started coming around a little bit and we put up a pretty good race there. We got to Brainerd and again, we ended up with Tim Wilkerson who ran another great run in the first round and took us out. I'm not going to say it's too little, too late now, but it doesn't look real good. It would take a miracle, but we've had miracles before. Every run I'm going to run like it's the final round right now and see how it turns out."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Greg Anderson , Tim Wilkerson , Jack Beckman , Jason Line