Reading: GM Racing preview

GM Racing Returns to NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove to Complete Rain Postponed Event Early October Conditions Could Yield Record-Breaking Results READING, Pa., Sept. 26, 2006 Incessant showers two weeks ago at Maple Grove Raceway ...

GM Racing Returns to NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove to Complete Rain Postponed Event

Early October Conditions Could Yield Record-Breaking Results

READING, Pa., Sept. 26, 2006 Incessant showers two weeks ago at Maple Grove Raceway forced postponement of the NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals. Now GM teams will make the long journey back to Eastern Pennsylvania, by way of Dallas, Tex., for the completion of the event slated for this weekend. Only four races remain on the 23-race schedule, and competing north of the Mason-Dixon Line in late September/early October usually means record-breaking times and speeds for the naturally-aspirated Pro Stock Cars. Since 1985 (when the NHRA first visited this venue for a national event), the national e.t. record in Pro Stock has been set at Maple Grove five times and the speed record once - the most recent for both was in October 2001. The 20 points earned for setting a national elapsed time record could come into play at this event and would be a welcome reward for drivers battling for a championship in the hotly contested Pro Stock category.

Pre-Race Stats & Facts

At the completion of 19 national events, Pontiac leads the NHRA Manufacturer's Cup standings with 3,440 points, Chevrolet is second with 2,620 points and Dodge is third with 2,020 points.

This season, Pro Stock drivers in a Pontiac GTO have captured nine national-event victories, advanced to 20 final-round appearances, earned No. 1 qualifying honors 15 times, set low elapsed time of the meet 16 times and top speed 17 times. Chevy Cobalt Pro Stock drivers have won seven national events and advanced to 12 final-round appearances.

The POWERade Pro Stock standings were only slightly affected by the race on Sunday at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Tex. Jason Line (Pontiac GTO) continues to lead the standings with 1,358 points, teammate Greg Anderson (Pontiac GTO) is in second place with 1,280 points and Dave Connolly (Chevy Cobalt) is in third place with 1,218 points. Kurt Johnson (Chevy Cobalt) is in fourth place with 1,079 points and Mike Edwards (Pontiac GTO) is in fifth place with 1,052 points after advancing to his fourth final-round appearance of the season at Dallas. Other drivers in GM-branded cars in the top 10 include Jim Yates (Pontiac GTO) who is in seventh place with 971 points, and Greg Stanfield (Pontiac GTO) who is in 10th place with 874 points.

Greg Anderson drove his Pontiac GTO to a fifth consecutive No. 1 qualifier last weekend at the O'Reilly Fallnationals in Dallas, Tex. It was the 11th time this season and the 51st time in his career that Anderson has claimed raceday pole honors. The Summit Racing Pontiac driver is seventh on the all-time list among professional drivers, just one raceday pole behind Don Prudhomme (52) who is sixth, and five behind Joe Amato (56) who is fifth. Warren Johnson is first on the all-time list with 135 career No. 1 qualifying efforts.

Anderson's win at Indianapolis was the 168th all time for Pontiac in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Of the 168 wins by a Pontiac Pro Stock driver, Warren Johnson leads the pack with 44 victories, Greg Anderson is second with 39 victories (in a Pontiac) and Jim Yates is third with 25 victories. All three have won multiple NHRA Pro Stock driver's titles driving a Pontiac.

Jim Yates needs just five more round wins to hit the 400 mark and Greg Anderson needs seven more round wins to hit the 300 mark. Active Pro Stock drivers with the most round wins include Warren Johnson (828), Kurt Johnson (442), Yates (395) and Anderson (293).

Pontiac GTO drivers have won nine national events in 2006. Jason Line has notched three marks in the win category this season (Bristol, Englishtown, Sonoma), Greg Anderson has two victories (Pomona, Indianapolis), Mike Edwards has two victories (Houston, St. Louis), Warren Johnson has one (Phoenix) and Jim Yates has one (Columbus).

Dave Connolly and Kurt Johnson are the two Chevy Cobalt drivers who have combined for seven red bowtie victories in the Pro Stock category this season. Connolly leads Pro Stock with four race wins in 2006 (Atlanta, Topeka, Denver, Brainerd), and Johnson scored his national-event wins at Las Vegas, Chicago and Memphis.

Kurt Johnson's win at Memphis on Aug. 21 was the 134th all-time for Chevrolet in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Of Johnson's 35 career victories, 25 have been from behind the wheel of a Chevrolet. Lee Shepherd has the most Chevrolet Pro Stock wins with 26.

GM Performance Parts Pontiac driver Warren Johnson has the most career wins at Maple Grove Raceway in the Pro Stock division (4). Johnson's wins came in 1991-92, 1995 and 2003. ACDelco Chevy Cobalt driver Kurt Johnson and Sea Ray Boats Pontiac GTO driver Jim Yates are second on the Maple Grove win list with three. Johnson's wins were in 1993, 1998 and 2000. Yates is the most recent competitor in Pro Stock to capture back-to-back crowns at Maple Grove (1996-97) and his latest win at the Eastern Pa. venue came in 2002.

Greg Anderson is the defending champion in Pro Stock at Maple Grove Raceway, and he also holds the track mph record set in 2004 at 206.67 mph. Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac teammate Jason Line won his only race at Maple Grove in 2004 and set the track e.t. record that year at 6.669 seconds.

Warren Johnson has been No. 1 qualifier at Maple Grove Raceway seven times (1989, 1991, 1993, 1995-96, 1998-99). Jim Yates and Greg Anderson have started raceday from the pole at Maple Grove twice; Yates in 1997 and 2002, and Anderson in 2003-04. Ron Krisher was No. 1 qualifier in 2000 and Jason Line was the pole setter in 2005.

Tony Pedregon is the defending Funny Car champion at Maple Grove Raceway. Last year Pedregon drove his Chevy Monte Carlo to a final-round victory over John Force. Pedregon also won the 2002 contest at Maple Grove Raceway.

Other current Chevy Monte Carlo drivers who have previously won at Maple Grove Raceway include Tim Wilkerson (2003), Tommy Johnson Jr. (1999) and Cruz Pedregon (1992).

In the Funny Car standings, Tony Pedregon is in fourth place in a Chevy Monte Carlo with 1,187 points and three victories. Tommy Johnson Jr. is in sixth place in a Chevy Monte Carlo with 1,085 points and two victories. Cruz Pedregon is in ninth place in a Chevy Monte Carlo with 812 points and one victory, and Phil Burkart is in 10th place with 787 points.

-credit: gm racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA

Latest nhra photos

Dallas

Dallas

23 photos
Charlotte

Charlotte

3 photos
Sonoma

Sonoma

122 photos
Denver

Denver

150 photos
Norwalk

Norwalk

17 photos
Bristol

Bristol

14 photos
Topeka

Topeka

9 photos
View more nhra photos