Anderson Relaxes to Regain Winning Form in Seattle Mooresville, N.C., July 16, 2009 -- Greg Anderson's son Cody is a huge fan of the New York Yankees baseball team. Therefore, it is somewhat ironic that a quote by one of that franchise's ...
Anderson Relaxes to Regain Winning Form in Seattle
Mooresville, N.C., July 16, 2009 -- Greg Anderson's son Cody is a huge fan of the New York Yankees baseball team. Therefore, it is somewhat ironic that a quote by one of that franchise's legendary figures perfectly describes his father's dilemma as he heads to Seattle for this weekend's NHRA Northwest Nationals. Although sitting fourth in the 2009 points with three No. 1 qualifying performances and a runner-up finish in Bristol would be more than acceptable to many of his fell ow competitors, without a national event victory it is not up to the lofty standards the three-time champion sets for himself and his Summit Racing Equipment team.
Therefore, the team has been working non-stop on finding a solution. However, much as Hall of Fame Yankee player and manager Yogi Berra once said "Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical," Anderson admits the real key to success lies in his own approach to competition.
"We've been working hard trying to make our Summit Racing Pontiacs faster, and as far as the driving aspect is concerned, we work out everyday on the reaction-time trainer," said Anderson. "But neither one of those seems to be the real issue. The problem, quite frankly, is my brain. I've obviously been thinking and worrying too much about not winning, concerning myself only with the results. You have to have a clear mind when you go to the line, and so far this season, I've struggled to do that.
"Things seemed to work fine in qualifying, but come race day, I seem to take a step back. Obviously you try harder, thinking and worrying more, and it's more important to get a good reaction time, which seems to work against me. I just need to treat Sunday like another qualifying run, and things will go back to where they should be.
"I tried to do things a little differently in Denver, and I honestly think it worked out a lot better on Sunday. I probably drove better than I had all year - I just ran into a red-hot Jason Line (Anderson's KB Racing teammate) in the second round. Still, that seems to be the key -- getting my mind clear and keeping it that way, not trying so hard. You hate to tell yourself not to try as hard as you can, but sometimes you need to back off a bit. I think I've pinpointed the problem and know how to fix it. I've turned the corner, so I'm looking forward to getting back in the game and having fun this weekend in Seattle."
One item that Anderson and the Summit crew will not have to concern themselves with in the Evergreen State is a lack of horsepower. One week after dealing with the challenges of racing in the altitude in Denver, the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to more typical conditions at Pacific Raceways, much to the relief of the naturally-aspirated Pro Stock category, whose power level suffered the most in the thin air. In addition, with two wins in his previous eight appearances on the Kent quarter-mile, Anderson certainly knows the way to the winner's circle.
"Racing in Seattle is a major change from Denver, and more what we as Pro Stock racers love to race in," stated Anderson. "It's good weather, with good barometric pressure. There are a lot of trees surrounding the racetrack, so you have a lot of oxygen, which these Pro Stockers seem to gulp up. We go back to=2 0running quick e.t.'s and big speeds, which makes us happy. It's one of the tracks where we can really run well.
"It's also a challenge because of where we just came from in Denver, where everything on the car is completely different. You have to get everything changed back to normal, fast conditions for that first run, and sometimes you'll see people maybe not be on their game in the first run or two because they're still stuck in Denver mode. You have to go over all your notes and make sure everything is changed back to sea level conditions.
"We also love going to the Northwest because it's not going to be 90 degrees. It's going to be 70 to 80 degrees at the most, our Summit Racing Pontiacs will run fast, we'll breathe well, and we'll be surrounded by beautif ul scenery. It's a big challenge, but we welcome big challenges."