Anderson runner-up at BIR BRAINERD, Minn. (August 12, 2007) -- Greg Anderson advanced to the final round for the eighth time this season before finishing runner-up to Jeg Coughlin during today's eliminations at the 28th annual NHRA Lucas Oil...
Anderson runner-up at BIR
BRAINERD, Minn. (August 12, 2007) -- Greg Anderson advanced to the final round for the eighth time this season before finishing runner-up to Jeg Coughlin during today's eliminations at the 28th annual NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals.
It was Anderson's 72nd final round of his career. The three-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Championship has won 50 of the 72.
The runner-up here at Brainerd ended a streak of 10 consecutive wins dating back to Indy of last season.
"It definitely wasn't a bad day," stated Anderson following the final round. "Anytime you go to the final round that's got to be considered a good day. But we come to win and didn't, so we still have to get our program better. We've got to work on all three areas -- engine, car, and driver -- before we get to the Countdown.
In the opening round Anderson (6.679/206.80) had an easy time with Richie Stevens, Jr. (6.971/165.33), winning by over three tenths of a second.
The second round matched the No. 1 (Anderson) and No. 3 (Dave Connolly) in NHRA POWERade Pro Stock points. It was all Anderson after Connolly made a sharp move that upset his driving and shut his Cobalt down. Anderson's Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac streaked to the Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) finish line in 6.665 second at 207.05 mph.
Anderson then turned back Larry Morgan in the semifinals when he ran a 6.695-second pass. Morgan recorded a time of 6.704 seconds.
The final round saw Coughlin lead from start to finish but Anderson's Summit Pontiac was coming on at the top end but fell short. Anderson ran an elapsed time of 6.669 seconds at a speed of 207.24 mph. His speed was fastest of the weekend, resetting the speed he established in round two. Coughlin's winning time was a 6.667.
Previously at BIR, Anderson won here in 2003 when he defeated Kurt Johnson. The three-time Pro Stock champion also has two additional runner-ups at BIR -- in 2002 to Jeg Coughlin and in 2004 to Dave Connolly.
In the Countdown to the Championship, Anderson has not only clinched a spot in the second segment but has clinched the No. 1 spot.
"That's cool," said Anderson. "That means I go into the Countdown with a lead, no matter the amount. It means that the other guys have to do better than you. They can do the same because then they lose. It's worth something and we'll just have to make it pay off."
COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP: Five Pro Stock drivers -- Greg Anderson, Jeg Coughlin, Dave Connolly, Allen Johnson, and Jason Line -- have now clinched a spot in segment two of the Countdown.
In its simplest form, the Countdown breaks the $50 million, 23-event NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season up into three distinct segments: the 17-race Countdown to 8, the four-race Countdown to 4 and the two-race Countdown to 1.
After the 17 regular season races, all teams will continue vying for points, with full fields, but only the top eight drivers continue to vie for the championship in the four-race second segment. The top four drivers after the four-race playoff then move to the third and final segment that will be run over the final two races -- the NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals in Las Vegas and the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona. While all teams will continue vying for points, with full fields, only one of the four can be crowned the 2007 champion.
Also of special note is that after the first segment the top eight drivers in each of the four professional classes will have their points adjusted in 10-point increments with No. 1 receiving 2,000 points and No. 8 receiving 2,070 points. After the second segment the top four drivers in each of the four professional classes will have their points adjusted again in 10-point increments with No. 1 receiving 3,000 points and No. 4 receiving 3,030 points.
NEXT RACE: The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series now heads to Reading, Penn., for the final race of the first segment of the Countdown to the Championship -- the 23rd annual NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Aug. 16-19.