Hometown Win at zMAX Dragway propels Anderson to Second in Championship Standings Concord, N.C., September 19, 2010 -- Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team scored a popular and decisive win on Sunday, capturing the Pro Stock title at the ...
Hometown Win at zMAX Dragway propels Anderson to Second in Championship Standings
Concord, N.C., September 19, 2010 -- Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team scored a popular and decisive win on Sunday, capturing the Pro Stock title at the O'Reilly Nationals in Concord, NC. Starting from the fourth position, Anderson defeated Larry Morgan, Rodger Brogdon and Kurt Johnson in the early rounds before squaring off against Greg Stanfield, who won the prestigious U.S. Nationals two weeks ago, in the final. JKnowing he would need a near-perfect run to score the win, the Mooresville resident responded with the quickest pass of the day at 6.604 seconds to outdistance his opponent, who posted a 6.651-second time in the losing effort. It was Anderson's third win of the season, 63rd of his career, first at zMAX Dragway and allowed him to move into second place in the championship standings.
"This weekend was a major turnaround for this Summit Racing team, because before today we hadn't come close to winning at zMAX Dragway," said Anderson. "My hats off to the boys, because they certainly got it figured out. We spent a lot of time testing here the last two weeks, and we finally conquered it. It's a very tricky racetrack, and you saw a lot of guys struggle today, while we hardly broke a sweat.
"You should have to earn a win, we certainly did so. For example, Greg Stanfield came into this race absolutely on fire, having won Indy a couple weeks back and he was certainly ready to take home the trophy today. He's bad to the bone, the hottest guy in the class, and we had to beat him to win. He did a great job, but fortunately this entire team stepped up to the plate and gave me a perfect race car, and we got the job done."
Making Anderson's accomplishment even more remarkable was the fact that he had switched cars before this race, parking a chassis with which he had won in Norwalk and Seattle earlier this year in favor the Summit Racing Pontiac that he had campaigned in 2009. It was a move that paid immediate dividends, as the KB entry was among the quickest and most consistent all weekend, recording top speed of the meet at 209.98 mph while tying his teammate Jason Line for low elapsed time of the event at 6.604 seconds.
"I had the baddest hot rod on the grounds today, which makes the decision to switch cars look pretty good," said Anderson. "Although I'd love to take credit for making that call, it was actually my crew chiefs Rob Downing and Tommy Utt who made the decision. It's obviously a risky move any time you make such a major change, but I trust every move they make, and today showed they knew exactly what they were doing. I don't think anyone wanted anything to do with our Summit Racing Pontiac today."
Anderson also took great pleasure in winning with his family, friends and employees of Mooresville-based KB Racing in attendance. However, of greatest significance was the impact today's victory would have on his team owner and close friend Ken Black who continues his rehabilitation process at his home in Las Vegas.
"It was great to win at our home track in front of our family and friends, and everyone who works at KB Racing," said Anderson. "I love them all to death and they make me look like a hero week in and week out, so it was just tremendous to have them all with us in the winner's circle. I'm also glad to win for Summit Racing and all our sponsors. We couldn't do this without them, and I'm glad to reward them for their support.
"This win is also special because it will put a smile on Ken Black's face. I talked to him at the finish line right after I got out of the race car, and he was so excited, which is what this game is all about. Ken Black is the man who started this race team, the best man I ever met in my life, and he means the world to me, my family and this crew. Without him, we wouldn't be here. He's had a tough struggle, but he's fighting hard and is going to be back at the track in Las Vegas. Every time we do something good like today, it just accelerates his recovery, and we're thrilled to give him that shot in the arm."
Finally, Anderson's success vaulted him near the top of the points standings and in serious contention for his fourth championship. Although only 27 points separate him from the lead, with four races remaining in the NHRA's Countdown to One playoff his plan for the future not only includes a continued assault on the leader, but also working to help his teammate Jason Line ascend from his current sixth-place standing. Armed with a stable of fast cars and theJconfidence of winning an important race in impressive fashion, he naturally looked forward to a return to competition next weekend in Dallas.
"The best thing is that we are back in contention for the championship," said Anderson. "People were ready to throw dirt on us and count us out, but we had a great day today and got ourselves back in it. Our job for next week is to keep the pressure on Mike (points leader Edwards) and get Jason (teammate Line) back in the game so we have two chances at the title. We'll certainly celebrate this win tonight, but tomorrow we will be back at the shop getting ready for Dallas. Our work has just begun."