All-GM Pro Stock Finals Results In Anderson Win At Atlanta Defending Champ's Fifth Consecutive Final-Round Appearance at Atlanta Dragway COMMERCE, Ga., May 15, 2005 - GM Racing teams had the bases covered in the Pro Stock class at the 25th...
All-GM Pro Stock Finals Results In Anderson Win At Atlanta
Defending Champ's Fifth Consecutive Final-Round Appearance at Atlanta Dragway
COMMERCE, Ga., May 15, 2005 - GM Racing teams had the bases covered in the Pro Stock class at the 25th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac at Atlanta Dragway. After two separate delays totaling more than six hours due to showers, KB Racing teammates Greg Anderson and Jason Line faced off in their Pontiacs in the Pro Stock finals with Line looking for his second win of the season (Gainesville), and Anderson surprisingly looking for his first win of 2005 after capturing the last two POWERade Pro Stock championships. In the finals, Anderson had a slight edge at the start (.049 reaction time to Line's .060) and that was the difference as both drivers posted identical elapsed times of 6.781 seconds. Anderson had a speed of 202.61 mph in the finals to Line's 203.83 mph.
"We needed some confidence, we absolutely needed some confidence," said Anderson. "We haven't really had a lot to smile about. Jason's won once this year, and I got a runner-up, but it was nothing but luck at Vegas. So we needed some confidence, and this is obviously the best thing for it with both cars in the finals. (Team owner) Ken's smiling ear to ear over there, and Jason and I are both smiling. We went out and raced hard in the finals, ran the same e.t., and somehow I got lucky and won. I broke the ice so I guess I do get a Wally this year. I don't know how many I'll get, maybe only one, but at least I get one. I think Summit brought a lot to the table and I got some "mojo" from them, and that's what put me in the winner's circle.
"We've been testing nonstop for the last month and a half. Finally the day before we left to come down here, on Wednesday, we tested all day with Jason's car. I drove Jason's car all day, and we really thought we learned some stuff on it. It finally seemed to really find something that worked. It's just been like a month of no results, and just nothing working together. We really thought we learned something with his car, and it ran like gang busters at the test track. And then the rains came and the track was different. My car didn't want to work again, but Jason's was on a rope all day long and just fast as can be, and I fought mine every run. We're scratching our heads again because we thought we really had my car working right alongside Jason's, but really it struggled all day long and just couldn't make the runs that his made. We didn't have any happy cars before we came here, and now we've got one. Now we'll move onto Columbus and see what we've learned."
Season points leader Warren Johnson drove his GM Performance Parts Pontiac to his 133rd career NHRA No. 1 qualifying position for today's eliminations, and it was not only an all-GM Pro Stock finals, but there were four GM cars in the semifinals as well. Johnson met Anderson in one semifinal contest, and Kurt Johnson, reaching the semifinals for the second time in only his second race in his new Chevy Cobalt, faced off against Line. Anderson ran an elapsed time of 6.798 seconds at 202.21 mph to better Warren Johnson's 6.846 e.t. and 203.25 mph and reach the final round for the second time this season, his fifth consecutive final-round appearance here at Atlanta Dragway. He was the defending event champion after three consecutive runner-up finishes. Line had the best run of the semifinals with an elapsed time of 6.756 seconds at 203.58 mph to Kurt Johnson's 6.786 at 203.00 mph. Amazingly, Line had a near-perfect reaction time of .001 in defeating Jeg Coughlin in Round 2, and then an almost identical .004 reaction time against Johnson in the semifinals.
"I thought it was neat facing Warren in the semis," said Anderson, "and I bet the fans thought it was pretty cool too. You've got to treat everybody the same, but we're a liar if we say we don't think there's something special about running each other, at least I do, I know that. I certainly do respect him for what he is and what he's done. He's a serious, serious player right now, and he's pretty much had my number all year. Finally we got around him."
"I was a little late on the tree in the finals," said Line, "and we just didn't make a good run. There was a ton of moisture on the racetrack and it was very loose out there. I probably should've lifted, but all in all just a great weekend for our team. We definitely needed a little shot in the arm, so it was a good deal.
We definitely learned some stuff last week testing, and we made some changes engine-wise that I think helped us. I'm excited about the future. There's still a little lull right now, but we're going to get there, and I think we're going to get better very soon. I'm excited."
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon in his Chevy Monte Carlo reached the semifinals, defeating fellow Chevy driver Del Worsham in Round 1 and No. 1 qualifier Gary Scelzi in Round 2 before losing to eventual race winner John Force in the semis. Pedregon had an elapsed time of 4.856 at 318.17 mph to Force's winning 4.842 e.t. at 323.74 mph. Force defeated his teammate Robert Hight in the finals.
In the Sportsman ranks, Frank Manzo from Morganville, N.J., won Top Alcohol Funny Car in an '02 Firebird. Mike Tueffel of Greensboro, N.C., won Super Stock in his '98 Grand Am, and Mark Faul from Tacoma, Wash., won Stock Eliminator in a '69 Chevelle. David Tatum III from Palmetto, Ga., was also a winner in Super Gas in an '04 Cavalier.
The next stop on the 23-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series is the Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, on May 19-22.