Dallas: Anderson clinches second straight title

Pro Stock Dominator Anderson Clinches Second NHRA Powerade World Championship ENNIS, Texas -- Greg Anderson earned his second consecutive NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series world championship in Pro Stock on Sunday during the O'Reilly Fall...

Pro Stock Dominator Anderson Clinches Second NHRA Powerade World Championship

ENNIS, Texas -- Greg Anderson earned his second consecutive NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series world championship in Pro Stock on Sunday during the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.

Anderson's closest championship challenger, Jason Line, was mathematically eliminated from contention when he lost in the first round, automatically giving Anderson, 43, the $200,000 series crown. Anderson, who followed Line in the first round run order, then lost his race against Johnson, but it didn't matter.

"Certainly that wasn't the way we wanted to finish this championship run because we wanted to win this race, but that one round wasn't the championship," said Anderson, who has held the POWERade Series lead since the season's opening event.

"I think the way we ran all season has put us in this position, and I am very happy to win the POWERade world championship again because you just never know if you are going to be able to win another one," the driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac Grand Am added. "When I saw that Jason lost and I was told we had clinched, I think I just had a little break in concentration for that run and Kurt was on his game, which I expected."

It is the earliest that any NHRA professional category driver has clinched an NHRA POWERade title. Funny Car kingpin John Force held the previous record by clinching his sixth series title in the semifinals at Indianapolis in 1996 with four races remaining on the schedule.

"It feels really good to clinch the championship earlier than anyone else in history," said Anderson, a Duluth, Minn. native who now calls Charlotte, N.C. home. "These are some serious records and anytime you can be mentioned alongside John Force you know you must be doing something right."

With four races remaining on the schedule Anderson has some other important records in sight as well, including the record for wins by a professional driver in any category (he is currently tied with Force at 13); most elimination round wins for any pro category (currently holds the record at 67); most points earned in a championship chase (currently holds that record with 2,217); record for championship margin of victory for any pro category (Force currently holds the record with a 636-point margin in '96); and most No. 1 qualifying awards in one season (currently held by Warren Johnson, 15).

Anderson's amazing 2004 season has included 13 victories in 15 final round appearances, 13 No. 1 qualifying awards and an elimination round record of 62-6. His points lead over Line is 638. All that, and he still has four races remaining on the schedule.

"I think the season we had last year really exceeded our expectations," Anderson said. "What we've been able to do this year is just incredible. We have accomplished a lot, but winning this POWERade championship was our main goal. I have a great team with some talented guys and we have great sponsors in Summit Racing Equipment and Mac Tools. We are going to continue to work hard and see if we can win a few more races at the last four events. This season is really beyond our dreams. It's that big."

Anderson, who broke into the sport as a crew member for the late John Hagen in the early 1980s, was later hired by Warren Johnson where he worked for 12 years as crew chief and helped Johnson win multiple NHRA POWERade world championships. He started his driving career in 1998 on a limited schedule. He moved into the cockpit full-time in 2001 and won his first national event. In 2002 he finished third in the POWERade championship chase and claimed his first POWERade crown last season during what many called the greatest Pro Stock season in NHRA history.

That was until his 2004 campaign.

"Winning this POWERade championship is huge," Anderson said. "I think this championship validates the first one. When you can back up your first one it shows that you aren't a one-hit wonder. I don't think anyone thought the first championship was a fluke, but now we have proven ourselves to the world."

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , John Force , Greg Anderson , Jason Line