Anderson, Line Put Pontiac 1-2 in Qualfying at Texas Motorplex Bruce Allen Released From Hospital After Friday Night Crash ENNIS, Texas, Oct. 8, 2005 - For the second consecutive week, Summit Racing Pontiac teammates Greg Anderson and Jason...
Anderson, Line Put Pontiac 1-2 in Qualfying at Texas Motorplex
Bruce Allen Released From Hospital After Friday Night Crash
ENNIS, Texas, Oct. 8, 2005 - For the second consecutive week, Summit Racing Pontiac teammates Greg Anderson and Jason Line have placed their GTOs atop the Pro Stock qualifying grid as they start No. 1 and No. 2 for tomorrow's eliminations at the 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex, rescheduled from two weeks ago due to the impact of Hurricane Rita. Anderson posted his sixth No. 1 qualifier of the season with a track-record elapsed time of 6.647 seconds at a track-record speed of 207.40 mph, a run he impressively made in the fourth and final qualifying session when nearly all other competitors slowed down. He and Line held down the same two positions in qualifying last week at Chicago, and Line went on to record his fourth win of the year.
"The last session was definitely the hottest, and the air was the worst of all four sessions," said Anderson, "but the track was probably the best. The track needed heat yesterday. It was cold all day and it was cold last night, and the cars were over the edge last night. They were shaking and vibrating all the way down the track. You saw what happened to a couple of them. We needed a little heat in the track, and we got it today and that helped. You've got to have the perfect temperature - you can't be too cold and you can't be too hot. Yesterday was too cold, today was perfect, and tomorrow will probably be too hot if it gets hotter out. We'll see what happens. It's going to be another day, another set of circumstances. It's going to be the hottest we've had, and you just hope that the track holds and it doesn't go over that edge where it gets too hot. If it does, we just need to do a better job of tuning for it. But we certainly feel good to finally get all the racetrack had to offer there and get us another No. 1 qualifier."
Anderson's mood was buoyed even more with the news that fellow Pontiac driver Bruce Allen had been released from the hospital after being transported via helicopter to Dallas' Parkland Medical Center and kept overnight following a spectacular crash in the second qualifying session Friday night. Allen's Pontiac, qualifying in the right lane, got out of the groove and then made a hard move into the left lane, rolling over on its right side and into the path of Kenny Koretsky's Dodge. Koretsky's car made hard contact with the undercarriage of Allen's Pontiac that resulted in a fiery crash. Koretsky walked away from the crash under his own power and was also transported to Parkland. Amazingly Allen was released today with a concussion and abrasions to his hands while Koretsky was still being evaluated and expected to be released later today or tomorrow.
"It's absolutely, positively, without a doubt, a relief to here Bruce and Kenny are alright," said Anderson. "You go and look at that race car that Bruce Allen was in last night, and he's a lucky man to be alive. The driver's compartment is really the only salvageable part of the car. They're very, very lucky, and we're very, very happy for them.
"We don't want a bye run first round tomorrow with Bruce qualified 16th, but that's the way the rules are written and it allows us a chance to take a free shot at the track and get a tune for it. That doesn't happen often in this class. It's a battle from first round on. It might be good for us, but it can also come back to haunt you. You need to get up for every race you go to, and certainly I won't be up for that first-round bye, so you've got to make sure somehow you rebound and get up for that second round. You don't want to get into a lull because you didn't race anybody first round."
Anderson's teammate Jason Line qualified his Pontiac GTO No. 2 on the grid for the fourth time this season with an elapsed time of 6.662 seconds at a speed of 207.24 mph. Coincidently Line has reached the finals of the three previous events where he has qualified No. 2 with final-round losses to Warren Johnson in Houston and Anderson in Atlanta, and then a win last week over Erica Enders. Other Pontiac qualifiers included Warren Johnson in eighth, Mark Pawuk (9th) and Bruce Allen 16th.
"No. 2 worked out well for me last week, so we'll take it," said Line. "The Summit Pontiac GTO, both of them, are flying, so we're really happy. I'm always proud of how Greg's car runs no matter what because I probably spend more time on it than my own. But right now, either way it's good. We just hope Bruce and Kenny are okay. That was a bad deal all the way around. Hope everything is okay with those guys."
Although time may be running out on him, Kurt Johnson tries to keep his championship hopes alive in Texas this weekend as he started 182 points in arrears to two-time POWERade champion Anderson. He's off to a good start as he qualified right behind Line and Anderson in the No. 3 spot with an elapsed time of 6.663 seconds at 206.76 mph in the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt.
"We went down the track four times and qualified third, which is better than thirteen other cars in tomorrow's field," said Johnson. "We did burn the clutch up on that last run, but we had been playing with fire a little bit and finally went overboard, so now we know its limitations. That's the benefit of trying new things once you're solidly in the show. You certainly wouldn't want that to happen on race day. We'll get after it tomorrow and make things happen in our ACDelco Cobalt. We'll try to get on the heavy side of the clutch, because we know this track can take it, and do whatever we need to go four rounds."
Other Chevy qualifiers included Ron Krisher in fourth, Erica Enders, coming off her first Pro Stock final round last week at Chicago, qualified fifth, Rickie Smith (12th), Greg Stanfield (13th), and Dave Connolly (14th).
"I think we ended up No. 5, so that's really good," said Enders. "We slowed up that last pass, but the heat and our setup didn't seem to work too well together, but we're really looking forward to tomorrow. Maybe we'll have a repeat of last week only one round further. That would be awesome. When I won Houston in my Super Gas car, it didn't hit me for a day or two, so last week on Tuesday I was like, 'Holy cow, I was just in the Pro Stock final!' It was hard to grasp. When I was rolling up there we were so rushed, and I was just trying to clear my mind and take deep breaths, but I ended up messing up anyway. But it did take a while to hit, it was just so surreal because this has been my favorite class since I was a little girl. I always dreamed of driving one, and I'm driving one now and racing against guys that I looked up to forever."
Tony Pedregon was the highest qualified Chevrolet in the No. 4 spot with an elapsed time of 4.711 seconds at 326.71 mph. Ron Capps took the top spot in a Dodge with a track-record elapsed time of 4.694 seconds at a track-record speed of 327.82 mph. Other Chevy qualifiers included Mike Ashley (8th), Tommy Johnson Jr. (10th), Bob Gilbertson (11th), Del Worsham (13th), Tony Bartone (14th), and Tim Wilkerson (15th).
Doug Herbert grabbed his first No. 1 qualifier of the season in Top Fuel with a track-record elapsed time of 4.441 seconds at 328.06 mph. Larry Dixon qualified 7th with an elapsed time of 4.514 seconds at 329.34 mph, and Cory McClenathan is qualified ninth.