Anderson begins second half of season searching for his fourth championship MORRISON, Colo. (July 7, 2006) -- In one week Greg Anderson, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing Equipment-backed Pro Stock Pontiac GTO, begins his last...
Anderson begins second half of season searching for his fourth championship
MORRISON, Colo. (July 7, 2006) -- In one week Greg Anderson, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing Equipment-backed Pro Stock Pontiac GTO, begins his last half push for his fourth consecutive NHRA POWERade Pro Stock championship as the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals get underway at Bandimere Speedway, near Denver, July 14-16.
Entering the event that marks the start of the second half of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Anderson, who has led the 2006 Pro Stock point standing from the season-opening race, has a tenuous two point lead over teammate Jason Line. In fact, only 105 points separate the top five drivers. This has Anderson on edge.
"It's kind of been tough on us," said Anderson at the second quarter NHRA teleconference for the four professional NHRA POWERade point leaders at the midpoint in the 2006 season. "Everybody's so even. We don't have the advantage we've had over the last couple of years. We're pressing harder and trying to make that perfect run every time, which we didn't necessarily have to do before. Usually when you do that you make a few mistakes. Everybody is pressing really hard in this class right now; everybody is running well but at the same time making mistakes along the way because the competition is so tough...
"It's an ulcer creator for us right now as drivers, and as teams, and for me coming off the last couple, three years where we had a kind of cushion on the field. We don't have that cushion anymore and now it's down to we have to execute perfectly. And the bottom line is that we haven't executed perfectly since Pomona and we're lucky to still have that point lead to be honest with you. We've had too many first round and second round losses where either I didn't do a good job driving or the car didn't perform like it should of. So, anytime you're going to make a mistake in this class right now you're going to get beat."
And things don't get any easier from here on through the end of the season. Denver marks the first of three grueling back-to-back-to back races, known among NHRA racers and fans as the "Western Swing," races at which Anderson has done well in the past.
"It has been very good to me," reflected Anderson regarding the three races coming up in Denver, Seattle and Sonoma the last three weekends in July. "You come into this Western Swing, which is very, very tough on everybody. It is three really very different race tracks. You've got Denver which is completely a one-off deal... and then you go back to sea level at Seattle in cool temperatures and then you go to Sonoma where you've really got sea level conditions and a lot of times you get 90 degrees. So it's a different scenario every time and it's really come down to crunch time now.
"It's too late to wait any longer to make your run. It's time to make your run. If a guy can come out of the Western Swing with the point lead -- I think that if you look at stats from years past -- he's probably going to be the guy with the best chance of winning the championship... I think this Swing will make or break a lot of people's season."
When qualifying gets underway, Anderson, who has collected six No. 1 qualifying positions in the 12 races run thus far and has gone to the final round four times this season, winning one, must be at the top of his game.
Qualifying for Anderson and his KB Racing LLC/Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Pontiac GTO begins with two Pro Stock sessions on Friday, July 14, scheduled for 4:15 and 7:15 p.m. and concludes with two additional Pro Stock sessions on Saturday, July 15, at 10:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Anderson, a former native of Minnesota now living in Charlotte, North Carolina, begins his quest for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals Pro Stock title on Sunday, July 16, with eliminations for all classes beginning at 12 noon. All times are local Denver time (MT) and subject to change at anytime.