Joliet: GM Racing preview

JOILET, Ill., June 7, 2005 - The Eighth annual CarQuest NHRA Nationals will be held June 9 - 12 at Route 66 Raceway. Qualifying for the NHRA Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, June 11, beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern. Final eliminations will...

JOILET, Ill., June 7, 2005 - The Eighth annual CarQuest NHRA Nationals will be held June 9 - 12 at Route 66 Raceway. Qualifying for the NHRA Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, June 11, beginning at 6 p.m. Eastern. Final eliminations will be telecast on ESPN2 on Sunday, June starting at 3 p.m. Eastern.

. In conjunction with this year's race is the King Demon Crown on Saturday, June 11, for the top eight qualifying Pro Stock drivers. Points for this special event were accumulated beginning with last year's national event at Route 66 Raceway and ending with the NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan., on May 28. The winner of the King Demon Crown will earn $50,000. Defending champion of the event and No. 1 qualifier for this year's race is Pontiac driver Greg Anderson, one of five drivers in GM-branded cars to make the field. Kurt Johnson, in the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt is qualified eighth and will race Anderson in round one. Jason Line is qualified in the No. 2 position and will race Ken Koretsky in round two. Dave Connolly, in a Chevy Cobalt, is the No. 4 qualifier and will race No. 5 qualifier and driver of the Young Life Pontiac, Mike Edwards in the first round. Anderson defeated Connolly in the final of last year's King Demon Crown by just .0001 of a second, or less than half an inch at the finish line.

. Although not qualified for the 2005 King Demon Crown, GM Performance Parts Pontiac driver Warren Johnson has qualified for 20 of the Pro Stock non-points events, the most by any driver since the inception the of the race in 1985. Johnson has won the race three times (1993, 1995, 2002). ACDelco Chevy Cobalt driver Kurt Johnson will be making his 12th appearance in the King Demon Crown, the most by any qualified driver in a GM-branded car. Kurt Johnson won the race in 1994, 1998 and 2003. Mike Edwards has qualified for the Crown eliminator four times (1997, 2002, 2004-05), Greg Anderson three times (2003-05), Dave Connolly twice (2004-05) and Jason Line will be making his Crown debut.

. The latest tally of NHRA Manufacturer's points on June 1 show Pontiac in first place with 1,240, Dodge is second with 960 and Chevrolet is third with 300.

. Greg Anderson's third straight win at the NHRA Summer Nationals on May 29 in Topeka, Kan., gave Pontiac its 150th all-time win in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Of the 150 wins posted by a Pontiac driver in Pro Stock, Warren Johnson has 42, Greg Anderson 32 and Jim Yates 24. Of the Pontiac brands that have won a Pro Stock national event, Firebird has won 90, Grand Am 59 and Grand Prix 1.

. Anderson's third victory of the season at Topeka was also his 34th career win and his 50th final-round appearance. The Summit Racing Pontiac driver is now all alone in third place on the all time win list among NHRA Pro Stock drivers behind first-place Warren Johnson (94) and second-place Bob Glidden (85). Anderson is also fifth among active professional drivers for career wins, and 11th for all-time wins by a professional competitor.

. Dave Connolly's Chevrolet advanced to the finals at Topeka, the second straight race that the new Cobalt has reached the championship round and the fourth consecutive event since its debut at Bristol, Tenn., on May 1 that its advanced to the semifinals. Kurt Johnson ACDelco Chevy Cobalt reached the semis at Bristol and Atlanta and was runner-up in Columbus (Ohio).

. Anderson's Summit Racing Pontiac holds both ends of the Pro Stock track record at Route 66 Raceway set last October with a run of 6.661 seconds at 207.75 mph.

. Chevy Cobalt driver Dave Connolly made his first professional start at this race in 2003. Chevy Cobalt driver Ron Krisher captured his first career victory at this event in 2000 and Pontiac's Jason Line earned his first career raceday pole and career win at this event in 2004. Other current drivers in GM-branded cars who have won the CarQuest NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway include Warren Johnson (1999), Mike Edwards (2001), Bruce Allen (2002) and Kurt Johnson (2003). No Pro Stock driver has ever won this event twice. Route 66 Raceway is also just one of two venues (the other being Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.) on the 23-event circuit where Greg Anderson has not won a national event.

. Current Pro Stock drivers in GM-branded cars who have been runner-up at this race include Warren Johnson (1998) and Jim Yates (2001) and Greg Anderson (2004). Current competitors in GM-branded car who have been No. 1 qualifier at this event include Warren Johnson (1998), Kurt Johnson (1999), Ron Krisher (2000), Mike Edwards (2001), Jim Yates (2002), Greg Anderson (2003) and Jason Line (2004). Since the inception of this race in 1998, no Pro Stock driver has ever captured top qualifying honors at the CarQuest NHRA Nationals more than once.

. By advancing to the finals at Topeka, Chevy Cobalt driver Dave Connolly successfully competed in his 100th career round of eliminations. His record after reaching the century mark is 64 round wins and 36 losses (.640).

. Four Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car drivers occupy a position in the top 10 of the POWERade points standings. Cruz Pedregon is in fourth place with 539 points and after his final-round appearance in Topeka, Tommy Johnson Jr. is seventh with 502 points. Tony Pedregon is in ninth place with 405 points and Bob Gilbertson is 10th with 385 points. Del Worsham is 11th in a Monte Carlo with 377 points, Tim Wilkerson is 12th with 356 points, Jeff Arend is 14th with 325 points and Tony Bartone is 15th with 303 points. John Force leads the Funny Car standings with 715 points.

. Chevy Monte Carlo Funny car driver Tim Wilkerson recorded his first career victory at this race in 1999. Other current Chevy drivers to advance to the winner's circle at the CarQuest NHRA Nationals include Del Worsham (2001-02) and Tony Pedregon (2003). Del Worsham was runner-up in 1998 and Tommy Johnson jr. was runner-up in 2003. No. 1 qualifiers in Funny Car include Cruz Pedregon (1998) and Tony Pedregon (2004).

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Tony Pedregon , Tony Bartone , Del Worsham , John Force , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Tommy Johnson , Bob Glidden , Cruz Pedregon , Bruce Allen , Tim Wilkerson , Jason Line , Jeff Arend , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards