Joliet II: GM Racing preview

JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 27, 2005 - The Fourth annual Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals on Sept. 30 - Oct. 2 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., will be the 20th race on the 23-event NHRA POWERade tour. Qualifying coverage can be seen on ESPN2 on ...

JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 27, 2005 - The Fourth annual Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals on Sept. 30 - Oct. 2 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., will be the 20th race on the 23-event NHRA POWERade tour. Qualifying coverage can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, Oct. 1, beginning at 5 p.m. ET. Final eliminations will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday, Oct. 2, starting at 7 p.m. ET.

. The most recent NHRA Manufacturer's Cup points released on Sept. 21 show Pontiac within reach of its ninth championship since 1996. Through 19 national events Pontiac has accumulated 2,840 points, Dodge has 2,000 points and Chevrolet has 1,900 points. Since 1964, GM brands have captured 37 of 41 NHRA Manufacturer's Cups and Chevrolet has won the most titles with 15 (Chevrolet's most recent championship was in 2002).

. The month of October at Route 66 Raceway has come to be synonymous with national records, and the cool fall weather at the Joliet, Ill., venue has made it one of the fastest events on the 23-race circuit. At last year's race, Greg Anderson set what was then both ends of the Pro Stock national e.t. and speed record with a run of 6.661 seconds at 207.75 mph in a Pontiac, and all 16 drivers that made last year's race ran their career-best times.

. Only four fall races have been contested at Route 66 Raceway, the first was in 2001 when Warren Johnson won in a Pontiac. Last year's race was won by Chevrolet's Dave Connolly. Greg Anderson was runner-up in 2003-04 and Ron Krisher was runner-up in 2002.

. Greg Anderson captured his seventh win of the season at the NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., on Sept. 18, and it marked the 157th all-time win for Pontiac in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Of the 157 wins in a Pontiac by a Pro Stock driver, Warren Johnson leads the Pontiac pack with 43, Greg Anderson is second with 36 and Jim Yates is third with 24.

. Route 66 Raceway is the only venue left on the tour where Pontiac's Greg Anderson has not won a national event. Anderson's 38th career victory at Reading ties him with Larry Dixon for eighth all-time among NHRA professional drivers for most career wins, and the two are tied for third among active professional drivers behind John Force and Warren Johnson.

. Since the introduction of the GTO into NHRA Pro Stock competition seven races ago at Denver, the Pontiac GTO has claimed four victories, four raceday poles, run low e.t of the meet five times and top speed five times

. With just four races remaining on the schedule, Greg Anderson leads the POWERade Pro Stock standings in a Pontiac GTO with 1,575 points. Kurt Johnson is in second place in a Chevy Cobalt with 1,399 points, Warren Johnson is in third place in a Pontiac GTO with 1,299 points, Jason Line is in fourth place in a Pontiac GTO with 1,252 points and Dave Connolly is fifth in a Chevy Cobalt with 1,127 points. For the 11th straight season and the 13th in the last 14 years, a Pro Stock competitor in a GM-branded car will win the NHRA championship. Other Pro Stock competitors in GM-branded cars in the POWERade top 10 include Greg Stanfield (Chevrolet) in sixth place with 932 points, Ron Krisher (Chevy Cobalt) moves up to seventh place in a Cobalt with 907 points, and Jim Yates (Pontiac GTO) is in 10th place with 868 points.

. So far this season, competitors in GM-branded cars have won 18 nationals events, advanced to 34 final rounds and captured 17 No. 1 qualifying awards. Pro Stock drivers competing in Pontiacs have won 13 national events, advanced to 20 final rounds and earned 12 pole qualifying awards. Chevrolet competitors have scored five wins, advanced to 14 final rounds and captured five pole qualifying awards

. Tony Pedregon's victory at Reading, Pa., on Sept. 17 was the second straight win for Chevy Monte Carlo in Funny Car competition. Del Worsham won the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Sept. 5. It was also the fourth win and the 11th final-round appearance for the Monte Carlo Funny Car this season.

. Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car driver Del Worsham is the defending champion of the Route 66 Nationals, and his top speed of 329.75 mph posted during the final round of eliminations against John Force still remains his personal best. Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car driver Tony Pedregon is a two-time winner of this event (2002-03).

. Four Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car drivers occupy a spot in top 10 of the POWERade points standings. Tommy Johnson Jr. is in sixth place with 1,080 points, Del Worsham is eighth with 978 points, Tony Pedregon is ninth with 957 points and Cruz Pedregon is 10th with 883 points. Tim Wilkerson is 11th with 807 points and Tony Bartone is 13th with 700 points. Gary

-gm racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Tony Bartone , Del Worsham , John Force , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Cruz Pedregon , Tim Wilkerson , Jason Line , Dave Connolly , Tommy Johnson Jr.