Joliet II: GM Racing Saturday summary

Anderson Keeps Momentum With No. 1 Qualifier at Chicago Pontiac Driver Looking For Third Consecutive Pro Stock Championship JOLIET, Ill., Oct. 1, 2005 - Pontiac Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson seems to be getting hot at just the right time of...

Anderson Keeps Momentum With No. 1 Qualifier at Chicago

Pontiac Driver Looking For Third Consecutive Pro Stock Championship

JOLIET, Ill., Oct. 1, 2005 - Pontiac Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson seems to be getting hot at just the right time of the season as he seeks his third consecutive NHRA POWERade championship. The 2003-04 Pro Stock champ posted his fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season for tomorrow's eliminations at the 5th annual Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Anderson had a track-record elapsed time of 6.646 seconds at 207.27 mph to take the point on the quickest Pro Stock field in NHRA history, and he continues the momentum gained from his four wins in the last five races to open up a 176-point lead over second-place Kurt Johnson in the Pro Stock driver's standings. He'll be seeking a win tomorrow at the only track on the current schedule where the two-time champion has never posted a win.

"This gives you a lot of confidence when you come up here and run like we're running," said Anderson. "I feel very confident right now. You can't get overconfident, but that confidence always seems to do a lot for me. It helped me a lot last year, and hopefully it will continue through the weekend. Hopefully when can get this one off our checklist, our "to do" list, to get a win here and really put the pressure on those guys points-wise. But I love racing here, and I have no excuse why I haven't been able to run here before. I love the racetrack and we always run good here. We just need to forget that we haven't done it, go out and act like it's another racetrack and try and get it done on Sunday."

Anderson was as low as 10th in the driver points standings after his first-round loss in the second race of the season at Phoenix, but the Minnesota native has methodically worked his way back up the ladder and enters tomorrow's eliminations with six wins in eight final rounds this season.

"When we got these GTOs, we took off. It's back to the feeling we had last year. I've got that GTO to thank for it. That's what's bailed me out this year. You've seen a lot of guys out here flying with it. They're loving 'em. Everybody that's got a new GTO or Cobalt is happy as heck right now. It's just a sleeker piece. GM spent a lot of time and money designing the car and really thought it out well. It's very, very impressive. It's better down through the wind and there's a lot less drag to the car. It's got a great balance to it and handles just like a dream. They're just about easy to drive when you get on a decent racetrack like this because of the balance of the car is so good, and that's all because of the body dimensions. It's just helped us tremendously on every part of the racetrack."

Anderson's teammate Jason Line qualified his Pontiac GTO No. 2 on the grid with an elapsed time of 6.663 seconds at a track-record speed of 208.17 mph. Other Pontiac qualifiers included Warren Johnson in eighth, Jim Yates (9th) and Mike Edwards 13th.

Erica Enders continues to show a late-season surge as she was the highest-qualified Chevrolet, qualifying her Chevy Cobalt fifth with an elapsed time of 6.670 seconds at 206.48 mph. Chevrolet drivers joining her in the quickest Pro Stock field in NHRA history were Kurt Johnson (10th), Dave Connolly (11th), Ron Krisher (12th), Greg Stanfield (15th) and Dave Howard (16th).

Funny Car drivers also assembled the quickest field in NHRA history with Cruz and Tony Pedregon showing the way in their Chevy Monte Carlos. Cruz claimed the top spot with an elapsed time of 4.680 seconds at 330.80 mph. Tony had to settle for the No. 2 starting spot with an identical 4.680 seconds but a slower speed of 320.36 mph. Tommy Johnson Jr. was next in the Chevy camp qualifying fourth, followed by fellow Chevy qualifiers Del Worsham (6th), Illinois native Tim Wilkerson (11th), and Mike Ashley, Tony Bartone and Gary Densham in 14th-16th, respectively.

Being No. 1 is great but the win is the thing," said Pedregon. "That's why we're out here. Any one of us would trade all the low qualifiers we got for a win any day. It's nice to get the money and it's cool to go into race day as the favorite, but we all know that No. 1 doesn't have any more guarantees to win than any other car in the field."

Tony Schumacher established a new national record as No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel with an elapsed time of 4.437 seconds at a speed of 331.77 mph. Cory McClenathan was next in line in second with an elapsed time of 4.466 seconds and 328.14 mph, and Larry Dixon is qualified seventh.

-gm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Tony Bartone , Del Worsham , Tony Schumacher , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Gary Densham , Cory McClenathan , Greg Stanfield , Tim Wilkerson , Jason Line , Mike Ashley , Dave Howard , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.