Las Vegas: GM Racing eliminations summary

Greg Anderson notches Vegas Victory for Pontiac SC/T Grand Am. LAS VEGAS, April 6, 2003 - Greg Anderson put another notch in the victory column for Pontiac today at the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Anderson drove an...

Greg Anderson notches Vegas Victory for Pontiac SC/T Grand Am.

LAS VEGAS, April 6, 2003 - Greg Anderson put another notch in the victory column for Pontiac today at the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Anderson drove an SC/T Grand Am to his second win of the season by defeating Chevy Cavalier driver Kurt Johnson in an all-GM final round, giving Pontiac its third Pro Stock win in 2003.

"We've already tested here three times this year and we were focussed on doing well this weekend," explained Anderson. "We've tested at other places for other races too, but after last October's DNQ debacle, we definitely had something to prove. It just goes to show you what hard work and a good team can do when we put our minds together.

"We've worked hard on the engine department, and basically, every race we've been to this year we've gotten a little better. To know this Grand Am is running at the top of the pack and could win any race we go to is a very good feeling."

Anderson entered today's eliminator qualified in the No. 1 position, his first in 2003. In a round one win over Jeg Coughlin, Anderson reset the elapsed-time track record with a run of 6.875 seconds. He defeated Barry Grant in round two and Warren Johnson in round three. In the championship heat against Johnson's Cavalier, Anderson's Pontiac launched first and streaked across the finish line in 6.907 seconds at 200.95 mph, holding off KJ's 6.896 elapsed time at 201.10 mph. It's the first time a No. 1 qualifier has won in Pro Stock since Jim Yates did it last September in Reading, Pa.

"We made one little slip up in the semifinals, lost lane choice and my heart just sunk," said Anderson. "I thought we had wasted the whole weekend on that deal. Somehow we dug down, got down that lane in the finals and came out on top. It was a miracle the way we got down that lane - no one even came close to doing that all day. It says so much about my team and my Pontiac Grand Am.

"Every race I've been to with the new Grand Am it's gone down every track regardless of how bad the lane was. Knowing we had that potential in the racecar gave me back some needed confidence. We could have been racing down a gravel road and that Grand Am would've been superb."

It was the sixth career victory in 14 final rounds for the 42-year-old Anderson. He remains in first place in the POWERade Pro Stock standings with 383 points and stretches his lead over second-place Kurt Johnson to 63 points.

"It's very early so you can't count out Warren (Johnson), you can't count out Jeggie (Coughlin), you can't count out Bruce Allen, you can't count out a lot of guys," said Anderson. "They're going to be there before it's all said and done. But it's a good feeling to know, that together with Kurt, we're at the top of the standings.

"We're pretty confident that we have some other cards to play that should come to the surface in the next three or four months. We can definitely go forward from here. I didn't expect for us to be at this point this early in the season. We're way ahead of schedule and I'm pumped."

For Kurt Johnson, it was his second consecutive final round coming on the heals of his most recent win two weeks ago at the Gatornationals. It also marked the ACDelco Chevy Cavalier driver's 42nd career final-round appearance. In his round two win over Gene Wilson, Johnson's Chevrolet set a track-record top speed of 201.73 mph.

"We had originally planned to be a little more aggressive on our setup," said Johnson. "Unfortunately, we underestimated the condition of the right-hand lane and figured Greg would run a 6.94 or 6.95. Our ACDelco Chevy Cavalier had been consistent and fast all weekend, and had another 6.89 in the final. But we were tripped up by an .051 light.

"We certainly wanted to win, but are still happy with going to the final. However, when you're the quicker car and you don't get the trophy, it's a real disappointment. Fortunately, we'll be racing next weekend, so we'll quickly put today behind us and get after them in Houston."

The next stop is the 16th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals on April 10 - 13 at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Tex.

-gm racing-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Gene Wilson , Bruce Allen