Las Vegas: GM Racing Saturday summary

Greg Anderson's Pontiac SC/T Grand Am captures top qualifying spot. LAS VEGAS, April 5, 2003 - Pontiac SC/T Grand Am driver Greg Anderson survived two additional rounds of Pro Stock time trials today to earn his first No. 1 qualifying spot of...

Greg Anderson's Pontiac SC/T Grand Am captures top qualifying spot.

LAS VEGAS, April 5, 2003 - Pontiac SC/T Grand Am driver Greg Anderson survived two additional rounds of Pro Stock time trials today to earn his first No. 1 qualifying spot of the season at the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Anderson guided his 2003 Pontiac to track records in elapsed time and speed last night with a run of 6.880 seconds at 201.28 mph, good enough to give the current NHRA POWERade points leader his fourth career raceday pole.

"I have a great racecar - this Pontiac is outstanding," said Anderson. "I thought I had a great racecar last year, and I switched over to the Grand Am before the start of the season. It's a better racecar already in just four races. I've got so many great things going for me that I'm on top of the world.

"The reasons for our success this year start right at the top. My team owners, Ken Black and Ken Black Jr., they're the best in the business. My engine builders are the best there is and I feel that my car guys are tops. We have the full package right now. We have a well-rounded team and I expect to continue going forward with this project. We've been gaining every race and I don't expect that to stop."

It is Anderson's first No. 1 qualifying spot since last year's Fram Nationals in Sonoma, Calif. His best effort so far this season was a No. 2 qualifying position two weeks ago at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. It is also the third time this season that a Pontiac SC/T Grand Am has started Sunday eliminations from the lead spot.

"It's been such a pleasant weekend compared to the DNQ-weekend we had here last October," said Anderson. "We ran a 6.88 on the last run tonight and almost 201 mph. That's pretty close to last night's pace in conditions that are a little bit more adverse. We're still a little off in low gear, so there's room to improve and that's a good feeling to know. We've had four runs and we haven't fixed that part of it yet, but the motor is running absolutely great and this Pontiac Grand Am is just beautiful to drive.

"You qualify No. 1, you run great and you come out tomorrow and have the world champion in the first round. You know good and well that Jeg Coughlin's going to be right in the thick of the competition because he is a champion. There's no room for error, you can't ever let up and there's never an easy round. It's going to be a knock-down, drag-out war all day tomorrow."

Kurt Johnson's ACDelco Chevrolet Cavalier continues to keep pace with Anderson in the POWERade points battle. The red, white and blue 2003 Chevrolet ended time trials in the No. 2 spot after running 6.883 seconds at 200.74 mph, and continues to maintain a steady, consistent cadence.

Johnson was the winner two weeks ago at the Mac Tools Gatornationals, and heading into Sunday eliminations, trails Anderson by just 42 points. It is also Johnson's best starting position of the season.

"We're pretty pleased," said Johnson. "But this class continues to get crazier and crazier. Now we're down to dissecting every little thousandth of a second. You slow down a few thousandths here, pick up a few thousandths there and sometimes it can come down to something as simple as lane choice. You take all of your information, pack it together, evaluate it and make your best call. We made a good run in both sessions today, and to be honest, we're just happy to be in the top 16 right now."

Warren Johnson is qualified in the No. 4 spot in a Grand Am, Bruce Allen improves to the No. 5 position in a Grand Am, Mark Whisnant is sixth in a Cavalier, V. Gaines is seventh in a Cavalier and Mike Edwards is 10th in a Grand Am. Ron Krisher is qualified 12th and Jeg Coughlin is 16th. The bump is 6.925 seconds and the margin between No. 1 and No. 16 is .045 second. There are 12 GM cars in the 16-car field.

-gm racing-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Bruce Allen , Mark Whisnant , Ken Black , Mike Edwards