Greg Anderson's Pontiac rolls to 13th low qualifying start. LAS VEGAS, Oct. 25, 2003 -- With the 2003 NHRA championship safely in hand, Pontiac's Greg Anderson continued his year-long performance barrage by capturing his 13th No. 1 qualifying...
Greg Anderson's Pontiac rolls to 13th low qualifying start.
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 25, 2003 -- With the 2003 NHRA championship safely in hand, Pontiac's Greg Anderson continued his year-long performance barrage by capturing his 13th No. 1 qualifying spot of the season today at the ACDelco Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Anderson's SC/T Grand Am rocketed to the top Pro Stock starting position with a track-record elapsed time of 6.866 seconds at 200.44 mph. Anderson's teammate, Jason Line has a 2003 Pontiac SC/T Grand Am qualified in the No. 2 spot.
"It just goes to show what kind of team we have," said Anderson. "The depth of the personnel, the quality of our equipment and an outstanding team owner, we have the best of everything so there's no excuse for us not to do well. The potential is there for this Pontiac Grand Am to run great every weekend and it's a great feeling when you do. To be the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas in Ken's (team-owner Ken Black) hometown makes it extra special. It's important for us to run well here and so far we're right on schedule.
"Bringing out the second car is a tremendous undertaking for us. We think we're prepared to do it, but it's going to be twice the work, twice the expenditure and it's a big piece to bite off. We have the right people in place to do it though, and in the long run having the second Pontiac will make our program even better. By watching others over the years I think I've learned how to do it right, and right now I'm just ecstatic about Jason's (Line) performance as a driver. He'll be a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year next season."
It has been a storied season for the driver of the Vegas General Construction Pontiac. Going into tomorrow's eliminator the 42-year-old Anderson has won 10 eliminators, raced in 13 final rounds and posted a 22-race qualifying average position of 1.82. Anderson's Grand Am has qualified second or better 17 times this season and third or better at every race this year with the exception of the season-opening Winternationals at Pomona.
"It's been an absolutely great year for us, but keep in mind that we've only been fractions ahead of the rest of the field," said Anderson. "We have maybe an advantage of a hundredth, and all that guarantees you is that everyone else will work harder over the winter to catch us. We're just one small click ahead of the pack. What's worked for us has been consistency, and if you can run quick every time you've got a pretty good shot of being at the front."
Anderson also has 59 round wins in 2003 and can become just the fourth professional driver in NHRA history to accumulate 60 or more in a season. Anderson also needs to collect just three more round victories to tie Jeg Coughlin Jr. for most wins in a single season by a Pro Stock driver (62) set in 2000, and six round wins to tie John Force's all-time record (65) for a professional competitor set in 1996.
"We all do this to win, rounds, races and championships," said Anderson. "The more you win he more you want - it's addictive. We work hard all year and it seems that the better we do, the harder we work. No one on this team is a slacker.
"It's going to make it extra harder to back up next year what we did this year," said Anderson. "We'll give it a hard push for these last two races and get ready to do it all over again, working to get off on the right foot when the season starts next year.
Leading Chevrolet's red bow tie brigade this weekend is Kurt Johnson who qualified the ACDelco Cavalier in the No. 3 spot with a 6.886 e.t. at 199.88 mph.
Bruce Allen is qualified in the fourth spot in a Pontiac Grand Am, Jeg Coughlin Jr. is fifth in a Chevrolet, Troy Coughlin is sixth in a Chevrolet, Jim Yates is seventh in a Pontiac and Ron Krisher is eighth in a Chevrolet.
Qualifying highlights for the ACDelco Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, Oct. 25, beginning at 11 p.m. Early eliminator coverage will be telecast on ESPN on Sunday, Oct. 26, starting at 5 p.m. with final-round coverage beginning at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. All times Eastern. You can also listen to Sunday's broadcast by going to NHRA.com.