Anderson Scores a Decisive Win at NHRA Season Finale Pomona, CA, November 15, 2009 -- After struggling to find the handle on his race car during qualifying, Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team made a remarkable turnaround on...
Anderson Scores a Decisive Win at NHRA Season Finale
Pomona, CA, November 15, 2009 -- After struggling to find the handle on his race car during qualifying, Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team made a remarkable turnaround on Sunday, powering their way to the win at the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, CA. Starting from the fourth position, Anderson used consecutive 6.5-second runs to defeat David Northrop, Greg Stanfield and 2009 Pro Stock champion Mike Edwards in the early rounds before squaring off against friend and rival Kurt Johnson in the final in a replay of last year's championship round.
In a somewhat ironic twist, the result was also the same as it was a year ago, with Johnson leaving the starting line 17/1000ths of a second early, lighting the red-light and handing the automatic win to Anderson. The KB Racing driver then punctuated his winning performance by making his best run of the weekend, tripping the finish line timers in 6.564-seconds with a booming 210.70 mph top speed. It was the 60th national event win of Anderson's career, third of the 2009 season and ninth at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
"It was a great day all around for the Summit Racing team," said Anderson. "We certainly learned from Jason's (teammate Line) car and applied it to mine today, making a lot of changes to get it closer to Jason's. As a result, we not only improved mine substantially, but we also got his car even better yet. That's the true benefit of having two cars to learn from in our KB Racing camp.
"I had a great hot rod, one that was capable of winning the race. It also gave me lane choice over Mike Edwards in the semis, which I believe was the decision-maker. Without lane choice, I'm not sure I could have gotten around him. Like most of us, he struggled in that right lane, and we were able to take advantage of it. We got that because of performance, so my hat's off to my Summit Racing crew --they gave me the ability to get the lane choice that eventually won us the race. It's just a tremendous feeling to win the last race of the year.
"It makes us feel good to finally show what we can do. We had the two best cars today, and in reality, it should have been an all-Summit final, but we'll be satisfied with winning the race. It takes the total package to win in Pro Stock, with everything being perfect from the engine and car to the set-up and how it applies the power to the racetrack, as well as the driver. Without any one of them being at the very top of their game, you're an also-ran. We found the bulls-eye today in all categories, and ended the day in the winner's circle."
Today's win was Anderson's ninth at the Auto Club Raceway, tying him with his former mentor Warren Johnson for the most by an active Pro Stock driver. In addition, the KB Racing teammates have now combined to win the last four races at the Pomona quarter-mile. Despite this phenomenal record of success, the three-time champion could not really pinpoint the reason.
"I don't know what it is about Pomona -- I really wish I could tell you why we do so well here," said Anderson. "I've always liked this racetrack, and that comes from our being able to adapt to the surface really well. For whatever reason, it seems to fall into our race set-up, and we're usually able to get our cars right here, which is not always the case at other tracks. I certainly wouldn't mind having more races out here, but I'm not sure everyone else would agree."
Naturally, Anderson was quick to acknowledge the invaluable support of his team owners and his sponsors who made today's performance possible.
"Of course, we could not do this without the help of some tremendous people, and we're lucky to be associated with a great bunch," said Anderson. "Therefore, I'd like to thank our team owners Ken, Judy and Kenny Black, as well as everyone at Summit Racing Equipment for their support. I also want to acknowledge Red Line Oil, Wilson Manifolds and our friends at General Motors for everything you've done for us over the years. We are certainly proud to represent you.
Finally, with the 2009 Full Throttle season officially in the books, Anderson turned his attention towards next year. Although they will certainly celebrate today's victory, preparation for next season will begin in earnest once they return home to their shop in North Carolina. After all, this team prides themselves on setting the bar high.
"Certainly we're thrilled to win today, but doing it three or four times a year is not enough," said Anderson. "That's what we're going to work on during the winter, finding the consistency and matching our Summit Pontiacs to the racing surface at every event, not just a half-dozen or so.
"We have a lot of work to do, but we're going home happy with this little morale booster, and eager to get to work trying to get a gap of our own on Mike Edwards and everyone else. We're going to go to the banquet tomorrow night and congratulate Mike and his team on a job well done. After that, we'll go home and start studying, because we're really looking forward to next year."