READING, Penn., August 18, 2007 - Two-time defending event champion Greg Anderson got an impressive start to a Pro Stock win here at Maple Grove Raceway for the third year in a row by holding on to the No. 1 qualifying spot for tomorrow's ...
READING, Penn., August 18, 2007 - Two-time defending event champion Greg Anderson got an impressive start to a Pro Stock win here at Maple Grove Raceway for the third year in a row by holding on to the No. 1 qualifying spot for tomorrow's eliminations at the 23rd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals. He drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to a track-record elapsed time of 6.583 seconds at a track-record speed 209.88 mph for his 10th No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 61st of his career. In a rare first-round match-up, Anderson will face defending POWERade Pro Stock champion and teammate Jason Line who qualified 16th. Dave Connolly in his Torco Racing Fuels/Seelye Wright Chevy Cobalt was the highest-qualified Chevy with an elapsed time of 6.606 seconds at 208.75 mph, good for No. 2 qualifying position for tomorrow's eliminations.
"Like I said yesterday, I thought things were going to get better today, but I had no idea how good it was going to get," Anderson said. "When we came out this morning and saw the barometer had jumped up four tenths and the humidity had dried up from 60 percent to 20 percent, we knew it was going to be a good day. That's when you've got to make some serious changes and hope you're right, otherwise you might not be in the show because the cars are going to pick up a ton.
"That's what happened on the first run, we hit it on the bull's-eye. But we missed it with Jason's car twice today and he's lucky to be qualified. The bad news is instead of being (Nos.) 1 and 2 like we were last night, we're (Nos.) 1 and 16. The good news is he is 16th and not 17th. We can cry all we want, but we made our own bed and we've got to deal with it. We've got to race first round tomorrow and one of us is going on. I hope it's me and he hopes it's him, but it should be great. We'll have his car fixed for tomorrow, I'm sure of that. It won't be a one-sided affair."
In Funny Car, Del Worsham in the Checker Schuck's Kragen Chevy Impala SS held on to yesterday's provisional pole to claim his first No. 1 qualifier of the season. In last night's evening session Worsham had an elapsed time of 4.800 seconds at 323.97 mph and held on in today's two rounds of qualifying for the fourth No. 1 qualifier of his career. Ironically, like Anderson, he will also face a teammate in Jeff Arend in tomorrow's first round as he pursues the eighth and final spot for the next segment of the Countdown to the Championship.
"Coming into the weekend, I'm not going to say I totally lost hope on making the Countdown," Worsham said, "but I just kind of put it out of my mind since we've been worrying about it for months and it's been driving me crazy. Enough is enough. But after the No. 1 qualifier yesterday, I started looking again like maybe there's something here. It's going to take a miraculous day and everything's got to be perfect (for us to move into eighth in the standings). We can only control what we do, but I'm excited. We just have to win the race, it's just that simple.
"The car is solid. It's mechanically good and it doesn't hurt parts anymore. It's making nice runs and we're competitive again. That's exciting to me. I'm sure for the rest of the season it's going to be exciting because we have a good race car and we get to race again. We only have four No. 1 qualifiers ever and I've been driving 17 years almost to the date. To have 21 wins and (just) four No. 1 qualifiers, that's pretty crazy, but that's how our career has gone."
-credit: gm racing