Greg Anderson's Pontiac Grand Am Takes 15th Pro Stock Pole of 2004 READING, Pa., Oct. 9, 2004 - Even though Greg Anderson clinched his second straight NHRA POWERade Pro Stock championship two weeks ago at the Texas Motorplex, the driver of the...
Greg Anderson's Pontiac Grand Am Takes 15th Pro Stock Pole of 2004
READING, Pa., Oct. 9, 2004 - Even though Greg Anderson clinched his second straight NHRA POWERade Pro Stock championship two weeks ago at the Texas Motorplex, the driver of the Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am has refused to slow down. Last weekend in Joliet, Ill., the 43-year-old Anderson set both ends of the national record with a blistering run of 6.661 seconds at 207.75 mph. Today at Maple Grove Raceway, Anderson earned his 15th low qualifying award of the season with a track-record elapsed time of 6.693 seconds at 205.57 mph and tied Warren Johnson for most pole positions in a single season by a professional driver.
"The track record and the low qualifying award are two more accomplishments for this Summit Racing Pontiac team," said Anderson. "And it certainly feels good especially with the way the rest of the field has caught up to us. It's hard right now to get a leg up on these guys, to get low E.T., to win races, to qualify No. 1. It's nothing like it was early in the season when almost all we had to do was show up, drive our Pontiac Grand Am down the track and we had the pole. Times have changed. We have to fight and claw for every thousandth of a second we can get and this race team has proven all year that they have been up to the challenge."
For the second straight visit to Maple Grove Raceway, Anderson's Pontiac Grand Am will start eliminations from the No. 1 qualifying spot. It was the 32nd career pole for Anderson and the 20th time this year that he's qualified third or better. In the 15 races this season that Anderson has started from the lead position, his Pontiac Grand Am has won 10 events and advanced to the final round 12 times.
"We're happy to set the track record," said Anderson. "It's going to be great racing tomorrow. I feel great about the pole and tying the record, but it doesn't do too much for tomorrow. We're going to have to find a way to get even better."
Anderson teammate Jason Line is qualified in the No. 2 position in a Pontiac Grand Am with a run of 6.695 seconds at 205.54 mph. Mike Edwards had another strong qualifying effort in the Young Life Pontiac. Edwards will start tomorrow's eliminator from the No. 4 spot with a 6.707 e.t. at 204.73 mph. It is the fourth straight contest that the Oklahoma native has qualified sixth or better.
"We continue to get a better handle on this racecar and the results are that the Young Life Pontiac is becoming more competitive as the season goes along," said Edwards. "Frank Iaconio continues to provide this Grand Am with outstanding horsepower and now I need to do my job tomorrow. A top-10 finish would sure mean a lot to everyone on this Young Life team. We've done that every year since I've been racing and it would be a disappointment if we didn't accomplish that."
Steve Johns is qualified in the No. 7 spot with a 6.715 second run at 205.22 mph, and he has the quickest Chevy Cavalier in the 16-car Pro Stock field. Jeg Coughlin is qualified ninth, Dave Connolly is 10th, Rickie Smith is 11th, Ron Krisher is 12th, Mark Whisnant is 14th and Kurt Johnson is 16th - all in Chevy Cavaliers. Bruce Allen will start Sunday's eliminator from the 13th position and Mark Pawuk is 15th - both in Pontiac Grand Ams.
In Funny Car, Ron Capps No. 3 starting effort was the best this weekend from the Chevy Monte Carlo contingency. Capps' Chevrolet had its strongest effort in time trials since the Summit Racing Nationals in Las Vegas in April, and posted a 4.777 e.t. at 321.04 mph.
CSK Chevrolet driver Del Worsham held the pole coming into today's final qualifying rounds but had to settle for the sixth spot after running 4.800 seconds at 319.82 mph.
"This Chevy Monte Carlo wants to do nothing but go down the track, which is very nice," said Worsham. "And it's not edgy so I feel pretty confident when we want to lean on it a little. We'll just be smart tomorrow, and try to take everything the track will give us. We'll race the track tomorrow, and whoever is in the other lane will just have to beat what we put up there if they want to advance."
Tim Wilkerson is qualified seventh, Cruz Pedregon is eighth, Tony Pedregon is ninth, Tommy Johnson Jr. is 10 and Phil Burkart is 13th - all in Chevy Monte Carlos.
The rescheduled Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is the 21st race on the 23-event NHRA POWERade tour. Final eliminations will be telecast on ESPN2 on Monday, Oct. 11, beginning at 5 p.m., and again on Sunday, Oct. 17 starting at 7 p.m. (All times Eastern)
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