Anderson now turns focus to Maple Grove Raceway MOHNTON, Penn. (September 27, 2006) -- Greg Anderson, who along with teammate Jason Line drive identical KB Racing LLC/Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Pontiac GTOs, looks to use the weather...
Anderson now turns focus to Maple Grove Raceway
MOHNTON, Penn. (September 27, 2006) -- Greg Anderson, who along with teammate Jason Line drive identical KB Racing LLC/Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Pontiac GTOs, looks to use the weather conditions at Maple Grove Raceway, near Reading, Penn., as the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to rerun the rain-delayed NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals. This second edition of this event will be run Friday through Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
Two weekends ago, relentless rains forced the postponement of the event. The advance weather forecast for this three-day weekend calls for cool temperatures, with daytime highs in the 60s, and cloudy skies. A slight chance of rain (20 to 40 percent) is mentioned on all three days.
Since 1985 (when the NHRA first visited this venue for a national event), the national elapsed time record in Pro Stock has been set at Maple Grove Raceway five times and the speed record once - the most recent for both was in October 2001. The 20 points earned for setting a national elapsed time record could come into play at this event and would be a welcome reward for drivers battling for a championship in the hotly contested Pro Stock category.
"If the rain stays away that could be record setting conditions this weekend," said Anderson as his focus shifted from the event last weekend in Dallas to the Toyo Tires Nationals. "That's promising and the thought of 20 extra points for a national elapsed time record is inviting."
Last weekend at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex, near Dallas, Anderson collected the No. 1 qualifying position in Pro Stock, but made a surprising early exit during eliminations when he lost on a holeshot to No. 16 qualifier Dave Northrop in the opening round.
"I don't know what happened, but I do know that we missed an opportunity... I've got to come back and do better next time. We're still in the running to win our fourth POWERade championship," said Anderson following that first round loss to Northrop at Dallas.
"Our Summit Pontiacs are doing great. We don't need to panic. We just need to concentrate better at Reading and all the rest of the races. Although my brain went into shutdown mode [at Dallas], we've been doing a good job of staying focused over the last few races. I've got confidence and the cars are going to be good. We'll be fine. We do our job and it will be difficult for anyone to catch these KB Racing cars."
Looking back at Anderson's 2006 season through 19 of 23 races on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, one would find that Anderson has now earned 11 No. 1 qualifying positions, including the last five in a row. Combined with teammate Line, the pair has accounted for 15 No. 1s in 19 races in 2006 and has qualified 1-2 at six events this season, with Anderson being No. 1 four times and Line twice.
Anderson has now collected 51 No. 1 career qualifying spots. That number puts the Minnesota-born driver, who now calls North Carolina home, in special company -- he joins six other profession drivers, Pro Stock drivers Warren Johnson (135) and Bob Glidden (101), and fuel drivers John Force (131), Kenny Bernstein (66), Joe Amato (56), and Don Prudhomme (52) that have recorded over 50 top qualifying spots in the history of the sport.
Anderson holds the most No. 1s in a single season -- he had 16 No. 1s (6 consecutive) in the 23-race 2004 season. (Note: For the record, the legendary Bob Glidden had 14 consecutive No. 1s in the 14-race 1987 season and actually ran off 23 consecutive #1 spots from Englishtown 1986 through the Winternationals in 1988. Glidden also ran off a streak of 15 in a row from Englishtown of 1978 through the final race of 1979. He qualified # 1 at all 10 races in 1979.) The leaders in No. 1s in the other Pro categories are: Top Fuel -- Tony Schumacher (11 in 2005), Funny Car -- John Force (13 in 1996), and Pro Stock Motorcycle -- Matt Hines (11 in 1998).
Anderson holds the Maple Grove Raceway track record for speed at 206.67 mph, which he set in October of 2004. He won here last year when he defeated Jim Yates. He also has two No 1s at Reading (2003 and 2004).
Coming into the Toyo Tires Nationals this weekend, Anderson, second in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point standings, is trailing Line, who leads the standings, by 78 points. Dave Connolly in third, who trails Line by 140 points, is just 62 points behind Anderson. Anderson knows that he still has this race and three others to make up the difference on his teammate.