Points foremost on Anderson's mind over last five races MOHNTON, Penn. (September 12, 2006) -- After breaking out of a period he called "not up to KB Racing standards" at O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) in Indianapolis, a track that has been his ...
Points foremost on Anderson's mind over last five races
MOHNTON, Penn. (September 12, 2006) -- After breaking out of a period he called "not up to KB Racing standards" at O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) in Indianapolis, a track that has been his personal playground since around the start of the new millennium, Greg Anderson now turns his full attention to the POWERade Pro Stock point championship and winning the NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway, near Reading, Penn.
"I truly believe that every time I pull this Summit Racing Pontiac to the starting line I can win," said Anderson. "But I also believe that due to the success we've had over the last few years that we have elevated the performance of the other teams and as a side effect the teams that elected to put the same efforts into their programs as we have over the past years have narrowed the gap between us and them. It makes for better and closer racing, but now it will be up to us at KB Racing to regain the dominance we have exhibited over the past few years."
Looking back at Anderson's 2006 season through 18 of 23 races on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, one would find that Anderson has earned 10 No. 1 qualifying positions, including the last four in a row. He has had his KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO in five final rounds, winning two.
These are statistics that most other Pro Stock drivers only dream about. His career statistics may be even more impressive. Anderson has collected 50 No. 1 qualifying spots and has been to the winner's circle 41 times since 2001. His 50 No. 1s puts him in a very select group -- he joins six other profession drivers, Pro Stock drivers Bob Glidden (101) and Warren Johnson (135), Joe Amato (56), Kenny Bernstein (66), John Force (130), and Don Prudhomme (52) that have recorded 50 or more top qualifying spots in the history of the sport. His 41 wins place him eighth on the all-time professional winners list and third behind Warren Johnson (96) and Bob Glidden (85) in Pro Stock.
At the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals over Labor Day weekend, Anderson won the race in dominating fashion, running low elapsed time in every round of eliminations collecting his fourth consecutive Indy title and fifth in six final rounds since 1998. He became only the third Pro Stock driver to have four consecutive wins at ORP in Indianapolis. Bob Glidden accomplished the feat from 1985-1988 and Warren Johnson duplicated Glidden's effort from 1992-1995.
"Our car has been responding over the last few races and Indy was the breakthrough races that I hope will get us back to the top of the pack in the POWERade point battle very soon. I hope that we are able to continue to have the car perform at Reading and the final four races after that, like it performed at the Indy race."
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, who is seeking a fourth consecutive NHRA POWERade championship, is trailing teammate Jason Line, who leads the Pro Stock point standing, by 59 points. Anderson knows that he has five races to make up the difference.
"It's very important that I win the championship this year and I'm not sure I have the exact reason why," said Anderson, who has won the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock championship for the last three seasons consecutively (2003-2005). "I have a lot of pride in what I do here and a lot of pride in the team I've got here. I don't know, I guess it because of all the past success we've had, I almost expect to win.
"It may be wrong of me to feel that way but I expect a lot out of myself and I know I've got great equipment, great people who work on my car, and a great team owner in Ken Black. I have all the ingredients that it takes to win. I don't have any excuses for not winning, to be honest. For that reason you want to put all those tools to good use and make sure you win. For numerous reasons, not from lack of effort or anything like that, and certainly not from lack of equipment, lack of facilities, and lack of resources, I'm sitting second going into these last five races.
"But I'm a firm believer that you create your own luck and that's what we have to do over the next five races. It's just a matter of approaching the next five races in a calm matter. The win at Indy certainly helped us calm things down, because we now have a trip to the winner's circle as we approach these final five races and have pulled ourselves closer to the top spot.
"The team is certainly not in shambles or anything like that. After all, we got a team car driven by my teammate Jason Line and he's leading the points, which proves the team is still doing its usual great job. Racing Jason is like running my own car. Both cars are prepared as close to identical as possible.
"Unfortunately there can only be one winner and we've got two great cars in these Summit Pontiacs. As I said early, I've got a lot of pride in what I do and what I've accomplished and I want to keep on winning as long as I can. You're darn right, I would like to have that fourth championship in a row because it's such a short list of drivers that have done that.
"I guess I shouldn't worry about records like that, but it sure would be nice to have that distinction. It would give me a better feeling going into the off season. After such an accomplishment, it makes you want to go back to the shop and work harder for next year. Success drives me."
Qualifying for Anderson and his KB Racing LLC/Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Pontiac GTO begins with two Pro Stock sessions on Friday, Sept. 15, scheduled for 2 and 5 p.m. and concludes with two additional Pro Stock sessions on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Anderson begins his quest for the Toyo Tires Nationals Pro Stock title on Sunday, Sept. 17, with eliminations for all classes beginning at 11 a.m. All times are local Reading time (ET) and subject to change at anytime.
-credit: kb racing