Greg Anderson's Pontiac Grand Am Low Qualifier at Maple Grove READING, Pa., Oct. 4, 2003 - Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson earned his 11th low qualifier of the season today at Maple Grove Raceway by piloting his Pontiac Grand Am to...
Greg Anderson's Pontiac Grand Am Low Qualifier at Maple Grove
READING, Pa., Oct. 4, 2003 - Pro Stock points leader Greg Anderson earned his 11th low qualifier of the season today at Maple Grove Raceway by piloting his Pontiac Grand Am to both ends of the track record with a run of 6.743 seconds at 204.39 seconds. It marked the 14th career No. 1 qualifying start for Anderson and the 16th time this year that the 42-year-old North Carolinian has qualified at least second or better.
"Our Grand Am ran much better today than the last time we were here," said Anderson. "We went up to the line a little conservative, we were a little too soft on the clutch and I really think we could have been quicker. Still, it was a clean, smooth pass and now that we have a one lap under our belt we know what the track will give us. We also know that we can step it up a little and get after it."
With nine national-event victories already in the bank this year (two wins shy of the NHRA Pro Stock record of 11 in one season), Anderson starts tomorrow's eliminator with his Pontiac SC/T Grand on a performance rampage, capturing four of the last six races and advancing to the finals at the last six consecutive events.
If Anderson's performance numbers hold through four rounds of eliminations on Sunday, it will be the ninth time this season (Chicago twice) that the purple Pontiac has set track-records in elapsed time and the 11th time (Chicago twice) in top speed.
"I never envisioned us running as well as we have this year," said Anderson. "It just goes to show you just how good this team's been. I have to pinch myself sometimes. We seem to finish strong at every event and we're hoping we can continue that for the rest of the year. Winning the championship is our primary goal but we'd also like to get the win record. I really feel good about it right now. Our Pontiac Grand Am is running great and there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to do that, as long as we don't do something dumb. We're feeling very confident.
"This is an outstanding team -- everybody gets along great, everybody does their job, everybody knows just exactly needs to be done. We're all working in the same direction and that's what it takes to be in contention for a championship."
Jeg Coughlin, who was the No. 1 qualifier coming into today's final two rounds of time trials, will start tomorrow from the No. 3 spot, the quickest Chevy Cavalier in the field. Coughlin's Cavalier ran 6.760 seconds at 203.03 mph. Troy Coughlin's Chevrolet is qualified fourth.
George Marnell is qualified in the No. 7 spot and Bruce Allen is in the No. 8 position -both drivers in Pontiac SC/T Grand Ams.
"We've been tweaking the setup on this Grand Am for quite awhile," said Marnell. "In Chicago we were really close and if we would have had all four runs, I'm sure we would have been in much better shape. We're right on the verge of figuring out what this new Pontiac wants and every run we keep getting closer and closer. I'm not shocked to see this car run a 6.78 and running towards the front of the pack - there was still probably a hundred and a half left in it. I'm really proud of my team and the effort they've put forward to get this car sorted out. We spun the tire all the way through third and fourth gear. It was far from a perfect pass but with the conditions we had to deal with I think this team did an outstanding job."