Anderson's Pontiac Grand Am Wins Second Straight At Pacific Raceways KENT, Wash., July 25, 2004 - Greg Anderson's 11th win of the season today at the 17th annual Car Quest Nationals at Pacific Raceways continued the Summit Racing Pontiac Grand...
Anderson's Pontiac Grand Am Wins Second Straight At Pacific Raceways
KENT, Wash., July 25, 2004 - Greg Anderson's 11th win of the season today at the 17th annual Car Quest Nationals at Pacific Raceways continued the Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am driver on his biennial victory barrage and moved him closer to a second consecutive POWERade championship. Anderson defeated Chevy Cavalier driver Dave Connolly in an all-GM final-round, and gave Pontiac its 138th all-time win in NHRA Pro Stock competition, the most by any manufacturer in the 50-plus year history of the series.
Anderson and his Pontiac Grand Am entered Sunday eliminations qualified in the No. 2 position. He defeated Bruce Allen in round one, Mike Edwards in round two and V. Gaines in round three before facing Connolly in the finals. With air temperatures almost 20 degrees cooler than in the previous two days of time trials, Anderson's GM-powered Grand Am capitalized on the improved conditions with a 6.699 second run in the opening session of competition, the fifth quickest elapsed time in NHRA Pro Stock history. Anderson's Pontiac charged back in the second round against Edwards with a 6.712 e.t., a 6.729 e.t. in the semifinals against Gaines, and then defeated Connolly with a 6.741 second run at 205.51 mph. Connolly's Cavalier followed Anderson's Grand Am across the stripe with a 6.807 e.t. at 203.49 mph. The margin of victory for Anderson in the finals was .058 of a second or approximately 17 feet.
"I'm very proud of the job the guys did this weekend on the Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am," said Anderson. "We overcame a big blunder that cost us the No. 1 spot in qualifying, and we got scared a few times today because guys were throwing bullets at us, but when it gets down to reading a track and conditions, I'll match my guys against anybody. They are the best."
Anderson's 27th career victory was also his 23rd win in the last 37 events dating back to the 2003 season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. By winning his second straight event at this venue, the Pontiac Grand Am pilot becomes only the second Pro Stock driver in NHRA history (Warren Johnson, 1991) to win both the Denver and the Seattle race in the same season, and a victory next weekend at Sonoma would make Anderson the only Pro Stock driver in NHRA history to sweep the three-race Western Swing. He also improved his 2004 round win-loss record to an astounding 49-3 (94.2%). Averaging nearly 107.6 points per event, the Duluth, Minn., native and current resident of Charlotte, N.C. has stretched his lead in the Pro Stock standings to 527 points over second-place Jason Line with only nine races left to be contested. Anderson is just one win shy of his own single-season record.
"Everyone's been talking about records," said Anderson. "I try not to let myself think about it too much because it's almost unbelievable to me. But now we're at 11 wins and I guess I need to focus on that stuff because a chance like this may not come along again. I need to do it this year."
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon drove the Advance Auto Parts Chevy Monte Carlo to his second straight final round but lost in the championship heat to John Force. Pedregon parked his Chevrolet in the No. 6 qualifying spot on Saturday, and during eliminations today he defeated Tony Bartone in round one, Tim Wilkerson in round two and Whit Bazemore in round three. Pedregon's Monte Carlo launched first off the line in the finals against Force, but hazed the tires at halftrack and slowed to a 5.633 e.t. at 194.91 mph. Force won the race with a 4.896 second pass at 309.34 mph.
The next stop on the 23-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series is the 17th annual NHRA Nationals on July 30 - Aug. 1 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.