Greg Anderson Goes Back-to-Back, Wins NHRA Northwest Nationals Kent, WA, July 11, 2010 - Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson continued his winning streak on Sunday, taking home the Pro Stock title at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent, WA.
Greg Anderson Goes Back-to-Back, Wins NHRA Northwest Nationals
Kent, WA, July 11, 2010 - Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson continued his winning streak on Sunday, taking home the Pro Stock title at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent, WA. Starting from the fourth position, Anderson eliminated Greg Stanfield, Rodger Brogdon and points leader Mike Edwards in the early rounds before squaring off against former Funny Car pilot Johnny Gray in the final.
Using a quick .016 reaction time, Anderson grabbed the lead by nearly eight hundredths of a second and never looked back, using the quickest pass of the day at 6.599 seconds, 209.56 mph to seal the victory. It was Anderson's second win of the season, 62nd of his career, and third at Pacific Raceways. It was also the 24th time that the Mooresville, NC resident won consecutive races, coming two weeks after his similar success in Norwalk, Ohio.
"It's been an amazing two weeks," said Anderson. "I could not be prouder of how this Summit Racing team has been able to rebound from the struggles we had earlier in the year. We could have self destructed, but we didn't. We just kept our heads up and powered through it, and now we've won two races in a row.
"My Summit Racing Pontiac was a dream to drive today. We made four good, smooth runs which were among the quickest in each round. As soon as you get the race cars working properly, the driver becomes happier and presto, you get results. They gave me the confidence to do my job behind the wheel, putting us in a position to win this race."
Throughout the course of the day, Anderson's Pontiac was among the very best of the "factory hot rods", with times and speeds among the best in each round. After being the recipient of Stanfield's red-light in the opening stanza, the three-time champion used a combination of lightning quick reaction times and strong runs to trailer Brogdon and Edwards, accomplishing the latter on a hole shot. This propelled him into the 91st final round of his career, third of the season and third at the Kent quarter-mile, where he would square off against the veteran Gray, a performance he attributes to his team's rediscovered chemistry, thanks to the addition of one element.
"It's amazing what one change can do to a team," said Anderson. "We brought in Tommy Utt, who helped us to get our heads back in the game. We had all the ingredients, all the resources, all the right people, and just weren't using them properly. He came in and calmed us down, helping us make better decisions.
"As soon as we did that, our Summit Racing Pontiacs started working better, and we kept chipping away at it, getting closer to running the way we are capable of. Both he and Rob Downing are absolutely in sync right now, making great decisions and giving me a car that is a pleasure to drive. It's just a blast to have him on board."
In the midst of his celebration, however, Anderson also wanted to take time and acknowledge the loss of a fellow racer, Top Alcohol Dragster driver Mark Niver, who perished in an on-track incident on Sunday.
"Even with our success, it really has not been a great day," said Anderson. "I didn't even realize what had happened until about a half hour later, and then I found out it was Mark Niver, who I have known forever. He was a great engineer and a great fabricator who did everything himself, and stayed at it until he won this event two years ago. I was so proud of him at the time, because I knew the struggle he had gone through doing it on his own. He's the type of person our sport was founded upon, and his loss just left a big hole in my heart."
Having won consecutive races for the first time since 2008, the resurgent Anderson is now eager for a return to competition. With this event marking the start of the NHRA's traditional Western Swing, he will not have to wait long, as the straight-line set will convene five days from now for their next race in Sonoma, CA.
"It just feels great feeling to have a chance to go out and win a race," said Anderson. "I really haven't felt this way in three or four years. It's pretty cool to be the only Pro Stock driver with a chance to sweep this year's Western Swing. I was fortunate enough to do it back in 2004. It is a tremendous accomplishment with as different as these three tracks are.
"However, that's a long way down the road, and I'm not about to say we're going to do it, because we still have a lot of work to do. Still, it's nice to have that shot. I'm not going to worry about that now -- I'm just looking forward to getting to Sonoma confident in my Summit Racing team, knowing we have a fast hot rod and that if the Good Lord looks down on me as he did today, maybe we can win again. I wish we were starting tomorrow, because these are happy times for KB Racing."
-source: kb racing