Anderson's Day Ends in St. Louis Second Round Team Summit racers Warren Johnson & Marco Abruzzi score Gateway wins After qualifying sixth for Sunday's final eliminations of the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals in Madison, IL, Summit Racing...
Anderson's Day Ends in St. Louis Second Round
Team Summit racers Warren Johnson & Marco Abruzzi score Gateway wins
After qualifying sixth for Sunday's final eliminations of the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals in Madison, IL, Summit Racing Pontiac racer Greg Anderson was cautiously optimistic about his chances for race day. His race car was finally starting to respond to the adjustments the team had been making, and was running among the leaders in the Pro Stock category, a point that was made evident by his solid 6.645-second, 207.85 mph pass in the first round to defeat Kurt Johnson.
This set the stage for a second-round encounter with rival Jeg Coughlin. Although Anderson had a solid .040 reaction time, recorded his quickest elapsed time of the weekend at 6.635-seconds, and posted the top speed of the weekend in Pro Stock at 208.62 mph, his performance fell three thousandths of a second shy of reeling in his opponent, who used a .028 r.t. and a 6.632-second, 207.66 mph pass to advance. Afterwards, the KB Racing leader quickly shouldered the blame for his early exit while simultaneously acknowledging his team's continued progress.
"The bottom line is that I lost that race on the starting line," said Anderson. "Anytime you race that guy, you have to be on the tree, and I was just average, which doesn't cut it in this class right now. I can't point the finger at anyone else, so I just have to keep practicing, doing whatever is necessary to get better.
"Having said that, there are still some positives we can take from this weekend. My Summit Racing Pontiac seems to be responding to the changes we've been making to it. As a result, we're making better runs, which allow us to race on Sunday, something we haven't been able to do in quite some time. In that regard, it was a decent day that ended way too early.
"On the flip side, we're not having the same success with our team car, and we need to figure out what it needs to get back on track. We also have to do a better job of qualifying, so we don't have to face the other top cars in the early rounds, which happened in the last few races. Finally, we still need a little more performance. We definitely stepped up today, but it wasn't quite enough to get the job done. We certainly have our work cut out for us. We'll start by testing both cars here tomorrow, and come up with a game plan based on what we find out. It's a battle, but it's one we are going to win."
In other Team Summit news, Warren Johnson broke a four-year winless streak by taking home the Pro Stock title in his K&N Filters Pontiac at Gateway International Raceway. It was the 97th national event win of Johnson's Hall of Fame career, and first trip to the winner's circle since the 2006 Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals in Phoenix, AZ.
"Today was one of those scenarios where everyone else did something wrong, and we were out there cruising," said Johnson. "It's a case where every so often you're going to have a day where things just go your way, and today happened to be our turn. I know it's been a long time between wins, but if you're diligent and keep your nose to the grindstone, sooner or later it's going to happen. I realize that we relied on a lot of luck today, but I believe our program is coming around. I'm just happy we were able to win for those sponsors who have stayed with us over the last few years including K&N Filters and Summit Racing Equipment."
Team Summit also had a winner in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series in Madison, as Marco Abruzzi took home the trophy in the Top Sportsman category, his first NHRA national event win.
"Today's a big day," said Abruzzi. "I've wanted to win an NHRA national event my entire life, but they never included the class I run until this year. I was the runner-up at the first event in Charlotte, and came out here with big expectations that fortunately panned out.
"My Abruzzi Transmissions/Summit Racing Camaro was absolutely flawless -- it might have been the greatest car on the planet. It was easy to dial -- it was going to run right on the number every time. It was a tough couple days of racing with the weather, and then we had to sit in the staging lanes for quite some time after the accident (Pro Stock competitor Roger Brogdon hit the wall and ended up upside down during the first round of eliminations but emerged unhurt), so it was hard to keep our focus, but the car never let me down. My crew guy Brian Sexton did a great job dialing in the car, and was dead on every time. My driving was great early on, but I kept getting better, and everything worked out in the end."