Topeka: GM Racing preview

Greg Anderson's win at the Pontiac Performance Nationals gave Pontiac its 149th all-time win in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Of the 149 wins posted by a Pontiac driver in Pro Stock, Warren Johnson has 42, Greg Anderson 31 and Jim Yates ...

Greg Anderson's win at the Pontiac Performance Nationals gave Pontiac its 149th all-time win in NHRA Pro Stock competition. Of the 149 wins posted by a Pontiac driver in Pro Stock, Warren Johnson has 42, Greg Anderson 31 and Jim Yates 24.

Anderson's fourth straight victory at the Pontiac Performance Nationals was also his 33rd career win and his 49th final-round appearance. The Summit Racing Pontiac driver is now tied for third with Jeg Coughlin on the all-time win list among NHRA Pro Stock drivers behind first-place Warren Johnson (94) and second-place Bob Glidden (85). Anderson is also tied for fifth place among active professional drivers for career wins, and tied for 11th with Coughlin and John Myers for all-time wins by a professional competitor.

With five wins, including three at the now discontinued fall event, GM Performance Parts Pontiac driver Warren Johnson leads all Pro Stock competitors at Heartland Park Topeka. The "Professor of Pro Stock" captured wins at Heartland Park in 1992, 1993 (fall), 1995-96 (fall) and 1998. Johnson was also runner-up in 1991 and has been No. 1 qualifier seven times (1989-90, 1993, 1993, 1996-96, 2001) including twice in 1993. Summit Racing Pontiac driver Greg Anderson has won the last two races at Heartland Park, and he set both ends of the track record in 2003 with a run of 6.808 seconds at 202.94 mph. In addition to Anderson and Warren Johnson, other current drivers in GM-branded cars who have won at Heartland Park include Jim Yates (1996-97), Mike Edwards (1999) and Ron Krisher (2001). In addition to Warren Johnson, other current drivers in GM-branded cars who have been No. 1 qualifier at Topeka include Kurt Johnson at the fall event in 1995, Jim Yates (1996-97, 2002) and Greg Anderson (2003).

Jim Yates was runner-up three consecutive years (1994-96) at the discontinued fall event and is the only current GM driver other than Warren Johnson to advance to the finals at that event. Other current drivers in GM-branded cars who have been runner-up at Heartland Park Topeka include Johnson (1991), Mike Edwards (1997), Mark Pawuk (2001) and Kurt Johnson (2003-04).

Kurt Johnson debuted his new Chevy Cobalt on April 29 at Bristol Dragway. With a runner-up this past weekend at the Pontiac Performance Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, Johnson gave the new 2005 Cobalt its best finish to date. Since climbing into the new Chevrolet during the first weekend of May, Johnson has climbed all the way from 10th place in the points standings to fifth place and is now a contender for this year's POWERade Pro Stock championship.

After leaving the CSK Nationals in Phoenix, Ariz., on Feb. 27th in 10th place, Summit Racing Pontiac driver Greg Anderson has battled his way up to second on the heels of a pair of consecutive wins at Atlanta and Columbus (Ohio) and a runner-up at Las Vegas. Anderson is just 79 points behind first-place Warren Johnson.

Warren Johnson (Pontiac) leads the Pro Stock standings with 672 points. Greg Anderson is in second place in a Pontiac with 593 points, Dave Connolly is third in a Chevrolet with 550 points, Jason Line is fourth in a Pontiac with 548 points and Kurt Johnson is fifth in a Chevy Cobalt with 474 points. Ron Krisher is sixth in a Chevy Cobalt with 388 points, Jim Yates is eighth in a Pontiac with 378 points and Greg Stanfield is ninth in a Chevrolet with 376 points.

Dave Connolly gave Chevrolet its 123rd all-time victory in NHRA Pro Stock competition with his most recent win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 17.

Anderson has the longest qualifying streak in Pro Stock at 55 consecutive events. Anderson teammate Jason Line (Pontiac) is second on the list with 35.

Four Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car drivers occupy a position in the top 10 of the POWERade points standings. Cruz Pedregon is in fourth place after advancing to no less than his fifth consecutive semifinal round (he was runner-up at Houston) at the Pontiac Performance Nationals last Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. Tommy Johnson Jr. is in eighth place in a Chevy Monte Carlo, Bob Gilbertson is ninth and Tony Pedregon is 10th.

Cruz Pedregon has won at Heartland Park Topeka four times including three times at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals (1992, 1994-95) and once at the discontinued fall event (1995). Pedregon set a previous national speed record of 311.20 mph in a Pontiac in June 1996 at this event. His younger brother Tony is the only other current Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car driver to have won at Heartland Park (2001-03). Cruz was No. 1 qualifier for this race in 1998 and brother Tony took top qualifying honors in 1997 and 2003.

Current Chevy Monte Carlo Funny Car drivers who have been runner-up for this event include Tim Wilkerson (2002), Tommy Johnson Jr. (1999) and Tony Pedregon (1996). Cruz Pedregon was runner-up for the fall race in 1994 and 1996.

Qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Saturday, May 28, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern. Final eliminations will be telecast on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 29, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.

-gm racing-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Mark Pawuk , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Bob Gilbertson , Tony Pedregon , Greg Anderson , Ron Krisher , Bob Glidden , Cruz Pedregon , Greg Stanfield , Tim Wilkerson , Jason Line , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards , Tommy Johnson Jr.