Anderson takes top spot
Chicago, Saturday: After wounding his primary engine on Friday, Greg Anderson, driver of the KB Racing LLC Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Pontiac, rebound to qualify No. 1 at the 10th annual NHRA Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 Nationals, the sixth No. 1 in nine races this season and the 57th of his career.
Andersonís Summit Racing Pontiac covered the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., in 6.617 seconds at 208.94 mph, the best of his four qualifying run, which occurred during Friday nightís session. Both his elapsed time and speed were Route 66 Raceway track records.
ďWithout a doubt, Friday night is what it's all about if you want to qualify No. 1," said Anderson, after Fridayís qualifying. "You have to make that perfect run and our Summit Racing Pontiac just did it. I had a nice run going this morning but we wounded the engine (had mechanical problems), so we had to make a change and it worked out. I don't mean to kick and stomp and wine, but that was a great engine we had and a lot of work went into making it the superb piece that it was. I was looking forward to racing with her tomorrow in the King Demon Challenge. Our backup stuff is pretty darn good too, though. The Summit Racing Pontiac is making great runs and I certainly have a horse I can win with tomorrow."
While Anderson didnít improve his qualifying times on Saturday, the three-time NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion did hold onto the top spot.
"That's King Demon cash, it's $3000, and 57 times No. 1 is a neat, neat stat," said Anderson, said of the bonus that is paid to the No. 1 qualifier at each national event. "I never thought I would be anywhere near there and every time you do it, it's really neat. It's a good thing I did yesterday because I wouldn't have done it today. We didn't perform up to par today. We got beat in the King Demon shootout, and that was kind of a bummer, but we have to forget about that deal and get ready to race tomorrow. We have to a good package, we have a good hot rod, we just made a couple of mistakes today and I screwed up driving. The positive is that we're No. 1 qualifier in a tough, tough field. That's great, but that won't get you anything tomorrow. We have to perform No. 1 tomorrow and that's the goal right now. We'll go back, do our homework tonight and get our Summit Racing Pontiac fixed back up. We missed a little on the setup today. I missed driving wise, so we didn't deserve to win today but maybe tomorrow will be a different story."
In the opening round of eliminations tomorrow, Anderson will face former NBA basketball star, Tom Hammonds. Hammond took the 16th and final qualifying position with a run of 6.666 seconds at 207.21 mph.
Ironically, although he is third on the all-time Pro Stock list for career wins at 48, Anderson has never visited the winnerís circle in national event competition at Route 66 Raceway.
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