Anderson qualifies No. 9, goes after historic 5th consecutive Indy win
Indianapolis, Sunday: Indianapolis is the motorsports capital of the world and the site of some of the greatest racing in all motorsports. At the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway, each Memorial Day weekend the IRL holds the historic Indianapolis 500 and every August NASCAR holds the Brickyard 400.
Labor Day weekend the racing scene moves to historic O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis (ORP) for the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the most prestigious event on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
This Labor Day weekend, like every other, every driver that qualified here at ORP wants to win the 53rd annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals but no one more than Greg Anderson, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing Equipment-back Pontiac GTO, who has won five times in six final rounds at Indy, including four-in-a-row, and is trying to become the only professional driver to win the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals five consecutive times.
Anderson, who claimed 10 No. 1 qualifying positions over the last 17-races, didn’t fare that well this weekend. He ended in the No. 9 position with a best time of five qualifying sessions – a 6.677 seconds.
“We struggled over this weekend,” said Anderson, as he started preparing for eliminations tomorrow. “The race track has thrown us fits and we haven’t mastered it yet. The good news is that we did qualify even though we’re not happy with where we qualified. We do have a shot tomorrow but the bad news is that we have the inferior lane which is obvious to everybody. It’s a big disadvantage. We’re going to have to come up with a miracle I guess. That’s what we’re looking for if we’re going to win here.
“I think we can do it. I know what this team can do and If anybody can do we can. If anybody can get down that right lane, I think it’s us. I’ll have to do my part by doing a fantastic job driving. Together we can overcome the odds. We’re still alive and we have a chance.”
After an uncharacteristic start on Friday evening, when the transmission jumped from third to fifth gear, Anderson rebounded on Saturday. Even in what Anderson says was a poorly prepared right lane, the three-time champ ran a 6.697 second pass at 207.24 mph in the heat to move into the field.
Moving to the left lane in the Saturday evening session, Anderson nailed a pass at 6.677 seconds at 206.67 mph, moving into the top half of the field at No. 8.
In Sunday’s first session, Anderson’s Summit Racing Pontiac was back in the right lane and today it’s hot. The results were a 6.689-second elapsed time and lost of a spot on the qualifying ladder – moving to No. 9. He repeated the 68, this time with a 6.686-second pass in the final qualifying session.
In the first round of eliminations tomorrow, Anderson will see the yellow Cobalt of Jeg Coughlin in the other lane. Coughlin qualified in the No. 8 spot.
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