ANDERSON PACES QUICKEST PRO STOCK FIELD IN NHRA HISTORY
Being fast is one thing. Being fast against the quickest field in NHRA history? That is an entirely different challenge.
Greg Anderson added another notation to his well-established hall of fame career Saturday at the Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, earning the 123rd pole of his career against the quickest field in NHRA Pro Stock history.
“When you have conditions like this -- basically we call them mineshaft conditions -- it’s a lot of fun as a driver,” Anderson said. “We live for fast times, fast elapsed times, fast race cars, and we all got it this weekend. I think many (of the teams) had personal bests this weekend. So it was a great weekend of qualifying, and tomorrow’s going to be even tougher. The weather is supposed to be a little bit better, and I think you’ll see even faster times tomorrow, which is just crazy.”
With a bump spot of 6.536 seconds and nine total drivers in the 6.4-second zone - the quickest in the history of the class, fuel injected or carbureted - Anderson drove his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.480-second pass at 211.76 miles per hour during Q3 to pace the field entering eliminations.
Troy Coughlin slotted in behind Anderson in second with a 6.482 at 212.05 mph, while Erica Enders was third with a 6.483 at 211.82 mph. Jerry Tucker (6.486) and Dallas Glenn (6.486) rounded out the top five. Deric Kramer, who was the top qualifier Friday, slipped to sixth. In total, only 7/1,000ths of a second separated the top seven drivers.
“This has probably been the toughest four rounds of qualifying that I can remember in my career,” Anderson said. “There’s never been as many cars capable of grabbing the pole, capable of being number one through number 10, in any order, and every thousandth meant everything. Not only does that car have to be perfect every time it's on the racetrack, but you have to shift perfectly. It’s so easy to mess up shifting and give up three, four, five, six thousandths just because you mess up shifting. Any of that and you are done.”
Coming off back-to-back wins in the Countdown to the Championship after being winless during the regular season, Anderson now finds himself back in the thick of the championship hunt, earning his first pole position since Brainerd in August.
“There are so many (teams) capable of (being on pole),” Anderson said. “As I’ve said the last two weeks, I feel very fortunate that I was able to find a way to the winner’s circle, but I can’t pick a favorite right now. There are so many good cars, and good drivers, that it is anybody’s game.
“It’s just that tough right now. The bar has been raised in this class. The price of poker right now is through the roof. That’s awesome for this class, I’m just proud to be a part of it and proud to be one of the guys that is in the mix, fighting for a championship and having a chance to fight for a pole like we did this weekend.”
With the field set, Anderson will square off with Chris McGaha in Round One on Sunday as he chases a third straight win in the class. He will also be seeking a seventh career victory in Dallas at a track that has become a personal favorite for the five-time world champion.
“It’s always been one of my very favorite racetracks,” Anderson said. “When you come to a place you feel good at, you seem to do better. I love racing here. It is the Motorplex. It’s the original super racetrack and it was the very first all-concrete racetrack. You wouldn’t see all these numbers out here you saw today if it wasn’t for a great surface. After all these years, it’s still held up, and it’s still one of the best surfaces we race on.”
So what would it mean for the winningest driver in the history of the class to add yet another win at the track synonymous with the best the sport has to offer?
“It would mean the world to me,” Anderson said. “I didn’t get in this game to set records, or to make milestones, but somehow they’ve been coming and it’s a great honor. Someday, when I get out of this game, get out from behind the wheel, I’m going to sit back and I’m going to be damn proud of all that. Right now, I’m still in the middle of it and I’m still worried about just trying to win another race. Someday, in the near future, I’m going to be able to look at that stuff and really feel proud.”