Anderson pads points lead with runner-up finish
JOLIET, IL – Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team overcame a three-hour rain delay and horsepower-robbing hot and humid conditions on Sunday to score a runner-up finish at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Illinois. Starting from the eighth position, Anderson used a combination of solid performance and strong driving to advance to his eighth final round of the 2012 season, where he would square off against Erica Enders in a rematch of last year’s Joliet final.
Just as he had in the previous rounds, Anderson left the line in unison with Enders, who was looking to become the first woman to win a Pro Stock national event. Although he was able to make a competitive 6.641-second, 208.30 mph run, it was not enough to hold off his opponent, who used a 6.627-second, 207.40 mph pass to score the win.
“We rebounded well today and had a pretty good hot rod, but just couldn’t seem to get near the top cars,” said Anderson. “To this Summit Racing team’s credit, we raced hard and tough, and probably made it further than we should have to be honest, because we just didn’t have the performance we needed to put us over the top.
“I had said a million times before that Erica was going to win a race, and that I just didn’t want it to be against me. However, you certainly can’t take today’s performance away from her – she earned it. She went out there and took it, with both she and her team doing a better job, and they won the race, and I congratulate them. It’s one for the history books.”
Anderson’s road to the final showed the resilience and determination of both he and his KB Racing crew. After opening with a relatively easy win against Ron Krisher, the four-time champion was paired against No. 1 qualifier Allen Johnson, who had been the dominant car throughout the weekend. However, using a lightning-quick .016 reaction time and a 6.634-second, 208.46 mph pass, Anderson was able to upset his higher-ranked opponent on a hole shot, with Johnson posting a 6.612-second time and 209.04 mph speed in the losing effort.
Finally, Anderson’s 6.637-second, 207.91 mph run in the semifinals was enough to defeat rival Mike Edwards, sending him to the 111th final round of his career and the encounter with Enders.
“We obviously need a couple more races with these new Summit Racing Camaros to get them fully up to speed,” said Anderson. “They drive really well, and race well – we just need a little more speed out of them, and we’ll keep pecking at them until we do.
“It’s obviously disappointing any time you lose a race, but the good news is that we knocked out a couple cars that are running at the top of their game right now when we aren’t, which is a good feeling. We know we’re going to get there - the bottom line is that we need to go home and work to make our horses faster.”