Mooresville, N.C., April 26, 2012 – Throughout the course of his illustrious Pro Stock career, Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson has won an NHRA national event an average of every 3.78 starts. In a somewhat ironic twist, the four-time champion has a similar record at Royal Purple Raceway, site of this weekend’s NHRA Spring Nationals, with his two wins spaced four years apart. Having last visited the Texas quarter-mile winner’s circle in 2008, he is therefore looking forward to this year’s edition as he hopes to continue the trend and score his third win, which, factoring in his record in this season’s first five races, is a distinct possibility.
“Although we naturally wish we had won in Houston more often than we have in the past, we certainly don’t want to upset the racing gods and break our cycle there this year,” joked Anderson. “After all, this Summit Racing team has had a great start to the season, winning twice, including at the last race in Charlotte, and going to four final rounds, so there’s no reason we can’t keep it going this weekend.
“So far this year, we’ve struggled a bit in qualifying, but managed to turn things around by Sunday and have had a great car in eliminations. I’ve also been able to dodge a lot of the land mines and gone rounds, so we’re definitely doing a good job of points racing. But, as the adage says, you’re only as good as your last race, and once we roll through the gates at Royal Purple Raceway, it’s a totally new ball game, and we have to be at our best from the very start.”
Located in the Houston suburb of Baytown, Royal Purple Raceway (formerly known as Houston Raceway Park), has been a fixture on the Full Throttle Drag Racing circuit since 1988, with its sea-level altitude offering the potential for record-setting performances, particularly for the normally-aspirated Pro Stock category. Although there are some concerns about how the weather may have adversely affected the racing surface over the last year, Anderson and crew are looking forward to taking advantage of the horsepower-rich conditions.
“We always have great atmospheric conditions in Houston, and our Summit Racing Pontiacs usually run fast there,” said Anderson. “From what I hear, we may have a couple extra challenges this year with the race track getting a little bumpier, which will be a good test for the crew chiefs and the crew guys – after all, that’s why we have shock absorbers on these cars, and have put a lot of effort into our shock packages over the last few years.
“We’ve made tremendous progress as far as being able to handle a rough racetrack, so we look forward to trying to tame it, keeping the power to the ground. If you can keep the tire on the ground, you’re going to run fast. We look forward to racing on any track where we can run low elapsed times and big speeds, and Houston is one of them. It’s one of the big barometer tracks where if the circumstances are right, you can set records, making it a fun race.
“We always seem to get a good turnout in Houston, with the fans packing the stands, and it’s a Pro Stock crowd. It’s definitely a Pro Stock type track, and, as well as our Summit Racing Pontiacs have been running this year, we look forward to getting there seeing what we can do to improve upon our last race and get that third Spring Nationals trophy. It’s going to be tough with everyone gunning for us, but I think we’re up to it.”
Greg Anderson & the Summit Racing Pontiac crew
By the Numbers – Royal Purple Raceway edition:
2 – Wins by Anderson at Royal Purple Raceway coming into this weekend, most recently in 2008.
4.67 – Average starting position for Greg in his previous 12 starts in Baytown.
7 – Top Three starts by Anderson in his 12 prior races at the Houston quarter-mile.
15 – Elimination round wins by Greg in his previous 12 starts at RPR, versus 10 losses for a .600 win percentage.
26 – Times Anderson has posted consecutive victories in his career coming into this weekend, most recently at the 2011 Brainerd and Indianapolis races.