Anderson Advances to Semifinals in Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif., July 28, 2013 – Following a string of improving qualifying runs at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals this weekend, Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson, a four-time Sonoma winner, advanced to the semifinals to protect his position in NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock top 10 as the Countdown to the Championship inches ever closer. Anderson, of Mooresville, N.C., is currently holding in the No. 7 spot in the Pro Stock points with three races to go before the Countdown players are decided.
Starting strongly from the No. 4 position with a qualifying-best time of 6.545 at 210.57 mph, Anderson drew JR Carr as a first-round opponent on Sunday. Anderson, a 74-time national event winner with 327 races under his belt, cut an experienced .010-second light and left his opponent well behind, clearing the finish line with a 6.571 at 211.36 mph blast. In the second round, Anderson was consistent with another .010 reaction time and ousted veteran driver V. Gaines on a holeshot, 6.559, 211.30 to 6.541, 212.06.
Revved up and with the familiar winner’s circle coming into view, Anderson came to the starting line for a semifinals meeting with young Vincent Nobile. Although Nobile and Anderson recorded identical elapsed times in the round prior to their match, Anderson came to their meeting with lane choice based on a faster speed. All was going according to plan, except this time Anderson left the starting line .071-second too soon and was eliminated from competition by way of a foul start.
“I don’t know if I saw a flash of some sort or what, but something told me to let the clutch out, and I let it go,” said Anderson. “I tried to stop half way out, and it was too late, she was going. It slipped the clutch real bad because I tried to catch it, I double clutched it, basically. I just thought it was time to go, and it wasn’t.”
A red-light start is a rare occurrence for four-time Pro Stock series champion Anderson, who is eager to leave the occurrence in California and move on to the next race, the Pacific NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, next weekend.
“The good news is that the Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro is better,” said Anderson. “We can focus on the positive because we were basically within a couple-hundredths of the fast guys. That’s the closest we’ve been for quite a while, and obviously we still need to continue working on it, but we ran close enough this weekend that we had a chance to win. Unfortunately, I made a mistake. But we’ll try to build on the positives that we uncovered this weekend and try to race error free. You can’t lay back up there, you have to go for it every time, but I have no excuses. I want that one back, but I can’t have it back. We’ll just do better next weekend.”