Anderson Gains Performance, Leaves Brainerd Smiling
BRAINERD, Minn., August 18, 2013 – Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson absolutely had the car to beat at Brainerd International Raceway as he pursued a fourth Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals victory, and for the first time this year, he dominated during eliminations with elapsed times that stood above and beyond his competitors. Anderson didn’t score the trophy at his home track this weekend, but the Duluth, Minn.-raised Pro Stock pilot set the tone for the rest of the season with a powerful performance.
Anderson put together a series of remarkable runs during qualifying with a best time of 6.588 at 209.10 mph to start from the lofty No. 2 spot on raceday. The outstanding qualifying position stood as his best start since the Topeka race in 2012, and Anderson was fired up to repeat victories earned in Brainerd in 2003, 2009 and 2011.
In the first round, the Mooresville, N.C.-transplant was strong at the starting line with a .029-second reaction time while opponent Deric Kramer was too early and fouled out by .096. Anderson powerfully raced ahead in his white Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to clock a 6.604 at 209.33 mph that was second quickest in terms of e.t. and speed in the opening act.
The round win was a definite victory, but it also paired Anderson with KB Racing teammate Jason Line, who hails from Wright, Minn. Anderson grabbed an immediate advantage at the starting line, launching with a swift .024 to Line’s .049 and closing the door on his friendly foe with a best of the round 6.608 at 208.14 mph to Line’s 6.623, 208.52.
Anderson had the best car again in the semifinals when he tripped the final timer on the racetrack with an awesome 6.604 at 209.46, bettering his spectacular opening-round pass by just a smidge. Unfortunately, opponent V. Gaines stole a sizeable advantage at the starting line and turned it into a win at the top end, clocking a 6.632 that bested Anderson’s 6.604 by .01-second.
“It was still a hugely positive weekend,” said Anderson, who had already clinched a spot to compete for the big trophy in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship and effectively preserved his position as seventh in the series standings. “We honestly have not had cars that could win races this year, but we had one here today. I should have won this race. I’m excited, and I’m very happy with the tremendous progress that the Summit Racing team has made in the past week. I’m very proud of these guys. They didn’t give up when times were tough, they kept digging, kept fighting, and it looks like we’ve finally turned a corner.”
The next event on the 2013 tour is the Chevy Performance U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, the biggest and arguably the most historic race of the series, and the last race on the calendar before the Countdown to the Championship kicks off.
“Jason and I both locked in our spots to race for the championship, and that’s the first goal, you have to get in before you can even think about winning,” Anderson continued. “I am of the opinion that if we qualify for the chase but we don’t have a chance of winning it, what’s the sense of being in it? After this weekend, I can safely say that not only are we are in, we actually have a chance to win it. I feel confident now saying that we belong in that chase.
“We had a chance to win today. We had the best car on the grounds. That was pretty impressive, and I think we caught the attention of a lot of people. What we learned this weekend was a season-changer. Hopefully, we can progress from there and be a serious threat in the Countdown.”