Anderson Starts Strong on Day One in Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif., July 25, 2014 – This weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals have started on a powerful note for the Summit Racing Pro Stock team, with Jason Line sliding into the top position on the first day at Sonoma Raceway and teammate Greg Anderson jumping into the No. 4 spot. For Anderson, the elevated qualifying position is right on target as he continues his climb in performance and stature.
Last week in Denver, Anderson qualified in the No. 5 position for his best start of the season to date, and he kept the momentum going in the first round of qualifying in Sonoma with a 6.620-second pass at 208.94 mph.
“The performance is getting better for us, and we love this racetrack,” said Anderson, a four-time Sonoma winner. “We’ve had a lot of success here, and it’s been hotter this weekend than we’re accustomed to, but we still ran really well. I’m in the best position I’ve been in all year, and I really believe we can run better. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend and a good shot on Sunday of running for the Wally.”
The conditions improved in the second session, and so did Anderson as he powered his white Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.562 at 210.93 to move back into fourth.
The biggest challenge for the drivers on the first day of the Sonoma Nationals was the heat. The air temperature was just below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but somehow Anderson and the Summit Racing team managed to keep their wits and go fast.
“It’s definitely not the most enjoyable feeling to have sweat pouring down your face into your eyes, but we’re doing what we love to do so you block it out,” said Anderson. “It’s no different for any driver out there – somebody is going to run fast, and somebody is going to win. The challenge is to find a way to do that and to do it without any excuses.
“It’s the same for everybody, and you just do the best job that you can do. It did cool off for the second session, but we’ll run in the heat of the day tomorrow, and it will be tough to run near what we did tonight. The racetrack won’t be as cool, so it will be hard to hook up and get good traction. I don’t expect there to be a ton of movement out there – there will be some but not a ton. It’s a good thing we did a good job tonight because it’s very possible those numbers will hold tomorrow.”
Anderson’s apparent upswing is something that he has been gearing up for since he returned to the series after missing the first five races of the year as he recovered from heart surgery. Early in his return, the outcome at each race left much to be desired. Things have been turning around in recent weeks.
“I think the biggest contributor right now is that we made some gains in the last week or two,” said Anderson. “We’re gaining on the performance, and that’s what it takes to win races right now. The performance is better and that’s what is going to give us a good shot. Just because you’ve won here before, they’re not going to hand you a trophy. You have to go out and earn it, and I think we’re in a position right now to where that can happen.”