Reigning K&N Horsepower Challenge Champ Greg Anderson Nails 75th Career NHRA Pro Stock Pole

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NHRA Pro Stock Drag Racer Greg Anderson
NHRA Pro Stock Drag Racer Greg Anderson
For the second time this season, Greg Anderson drove his Summit Pontiac right to the top of the pack during the final stop of the "Western Swing" at the 24th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals held at Pacific Raceways near Seattle, Washington. Out of the gate it wasn't Anderson, who first grabbed the top spot, but Rodger Brogdon and his 6.545 at 210.67 during Friday's first qualifying session. Brogdon's ET was also a new track record and only just the beginning of it being reset numerous times throughout all four qualifying sessions of Pro Stock.
Greg Anderson drove his Summit Pontiac right to the top of the pack during the final stop of the "Western Swing" at the 24th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals
Greg Anderson drove his Summit Pontiac right to the top of the pack during the final stop of the "Western Swing" at the 24th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals

While Anderson made a very solid hit during the first session and set himself in the fourth spot, it was during the second round of qualifying where he and his team would begin to shine. As part of the final pair to make their run, Anderson jumped all the way to the top, bumping Mike Edwards to number two when he tied Edwards ET from just the pair before with his identical 6.514. But thanks to Anderson's faster 211.16 MPH he would grab the provisional pole after the wrap of Friday's on track action.

"It was not a perfect run," he confessed just after Friday's second session. "It wasn't off by a lot, but we were just a little bit too soft, even though it got the job done. We'll get more aggressive tomorrow to see if it will run a little faster - looking at the graph, it seems like it will, but we'll have to wait and see what happens. Of course, a lot will depend on the weather - if the clouds remain, it should be very fast."

"With only fifteen cars here, there's a little extra incentive for being No.1, as you'd have a bye in the first round," he continued. "That's a luxury we'd like to have, because it would allow us to try a few things we could do otherwise. For one night, I've got a leg up on doing that, but we'll have to see what happens in the morning. We run early enough in the morning that it is far from over, and we'll do what we can to hold on to that top spot."

When Saturday rolled around so did some unwanted precipitation from Mother Nature early in the day, but it wasn't enough to cause any professional sessions to be scratched. If anything, the air conditions played right into Anderson's hands and he took advantage to not only improve on his earlier ET and MPH, but also reset the Pro Stock track ET record again with his 6.536 during the third session.

During the final session later in the day, Anderson made a comfortable 6.546 run and thanks to his previous lap, held on to the pole for Sunday.

"Yesterday was a fantastic day for the Summit Racing team, and today was even better," said Anderson after qualifying wrapped up on Saturday. "The crew chiefs and all the guys on the crew are just doing a tremendous job right now. Our cars are becoming fun and easy to drive, and they're consistently fast - you couldn't ask for anything better than that."

"These are definitely our type of conditions," he added. "I seem to excel when it's cool out, so we're always excited to come out here and race, because we know we'll have a great chance of doing well."

The number one qualifier for Anderson has lots of bonuses, from gaining the maximum per event points for the 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge and the $3,000 bonus check from K&N Engineering to a very uncommon first round bye for Sunday's Eliminations.

The Seattle event marked the first time since 1975 that the NHRA Pro Stock class had less than sixteen cars and Anderson pointed out that earning the extremely rare first round bye was "a huge, huge bonus."

"I haven't had a lot of number one qualifiers. I've had one in the last two years," he confessed. "To get it here, my guys did their jobs. I thank my lucky stars we came out on top. A lot of tough cars came within thousandths, but they didn't quite get 'er done." While Anderson may not have had a ton of poles lately, the feat at Seattle marked his outstanding 75th career Pro Stock number one and moved him to within just five points of 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge leader Erica Enders.

After a crazy three races in a row for the NHRA Pro Stock teams, they will get one week to recoup before heading to the "Zoo" at Brainerd International Raceway for the 30th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota.

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