Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team scored a very special victory Sunday, capturing the Pro Stock title at the 4-Wide NHRA Nationals in Charlotte, NC.
Anderson remains atop the Pro Stock points lead and teammate Jason Line continues to hold the second spot.
In qualifying, Line reset both the zMAX Dragway elapsed time track record (6.493 seconds) and the NHRA national top speed record (213.91 miles per hour) en route to the #1 qualifying position.
Starting from the seventh position, Anderson advanced to the final of this unique three-round, four- abreast race by being the quickest in each of his first two rounds, where he would square off against Line, Vincent Nobile, and Erica Enders.
Knowing he would need a strong performance in order to repeat his win at this event from a year ago,Anderson responded with his quickest pass of the day at 6.540 seconds with a top speed of 212.23 miles per hour. However, unaware that his teammate had fouled by leaving the starting line early, he assumed he had lost having trailed him for the entire distance, not learning of his success until he turned off the top end of the track at the completion of his run.
Ironically, Anderson’s crew was enduring a similarly confusing experience at the starting line, as a scoreboard malfunction gave the erroneous impression that Enders, who carded a 6.608-second, 210.93 mile-per-hour pass, had won. However, once NHRA officials reviewed the finish line video, it was readily apparent that the Summit Racing Pontiac had crossed well ahead, giving the four-time champion his third home track win and 72nd of his illustrious career.
“Seeing [Line] a car length ahead of me for the whole race, I knew I must have lost to him,” Anderson said. “He doesn’t red light very often, so I didn’t even think of that. I figured I must have been really late, and didn’t even bother looking at my win light on the wall. As I came around the corner at the top end I was really bummed, because I was wondering who else might have finished ahead of me. I then saw the TV cameras coming toward me, and realized that I had somehow won.
“Once my crew arrived to pick me up, I found out that there had also been some confusion at the starting line, with only one light coming on, leading people to believe [Enders] had won. It was a crazy deal that had me losing a couple ways, but I still won.”
Anderson’s victory extended a remarkable string of 2012 successes for the Mooresville, NC-based driver. He has advanced to the final round in four of this season’s five races. His two wins are the most in the highly competitive Pro Stock category.
“This Summit Racing team has come out of the gate absolutely on fire,” Anderson said. “Both [Line] and I have great hot rods, we’ve combined for three wins and at the moment are 1-2 in the points. I think it’s going to be a great year for us, with a lot of things to look forward to. Having said that, we have some very tough competitors in this class, and it promises to be a battle royal all season long.”
Line, as always, was congratulatory to Anderson, but was disappointed with his red light.
“We had some pretty good leavers in the final, so I didn’t want to be late,” Line said. “Unfortunately, it ended up being a really long light, and when I left the line it came up red, which is going to happen from time to time. Still, it was a good weekend for this Summit Racing team.
“I got the national speed record. The guys are doing a really great job with our cars running extremely well today, and we were able to win the race. Naturally, I would have liked to have won, but as long as the trophy comes back to our shop, it’s a good thing. Besides, I’m confident I’ll have a great car at the next race, one capable of winning the race, so maybe we’ll get the job done there. I know we’re certainly going to try.”
Full Throttle Championship Pro Stock Points Standings (after 5 of 23 races)
1. Greg Anderson 475
2. Jason Line 407
3. Mike Edwards 362
4. Allen Johnson 324
5. Vincent Nobile 318