Greg Anderson won his third race of 2012 using a starting line advantage to best teammate Jason Line in the finals of Sunday’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, GA.
It’s exactly how our friends at Summit Racing would have written the script for the NHRA Full Throttle Series race for which they were the primary sponsor.
Jason Line was the #1 qualifier and Greg Anderson was #3 heading into the elimination rounds. Both drivers sped their way to the semi-finals, where they were joined by their KB Racing counterpart, Ronnie Humphrey, who had a great day behind the wheel of his Genuine Hotrod Hardware-sponsored Pontiac.
Line defeated Humphrey in the semis, and Anderson defeated Allen Johnson en route to an all-Summit Racing final and a repeat of last year’s Southern Nationals final.
Running without lane choice and facing a quicker opponent, Anderson knew he would need to gain an edge in order to give himself a chance at his third win of the season. Attacking the starting line, he left five hundredths of a second ahead and never looked back, using a 6.649-second, 208.26 mph run to hold off his stable mate’s 6.618-second, 209.62 mph pass. This was Anderson’s 73rd win of his career, third of the 2012 season and fourth at Atlanta Dragway.
“I feel like the luckiest guy out here today, because this was not a typical win for this Summit Racing team,” Anderson said. “I didn’t have the best car, and I didn’t have my best day of driving, but we kept digging, working to get better with every run. As a result, we made fewer mistakes than our competition, and made it to the final against our teammate, which is, of course, the ideal scenario at your sponsor’s race.
“I’m not sure what happened to [Line] in the final, but he apparently made a mistake, allowing me to get a jump at the starting line. My car then made a very nice run, and I was able to hold him off. For whatever reason, the good Lord was shining on me today. I am very proud to have Summit Racing Equipment on the side of our car, and hope we made them proud today.”
Although naturally disappointed by the outcome, Line, the reigning Pro Stock champion, was still able to find some positives in his team’s performance, and looked forward to earning some redemption in two weeks at the next NHRA Full Throttle Series’ race in Topeka, KS.
“For some reason, I just didn’t have a good rhythm in my staging procedure in the final, which naturally affected my reaction time,” he said. “You can’t do that against someone as good as [Anderson]. As I have often said, he is a four-time champion for a reason, and to beat him, you have to be at your very best. Unfortunately, in the final today, I was a bit off, and it cost us.
“Still, things could have been a lot worse. My team gave me another great Summit Racing Pontiac to drive and we made it all the way to the final against our teammate, which is the perfect scenario at your sponsor’s race, allowing us to gain points on all our competition. Naturally, I would have preferred to be the one holding the Wally, but I’ll just have to wait to do that until the next race. I owe it to my guys, and will do everything possible to finally get it done in Kansas.”
NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock Championship Points Standings
(After 7 of 23 races)
1. Greg Anderson 651
2. Jason Line 579
3. Allen Johnson 498
4. Mike Edwards 492
5. Vincent Nobile 489