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Another No. 1 for Greg Anderson and HendrickCars.com Chevrolet as Bristol Qualifying Comes to a Close

Auto Imagery / Gary Nastase photo

Greg Anderson is no stranger to low qualifier awards, but earning the 126th of his career at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals was not something he took lightly. His top two blazing passes in the HendrickCars.com Chevrolet took place on Saturday at Bristol Dragway, where he earned the first win of his career in 2001.
 
“This is a great racetrack for me,” said Anderson. “If it wasn’t for this place and the jump-start I got here to start the great career I’ve had, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. It’s been a hell of a ride, and I love racing up here at Thunder Valley. It’s just fun to come here.”
 
Anderson pushed into qualifying for the eighth race of 20 on the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series tour with a 6.662-second pass at 205.60 mph. The pass was the third-quickest of the session and came with a bonus qualifying point, and on Friday evening at Bristol Dragway, Anderson added another two bonus points to the pile with a 6.636, 205.07 that sent him up to No. 2 on the qualifying sheet.
 
Friday was bright and warm, and while others had trouble navigating the tricky and hot racing surface, Anderson’s KB Titan Racing braintrust delivered. A 6.615, 205.38 popped up on the scoreboard in the early session, and it surprised even Anderson, who had moved into the lead.
 
“You really never get out of the car at the finish line – at least I don’t – and say, ‘You know what, I think we got it all,’ ” said Anderson. “I got out first run this morning, and I think we got more than all. I’ve never said that before, and it’s fantastic when you do something like that and can back it up on the next run the same day.”
 
Anderson came back in the final qualifying session and proved that it was definitely not a fluke – his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet really does have a resurgent relationship developing with Bristol Dragway. A 6.628, 205.29 was again the quickest of the lot, and Anderson will start from the top spot for the TK time this season.
 
In the first round of eliminations, he’ll square off with veteran racer and engine builder Larry Morgan, a competitor he’s raced against as both a crew chief and a driver for his entire career and over whom he holds a 34-3 advantage in round wins. The last time the two met was in the first round in Dallas in 2017.
 
On Sunday at Bristol Dragway, the weather is slated to be quite different than the bright sun and clear skies that the event has been so-far graced with this weekend. Regardless, Anderson is optimistic and eager to embrace the competition, no matter the conditions.
 
“It’s awesome out here,” said Anderson, who is seeking the 106th win of his career. “The competition out here is so mean and so tough, you have a different hero every week and you never know who can beat who. To come out here today and outrun the competition by a couple of hundredths, that’s a mile in Pro Stock. It doesn’t guarantee you a win, it still comes down to that Christmas tree, but to get an advantage like that is priceless. It’s more than you can ask for. I’m super happy today, and hopefully we can carry it into tomorrow.
 
Eliminations at the 23rd annual NHRA Thunder Valley at Bristol Dragway are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.

This story was originally published on June 9, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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