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Greg Anderson, 14-Time Pomona Winner, No. 6 in Winternationals Qualifying

So far this weekend, the Lucas Oil Winternationals is a race living up to its name. A sometimes chilly and often times wet weekend greeted NHRA’s Mission Foods Drag Racing Series competitors as they descended upon In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip for the 64th annual running of the historic event, but two rounds of qualifying were salvaged, and the field is set for what should be a thrilling round of Sunday eliminations.

Greg Anderson, driver of the Chevrolet Camaro, is one of the top winners in Pomona with 14 victories claimed thus far, and the most winning driver in the history of NHRA Pro Stock is targeting another with a racecar that very much wants to utilize all that the racing surface will allow.

“The racetrack was tricky in qualifying, the weather certainly played a factor in that, and we only got two opportunities to get everything lined up and ready for raceday,” said Anderson, who will race Troy Coughlin Jr. in round one. “Even with limited data for what this racetrack wants this weekend, we have to go into Sunday confident and knowing that we could absolutely get that Wally. It does give you confidence knowing that you’ve had some great days at any particular track, but more than that, there’s just something special here. It’s the history, and you can feel it all throughout this place.

“To get our first win of the year in the Chevrolet here in Pomona would be a great way to get this season pointed in the right direction.”

Anderson, whose Pomona wins are split between six at the Winternationals – formerly the season-opener – and eight at the NHRA Finals, launched into qualifying with a strong 6.586-second pass at 209.01 mph. On Saturday, after persistent rain showers that left the well-chilled racing surface more apt to host tire shake than efficient passes down the quarter-mile dragstrip, Anderson actually improved with a clean 6.570, 209.26 to move up to No. 6 in the lineup.

The second qualifying session also acted as the first round of the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, the special event-within-an-event in which the previous race’s semifinalists are called forward for a rematch. Anderson launched first and grabbed the upper hand with a threatening .016-second reaction time to Erica Enders’ .034, but at the stripe she was 6.547 to his 6.570 to get the nod by just .005.

“It’s a darn shame to have it that close and not come out on the winning side in such a cool race, but hopefully, we’ll get the chance to run for a lot of those Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty wins this year,” said Anderson. “Right now, we’re focused on the main event here at In-N-Out Burger Dragstrip, and we’re putting all of our energy into turning tomorrow into a successful day. We’ve done it here before, we can do it again.”

Eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. PT on Sunday, March 23.

This story was originally published on March 24, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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