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Greg Anderson Complements Triumphant, Celebratory Weekend for Rick Hendrick with NHRA Victory in Phoenix

Tom Macht photos

NHRA’s winningest Pro Stock driver, Greg Anderson, is proud and honored to drive the Chevrolet Camaro in NHRA’s Mission Foods Drag Racing Series. Racing with the support of legendary NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick is a privilege he has held dear since their partnership was formed during his 2021 championship season, and any win he can bring home to Mr. Hendrick is special. The win he captured on Sunday at Firebird Motorsports Park was distinct, though, as it complemented a stellar day for his NASCAR counterparts at Martinsville Speedway on the 40th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports.
At the NASCAR event, William Byron held off Hendrick teammates Kyle Larson and Chase Elliot in an overtime-finish to win, and with Larson finishing second and Elliott coming in third, the team finished 1-2-3 for the first time in their history.

In his race hauler in Phoenix at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, Anderson was watching.

“Before we came up for the semifinals, we watched the end of that race,” said Anderson. “I was so proud of everybody on that team, and it was a great motivator. I told myself, I’ve got to find a way to dig deep and get the job done. I didn’t want to be the weak link in the chain.”

Spurred on, Anderson won his semifinals match over longtime rival Jeg Coughlin Jr., launching ahead of his opponent by .006-second and keeping the advantage for a 6.612, 208.78 victory over a tire rattling 10.928. Further fueled, Anderson headed to the final round for a meeting with KB Titan Racing teammate Dallas Glenn, who had won the delayed Winternationals event the day before.

Anderson left the starting line first, .022 to .032, and the Pro Stock ‘Duel in the Desert’ ended with Anderson’s win light flashing, 6.582, 208.97 to 6.618, 208.91. The victory was the 104th of his career, first of the season, and his third in Phoenix.

“This win feels as good as the first one,” said Anderson, who stands well ahead of the class as the winningest Pro Stock driver in NHRA history. He’s also the second-winningest professional driver in all of NHRA, behind only Funny Car racer John Force (156).

“To have had the day I had, to have had the weekend I had – I didn’t embarrass myself. I did a good job behind the wheel, and I’m really thrilled with that,” Anderson continued. “That’s what it takes to win in this class; you have to have the total package, the best car, the best crew, and you have to drive well. We were able to put all of that together on a very, very trick racetrack, and everybody, top to bottom on this team, was on their toes. We didn’t necessarily outrun or outpower them, but we flat outraced everybody.”

Anderson had a superior reaction time against his opponents in each of the four elimination rounds, and with a powerful racecar that kept an edge, he had lane choice on a weekend when it mattered most. After locking down a victory over racing partner Eric Latino, Anderson sailed smoothly past tire-rattling Troy Coughlin Jr. in round two before his semifinals defeat of Coughlin’s uncle Jeg in the semis.

“All weekend, it’s been tricky down-track,” explained Anderson. “Then the sun came out, and it’s only 70-75 degrees out there, but the racetrack got up to 135 degrees. We’ve never seen that; we were all shocked. We had to make big swings round-to-round out there and just flat guess off of previous knowledge, but we figured out how to do it before the other group did. We had a great day, and it was just a total team effort.

“I’m proud to represent the colors on my car. Mr. Hendrick is a great, great man, and he’s done a ton for me – it just feels fantastic to get this done for him and be part of such a special weekend for the Hendrick group. This is all a dream come true.”

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The next race on the Mission Foods Drag Racing Series tour will be the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas, April 12-14, 2024.

This story was originally published on April 8, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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