Is Anderson’s Win In Denver The Start Of Something Big For The Four-Time Champ?
It has been a full year since Greg Anderson won a Pro Stock trophy. It’s been a downright painful drought, because the driver of the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro has had a very fast car, and he has wheeled it powerfully well. It finally all came together again at this weekend’s 40th annual Mile-High NHRA Nationals, where Anderson took Team Summit to the winner’s circle and claimed his 92nd Pro Stock win.
“It’s been a really long year,” said Anderson, whose last victory came at Bandimere Speedway last season. “This is for you guys at Summit Racing; thank you for sticking with me. Maybe this will kickstart our season. I knew we were peaking. I knew we were gaining ground the last few races, and we put it all together here without a doubt.”
Anderson has been on a steady climb this season, starting off slowly but then moving up in the standings bit by bit, with two semifinals and one final round performance over the course of the last four events. With the win in Denver, he is now No. 2 in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock points, with only KB Racing-powered Bo Butner ahead of him.
“This feels good,” said Anderson, who now has four Denver wins in four final rounds. “It’s been a year since I’ve been able to win a race, and the class is just tough. I’m 58, and I’m certainly not getting any younger. It’s tough to hang with these guys on the starting line when the cars are the same, and that makes it hard to win. So, I’m proud. I had a good day. The car was great, just like it was a year ago here. My Summit Racing Chevy loves Bandimere Speedway, and every year I consider this my best chance to win.
“It feels wonderful to get the job done, and everybody did a great job. The car was flawless all day long, and the driver didn’t screw it up.”
His Summit Racing Chevy clocked low elapsed time of the event with a 6.939-second pass in the second round, and in the semifinals he had top speed of the meet with a 197.68 mph pass. In three of four rounds, Anderson was first to leave the starting line.
Anderson’s voyage to the final began with a first-round meeting with Fernando Cuadra, a driver to whom KB Racing supplies power and support. There, Anderson clocked a winning 6.960, 197.54 to his challenger’s 6.986, 196.59.
Of note: Cuadra, whose son, Cristian, was making his NHRA Pro Stock debut at the event with Chris McGaha power for his non-Chevy entry, also saw his son, David (Cristian’s twin brother), make his debut in Top Sportsman and win his first round of eliminations. Fernando Cuadra Jr., the eldest son to Cuadra Sr., was racing in his second Pro Stock event.
A second-round defeat of No. 1 qualifier Richard Freeman was followed by holeshot win over Colorado-native Deric Kramer, and with lane choice in the final, Anderson scored the victory over Matt Hartford, 6.950, 196.96 to 6.965, 196.96.
It was the first time the two had met in the money round, but the 10th time they’d come up head-to-head during eliminations. Anderson has won each race the two have contested against one another.
“It was a very good race,” said Anderson. “I had a lot of great races today, and that was another one. The car performed perfectly, and it was a great race down the racetrack. The drivers did their jobs, but one guy has to win and one guy has to lose.”
The next NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event will be the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway next weekend, July 26-28, 2019.