Drag racing is a self-induced, high-pressure situation, but Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Greg Anderson has been under tremendous pressure over the course of the 2013 season of NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
This weekend, though, the pressure is off at the 49th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
“You know, you always have hope, but this weekend I think we’re going into it with a little bit of a different mindset,” said Anderson. “At least I will be. The pressure will be off. It will be one of those races where you can just go and enjoy yourself, have fun, and not worry about the points. Those are pretty rare, and you’d certainly rather be in the hunt for the championship, but it looks like that’s what we’re going to have this weekend in Pomona.
“Maybe that low-pressure situation will work in our favor, and I’ll finally be able to put my Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro in the winner’s circle again.”
For Anderson, the 2013 season has been one riddled with a brand of challenge to which he is completely unfamiliar. For the first time in 13 years, the four-time Pro Stock world champion is heading into the last race on the tour without a win. He is currently No. 8 in the series standings.
The location of this final race of the 2013 Mello Yello Series is a bright beacon for Anderson, who has enjoyed much success at the hallowed facility in the heart of Southern California, where the idea of racing on the dragstrip instead of the street grew roots in the early days of the sport.
Of Anderson’s remarkable 74 national event wins with KB Racing, 10 were recorded in Pomona. A five-time winner in five NHRA Finals money rounds, the Mooresville, N.C.-based Pro Stock veteran also has five wins in six finals at the Winternationals, the traditional season-opener at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Notably, Anderson, who has held six national records for elapsed time over the course of his career as well as five national records for speed, recorded a then mind-blowing 6.528 jaunt down the quarter-mile at the 2009 Winternationals to become the new world record holder.
“If I’m going to find a way to keep my streak alive [of winning a race every year since 2001], this is as good of a chance as I could ask for,” said Anderson. “We love this racetrack. Just love it. We had a week off after the last race in Las Vegas, and we took that time to look back and study. We think we have a good game plan, and we expect the Summit Racing Camaros to run well.
“It looks like the weather will be relatively cool, and that’s been our cup of tea there the last several years. If the weather is cool there, the cars will be fast – and we love to run those big speeds. We’ve had a ton of success there in Pomona, both with Jason’s car and mine. It’s always exciting, it’s a feel-good track for us, and it’s just a great way to end the year.”
(Photo courtesy NHRA/National Dragster)