GREG ANDERSON GETS BACK IN PRO STOCK CHAMPIONSHIP HUNT WITH CHARLOTTE VICTORY
Greg Anderson has watched all season while KB Titan Racing teammates have been basking in NHRA’s Pro Stock spotlight – especially Dallas Glenn.
On Sunday, the all-time leader in NHRA Pro Stock national event wins took his turn in the spotlight at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals Sunday in Concord, the second race of the six-race Countdown to the Championship.
Anderson clocked a 6.554-second elapsed time at 209.30 mph to defeat Glenn’s 6.590-second lap at 206.73 mph in the finals at zMax Dragway.
“It was incredible,” Anderson said. “It was my day. I haven’t had any of my days this year, I guess. So, it’s definitely sweet to do it here at Charlotte, my home track with all my family here, all my friends, all my support, all the Hendrick group,” Anderson said. “It’s perfect. It’s absolutely perfect. I had a couple of pretty storybook wins last year, and this one’s right up there.”
This was Anderson’s 102nd career Pro Stock national event win and his first since the 2022 season-ending race in Pomona, Calif.
“It’s been a long year for me. My team’s been doing a great job all year long, and I’m very, very proud of that. But at the same time, I just, geez, sure wish I could win one,” Anderson said. “It has been a struggle, and it’s just been just a tick off each race. We’re capable of winning; we just haven’t been able to make four perfect runs down the racetrack where either the car didn’t make a mistake, or the driver didn’t make a mistake. We did that (Sunday), we were 4-0, we did not make any mistakes. The car was fantastic, and I didn’t screw it up. Here we are in the winner’s circle at the Betway Carolina National, so it feels pretty damn good.”
On Sunday, Anderson marched through Jerry Tucker, Cristian Cuadra, reigning world champion Erica Enders, and then Glenn.
“It’s been a long year for me, but I never give up, and I could see that things were definitely trending in the right direction the last couple of months,” Anderson said. “We were climbing the mountain and being a race-winning car again; we weren’t that the first few months of the year. But the last couple of months, we’ve definitely been... We’ve had a car that could win races, and we just had to put everything together. When you’ve got the depth I’ve got on my race team, it’s hard to win. When you’re racing against a great group like the Elite Motorsports group, it is tough out there. It’s hard, hard to win. Especially when the playoffs come around, everybody brings their A game. You saw it last weekend; everybody’s effort ratcheted up, and it was tougher yet to try and race and win.”
However, this time, Anderson was the one celebrating when the curtain dropped on the event.
“We found a way to race better than they did on Sunday, and we made the final round with two KB Titan cars last weekend and again this weekend here at CMS with two KB Titan cars in the final,” Anderson said. “So great, great day, and couldn’t be prouder of my guys. What a group, what a group effort. Just a fantastic team effort all day long. So beautiful weekend, fantastic weekend and couldn’t be prouder to do it here in front of my family and friends in this great facility.”
Anderson, who has won five career Pro Stock world championships – the last one coming in 2021 – put himself in the championship hunt with four races left in the season.
Anderson moved up to fourth in the points standings – only 61 points behind leader Matt Hartford. Hartford leads with 2,250 points, followed by Enders (2,246), Glenn (2,235) and Anderson (2,189).
“We didn’t back into a win today. We earned a win today,” Anderson said. “We absolutely went out there and earned one. We outran everybody and did a better job of racing (Sunday) than everybody did. So yes, we are peaking at the right time, without a doubt. To have Dallas and the final ride alongside me, it’s not just one car of our six or seven-car fleet; it is all of them.”
The third race in the Countdown is the NHRA Midwest Nationals Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 in St. Louis. Anderson has two career wins in St. Louis in 2004 and 2017.
Anderson scored a huge win in the semis Sunday when he knocked off Enders. Anderson clocked a 6.546-second run to beat Enders’ 6.590-second lap.
“That was huge,” Anderson said. “Anytime you race her, especially as fast as she’s been lately, she’s just lightning-fast right now. To get around her, Matt (Hartford) got around her last week, and I got around her this week. Just a great team effort. To do that, that definitely is the cherry on top, without a doubt. Put two KB-Titan cars in the final. That’s what it’s all about for us. You couldn’t ask for a better day, so it was a fantastic day.
“I probably lose focus of that once in a while (about winning), but you have to get tough. You have to tell yourself you could do this, you are not over the hill, you’re not washed up. Sometimes you want to think that way, and sometimes it looks that way, but (Sunday) it didn’t look that way. I didn’t think that way.”
That answer led to Anderson talking about his Pro Stock future.
“So, I answered this question at least 20 times a weekend: how much longer will you drive? The answer always is until I can’t win anymore,” Anderson said. This year, I’ve been thinking about it; I’ve been thinking, can I not win anymore? So today proved I guess I got to stick around a little bit longer. I guess I still can win. So great, great day and Cody (his son) will have to wait a little longer.”
Although no Pro Stock racer has won more national events than Anderson knows, that number doesn’t matter to any of his competitors.
“You’re only as good as your last race. I know that better than anybody,” he said. “Any late race win can be your last race win. I’ve known that for ten years, so you never know. It is 102 (Sunday). You never know if there’ll be 103. I’m sure as h*ll going to try to make 103, but you never know, and you’ve got to appreciate every day and every opportunity you got. I had a great opportunity today, and we made the most of it. So apparently, another group won today, and hopefully, it can grow some more in the future, but there’s no guarantees.”