NHRA Notes: Anderson Optimistic At zMAX

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Greg Anderson ended a long dry spell recently in NHRA Pro Stock competition and hopes to win again this weekend at zMAX Dragway. (NHRA Photo)
Greg Anderson ended a long dry spell recently in NHRA Pro Stock competition and hopes to win again this weekend at zMAX Dragway. (NHRA Photo)
Greg Anderson ended a long dry spell recently in NHRA Pro Stock competition and hopes to win again this weekend at zMAX Dragway. (NHRA Photo)

CONCORD, N.C. – Greg Anderson enters the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway this weekend full of optimism after ending a lengthy winless drought two weekends ago during the AMAILE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.

Anderson, who failed to win a race during the 2013 season, sat out the first three months of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season after undergoing heart surgery to repair a heart condition he’s had since he was born. He failed to win a race in 2014 as well, leading to the longest losing streak of his professional career.

That streak ended on March 15 when Anderson drove to victory in the NHRA Pro Stock division at Auto-Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Fla., the 75th victory of his career.

“This is definitely the most positive I’ve felt in about three years now,” Anderson said. “It was fantastic down in Gainesville to finally get her done and find my way back to the winners circle. I didn’t know if I could ever find my way again but I did finally.

“It was a great, great win. It absolutely felt just like my first win. It had been a long time. It has been almost three years,” Anderson said. “I was matched up against my teammate Jason Line in the final. I knew it was going to be a tough, tough battle and it was.”

Last year the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals was the final event Anderson sat out before returning to competition. He was on hand to watch his substitute, Jimmy Alund, earn his first NHRA Pro Stock triumph driving Anderson’s Summit Camaro.

“Obviously a great, great day for Jimmy Alund, for KB Racing and it made me feel great, but at the same time I was like wow, that should be and could be me,” said Anderson. “It shows you how great our race team is. We can put different drivers in and we can still win.

“It was very difficult standing on the sidelines but it was very exciting time to see Jimmy come from Sweden and win in the U.S.,” Anderson said.

– The consensus among NHRA competitors who visited the Media Center on Saturday at zMAX Dragway was that the cool conditions this weekend are likely to lead record speeds at the freshly repaved track.

Once qualifying began on Saturday, track records quickly fell. Hector Arana Jr. was the first to eclipse a track record, breaking the zMAX Dragway NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle elapsed time record with a 6.794-second pass.

Jason Line followed that up by breaking the track speed record in the NHRA Pro Stock division with a 214.04 mph pass. Line would letter better that in the second round of Pro Stock qualifying, moving it up to 214.18 mph.

Pat Dakin’s 3.715-second pass in Top Fuel was also an elapsed time track record. J.R. Todd would later better that run in round two of qualifying, earning the No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel with his 3.713-second pass.