Anderson Recalls Important Early Lesson at U.S. Nationals

Summit Racing pilot Greg Anderson has the best record of all currently racing Pro Stock competitors at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis with six trophies earned, and this weekend’s 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will provide a fresh canvas for the four-time NHRA world champion to paint another thrilling picture. This weekend, Anderson will compete for a seventh Indy Wally on the 15th anniversary of his first U.S. Nationals final.

With just one more chance to lobby for a strong starting position in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, Anderson, of Mooresville, N.C., enters this season’s event in the No. 10 position and on a steady upswing. Although he faltered a bit two weeks ago in Brainerd, the 74-time national event winner is prepared to bounce back and continue the climb.

The hallowed grounds at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis were where Anderson earned his first ticket to the final round. In 1999 he made his way to a money-round match with veteran driver and former boss Warren Johnson. Making it so far on raceday at such a prestigious event was not lost on Anderson, but he was quickly brought back to reality.

“I got whupped,” said Anderson with a laugh. “We were having a magical day, and I really, really believed we could win that race. But then we ran Warren Johnson in the final, and I looked like the rookie I was. He whupped my butt pretty good – I thought we were going to win Indy with a Cinderella story, but he had a different idea.

“There was a difference in the lanes, if I remember correctly, and he sniffed it out and showed me who was boss. That showed me that it takes more than just a lucky day to win a race. You need experience. It was a lesson learned. It took some time to recover, but I got better because of it, and that was probably my launching pad and what made this all set sail.”

As of late, Anderson and his determined KB Racing team have seen their two Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros gain performance, and Anderson has logged his best qualifying efforts of the year in the last four races. Three times this season he has raced to the final round, including just a few weeks ago in Seattle when he fell to Summit Racing teammate Jason Line.

“I feel very good about our performance right now,” said Anderson. “We’ve had a couple of good test days, and it’s basically come down to the final event to lock in our spot. We’re No. 10 right now, and if [No. 11] Jonathan Gray wants this spot, he’s going to have to whup me to earn it. It’s come down to the end like I thought it would, and it should be a great challenge. May the best man win.”