Third time’s the charm for Greg Anderson. Or maybe it’s lucky number seven for the veteran Pro Stock racer. Heck, maybe it’s both. The driver of the red Summit Chevrolet Camaro won the K&N Horsepower Challenge for the seventh time in his career and third year in a row on Saturday by taking down teammate and defending Mello Yello Pro Stock world champion Bo Butner, the third former champ he beat to capture his crown.
In the end, taking down Butner came “easiest” for Anderson. That’s because the Floyds Knobs, Indiana native left the starting line a full .126 second too early, turning on the red light and all but handing Anderson the victory right away. The racer rolled to a quicker pass (6.731) in the final of the challenge than he made in the semi’s (6.749) and looks to be in great position heading into race day.
“I’ve got a great, great Summit Chevrolet under my belt,” said Anderson. “I got off to a bit of a sluggish start, but this weekend I’ve got everything under me and it’s up to me to get down there and turn the win lights on. I’ve got the car, the engine, the tune-up, the crew chief and the crew. It’s all up to me, and now I’ve got the confidence.”
Anderson started his day by beating Erica Enders by the narrowest of margins despite Enders getting a big holeshot advantage on the veteran racer. He ended up winning the round by .008 second over his longtime rival, which moved him on to face Jeg Coughlin Jr., who had beaten a red-lighting Jason Line in the first round. This time, Anderson was beaten off the line by only .002 second as both racers cut great lights, but he got the stripe by a big margin.
“K&N has been so wonderful to this class and this sport in general, and it’s an honor to race for this check,” said Anderson. “That’ll go a long way to racing these cars. It’s a big shot in the arm and a big confidence booster going into tomorrow.”
Butner got by Vincent Nobile and Drew Skillman on the other side of the bracket. Skillman got off the line on Butner, but the defending champ had enough under the hood and had a good enough handle on his shifter to drive past his fellow-Indiana car salesman. That set up the showdown between K.B. Racing teammates in the final round.
That showdown didn’t quite live up to the hype after the early red light. Still, it’s another big win for Anderson, who continues to thrive at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, no matter what competition is on track.
“It’s just nice when you come somewhere that you don’t need to make any adjustments to just try to run your race car down the race track,” said Anderson. “We love racing that way in Pro Stock. This place is like, Charlotte is like that. For this place to be like that already, it’s incredible.”
Anderson will race from the No. 1 position on Sunday, with eliminations set to begin at noon PT.