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Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro ended Friday as the top qualifier in Pro Stock in Denver

Greg Anderson and his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro ended Friday as the top qualifier in Pro Stock at the Dodge NHRA Mile-High Nationals presented by Pennzoil
19 Jul 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Race coverage
anderson

Greg Anderson has been the top qualifier in Pro Stock 103 times in his career and that number could easily swell to 104 after his performance on Friday night at Bandimere Speedway. Anderson drove his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to a 6.980 to earn the provisional pole. Anderson passed local favorite Deric Kramer, who had earlier run a 6.981 in his American Ethanol Camaro which like Anderson’s car, is powered by an engine from KB Racing.

Anderson, a three-time winner in Denver, was also quick during Friday’s opening session with a 7.039, just three thousandths behind teammate Jason Line, who was the Q1 leader with a 7.036. Anderson is the defending event winner in Denver but he’s not won since. So far this season, the four-time world champ has been to a final round in Richmond and has a pair of semifinals in seven events. Anderson enters the Denver race as the No. 4 driver in Pro Stock. Anderson also has history on his side when it comes to the Western Swing that also includes the upcoming events in Sonoma and Seattle. He is the only Pro Stock driver to sweep all three events, a feat he accomplished in 2004.

“I love it here. It’s a huge challenge but it’s fun because it’s the biggest challenge we have to face all year long," said Anderson. "Everything is different. We basically lift the gas cap up and slide a new car underneath it. We change gearing and suspension and just about everything else you can change. We knew today was a practice day based on the weather, but its’ still data you need. We’re right on schedule so far. You can pull your hair out up here but you have to adapt and make the right changes. I feel like we’ve got the best group when it comes to making changes.

"I have a solid chance for the pole and a solid chance for a win on Sunday," Anderson said.  "I haven’t had one since last year and I feel like this is my best chance."

Given Friday’s searing heat, it was a given that Allen Johnson’s four-year old track record of 6.877 was not in jeopardy but few would have expected the entire Pro Stock field to miss the six-second zone. In Q2, the only six-second runs were recorded by Anderson, Kramer, and Erica Enders, who finished the day in third after a 6.995 from her Melling/Elite Camaro. Enders is also seeking her first victory of the season, and her first in Denver.

Fourth-quickest on day one is Jeg Coughlin Jr. after a 7.001 best in his JEGS.com Camaro, which uses Elite Performance power. Coughlin also has an extensive history at Bandimere Speedway with back-to-back Pro Stock titles in 1998 and 1999.

Line has 48 NHRA national event wins in the Pro Stock class but none of them have come at Bandimere Speedway. The three-time champion has been to the final three times in Denver, in 2006, 2009, and 2018, but has three runner-up finishes to show for it. Line improved in Q2 with a 7.004 which is good for the No. 5 spot.

Mid-season debuts are not rare in Pro Stock or any other class for that matter and there are two drivers in the field who are new to the class. Pro Mod racer Steve Matusek and second-generation racer Cristian Cuadra. Matusek ended the day in the top half of the field after a 7.014 while Cuadra, who joines his father, Fernando Sr. and brother, Fernando Jr., ran a best of 7.315.