Greg Anderson entered this weekend in eighth place and knew he needed a good weekend at the AAA Texas FallNationals to remain part of the Pro Stock championship battle, and his determination showed. Using his right foot to extreme advantage, Anderson was a terror on the Christmas Tree, leaving on all four opponents, including Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final to collect his 94th career win.
Coughlin and Anderson faced off in the final round for the 21st time in their careers and Anderson came close to evening the score with his 10th victory. It’s Anderson’s class-leading fifth victory in Dallas but his first since 2010. Anderson is in seventh place, but just 99 points out of the lead.
"We've had so many titanic clashes that mean so much and I knew it would be close and that I had to do a good job on the line, but it was total team effort," said Anderson. "Sometimes the driver gets the job done, sometimes the car gets the job done and we had both today. That's what it takes to win a race in Pro Stock these days. You have to have perfection out there. After Charlotte, I'm a realist; I was 150 points back and the car was not performing anywhere near what it should, but I never quit. I keep digging and we made a lot of changes this week to give it one last shot and we hit on it. Now I feel we have a car that can run for the title and the question is can I drive it well enough."
The answer would seem to be yes. Anderson won his first and semifinal rounds -- against teammate Jason Line and Deric Kramer, respectively -- on holeshots and had a .003 light in besting points leader Erica Enders in round two. Anderson pulled off a major upset, turning the tables on noted holeshot artist and No. 2 qualifier Enders by carving a .003 reaction time to her .030 and then staying ahead of her for a 6.59 to 6.60 victory.
"Racing Jason in the first round was a no-win situation. He has what we consider the best car of the KB fleet for the last half-dozen and the best chance to win a championship this year. No matter what way it went down it was a no-win, If I lose first round again that's depressing and if I won I knock his chances of winning the championship. Fortunately, I was able to beat Erica after that, which made me a lot of friends in the pits."
Coughlin, whose pink JEGS.com/Elite Performance Camaro had low e.t. of three of the four qualifying sessions, looked strong again on Sunday, clocking low e.t. of round one with a 6.573 on a bye run after Richie Stevens Jr.’s parachute fell out of the pack as the wheelie bar was being adjusted in round one, then bested young gun Aaron Stanfield with a 6.62 in round two. Coughlin then helped his teammate, points leader Enders, by beating second-place Matt Hartford in the semifinals. With second-place Jason Line drawing – and then losing to – teammate Anderson in round one, Hartford moved into second place then defeated former world champ Bo Butner in round two to reach the semi’s, but Jeg stopped him there.