The question of when is no longer as Greg Anderson has tied Warren Johnson for the most wins in Pro Stock history.
It came in the final round of Sunday’s Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil and it came against longtime rival Erica Enders at Maple Grove Raceway. But Anderson was outstanding from start to finish in the championship round, leaving first and running away with the victory after a pass of 6.578 seconds at 208.30 mph in his HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro.
It gives Anderson the first win in Pro Stock’s six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs, extends his points lead and hands him his 97th career victory, tying the legendary Johnson. It marked a magical moment for the four-time champ, who soaked it in during a memorable celebration at Maple Grove Raceway.
“I was absolutely shocked that the win light came on. There’s been so many races in a row where it simply wouldn’t come on,” said Anderson, who has three wins this year. “You think you have everything going well and the light just doesn’t come on in the final round. What a great, great feeling. There’s nothing better than when that win light comes on. It was a huge day to finally tie Warren. I learned so much from him and it’s kind of a cool story. Now I get a chance to try and beat him, and we’re going to Charlotte with a chance to break that record."
Anderson advanced to the final round for the sixth time in 2021 and 164th time in his incredible career with victories against John Gaydosh, Matt Hartford and Troy Coughlin Jr. In the duel with Coughlin, Anderson was .026 on the Tree to Coughlin’s .028, allowing his 6.614 to stand up to Coughlin’s 6.613 by a mere .0011.
Coming in as the points leader, Anderson pushed it to 41 points over Enders, with Aaron Stanfield sitting in third, 95 behind Anderson. Glenn is fourth, 99 back of the veteran.
Anderson had tried to tie Johnson since winning at Atlanta in early May, but fell short in the next three final rounds. But he had the most consistent car in Reading, earning the most bonus points in qualifying and making the quickest run in three of the four eliminations rounds. Against Enders, he posted a .021 reaction time to Enders’ .049 and never trailed to pick up his third win in 2021 and start the playoffs in an impressive fashion.
“It’s great to start the playoffs with a win. There’s a lot of great cars in the class, but I think we know deep down that Erica is going to be the one you’re going to have to beat if you want to win a championship,” Anderson said. “To lock horns with her in the final round, she doesn’t make mistakes. We just finally did a little bit better job and we’ll take it. I’m so proud of this team and I’m having a blast. I’m 60 years old and I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had in a race car.”
To reach the final round for the fourth time this season and 59th time in her career, Enders knocked off Larry Morgan, Chris McGaha and standout rookie Dallas Glenn. The No. 1 qualifier and defending world champ was looking for her first victory at Maple Grove Raceway, and had been 9-0 in her last nine final rounds before Sunday.
She still posted a solid weekend as she prepares to duel with Anderson over the next two months, with each driver seeking their fifth world championship.