NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Adversaries are under the awning for Pro Stock champ Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson's fifth Pro Stock championship ended with a triumph over rival Elite Motorsports, but there was plenty of competition under Anderson's awning from his young KB Racing stablemates, Kyle Koretsky and Dallas Glenn.
25 Jan 2022
Kelly Wade
Dallas Glenn Kyle Koretsky

Greg Anderson penned a new paragraph in the history of NHRA Pro Stock on the way to the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series championship, but nothing he accomplished last season came easy. En route to becoming the most winning driver in the category and claiming his fifth series title, the driver of the HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro found himself embroiled in some of the most intense competition of his career — some of which hit awfully close to home. 

On paper, Anderson's season told the story of a race car with ample horsepower — he drove his KB Racing-powered Chevrolet to the No. 1 qualifying position at 12 of 17 events — and a capable driver who earned five wins in nine final rounds to lead the points from beginning to end.

But, as is often said, races aren't won on paper, and statistics and results do not tell the tale of the mental challenge threaded into a championship chase. One of Anderson's most common utterings after final qualifying was, "It's going to be a battle royale," and indeed it was. 

Three of Anderson's event wins came over KB Racing's most obvious rivals, Elite Motorsports, and he also suffered three final-round losses to the team that was giving him a serious run in the championship battle. 

Defending series titlist Erica Enders — then also seeking a fifth crown — was his front-runner in competition in the final hours, but she wasn't a lone warrior. Her Elite Motorsports teammate, Aaron Stanfield, emerged as a serious threat midseason when he snuffed out Anderson's candle in the New England Nationals final to move into the No. 2 position in the points.

Anderson's Sunday came to an abrupt halt at the hands of Elite Motorsports eight times in 2021, and the rivalry was a main focus of discussion throughout the season. Internally, though, friendly foes were anchored right there under the KB Racing awning. Matt Hartford came into the season with three career wins — two of which had come at the expense of Anderson — and Deric Kramer sent a message as he eliminated his engine builder in the early rounds in Houston. 

Freshman Pro Stock racer Dallas Glenn was a threat to all throughout a season that would ultimately culminate in NHRA Rookie of the Year honors, and Kyle Koretsky utilized his sophomore season to show that he had the composure and skill to race with and against Pro Stock's best.

By the time the Countdown to the Championship began, both Koretsky and Glenn had a shot at glory if anyone at the top, including the boss, was going to falter.

"I'm proud of the racers they've become," said Anderson. "They don't [need] much instruction because they pick up quick. I lean on experience, but these guys bend and flex, they bounce back in a hurry, and they don't fear anything. It's impressive to watch, and I wish I could be more like they are in some ways.

"It's tough going up against them, but they pushed me to be better. I had no choice; it was either be better or go home."

It was, perhaps, Anderson's good fortune that not once did he have to line up against Glenn — a notoriously good leaver who routinely threw down near-perfect reaction times — in eliminations, but the charging Koretsky kept popping up at the most inopportune times. 

In Topeka, with Anderson looking to tie Warren Johnson as the most winning driver in the class, Koretsky used a holeshot in the second round to put him on the trailer. Entering the Countdown to the Championship No. 4 in the standings, Koretsky went on to record a final-round defeat of Anderson in Charlotte and climb to No. 3 while also scooping up points that had the potential to alter fate. 

"My dad [former Pro Stock and Top Fuel racer Kenny Koretsky] wanted a Wally his whole life, and so it meant a lot to me to win that," said Koretsky. His father's first final round was at the 2004 NHRA U.S. Nationals, where he fell to Anderson.

"Greg was a top dog when my dad was racing Pro Stock, and my dad was a little guy on the totem pole just trying to qualify," continued Koretsky. "Of course, I wanted to see Greg get the record. He's the hardest-working guy, and he's the best. He'll work on my car before he works on his car, that's just how he is. But that win meant a lot to me. I knew he'd get the record. I know he'll get 100, too. It's just a matter of time."

Now a 99-time Pro Stock winner after a final-round defeat of Koretsky at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, reigning Pro Stock champion Anderson will have his first shot at earning his 100th victory at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com, Feb. 17-20. While Anderson surely intends to reach the milestone, his teammates will surely be amongst those standing in his way. 

This isn't a new set of circumstances for Anderson, though. He hired Jason Line in 2003 to run the KB Racing dyno and drive a second car for the team, and the two battled in a friendly yet fierce manner for many years before three-time champion Line retired from driving at the conclusion of the 2020 season.

"The goal at KB Racing is the same for all of us. The day you stop trying to get better is the day you're going to get crushed," said Glenn. "We're always going to be working to find more horsepower and make things to work a little better here and a little better there. After the season we had last year, none of us are going to relax. It's full steam ahead, and every driver in this camp wants the championship."