NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Greg Anderson not-so-patiently waiting for career win No. 100

Five time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson is almost certain to become NHRA’s next 100 race winner and he’d like to knock that out on Father's Day at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
17 Jun 2022
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Greg Anderson

Tom Petty once famously sang, “The waiting is the hardest part” and in NHRA circles no one knows that better than Greg Anderson. The five-time world champion scored his 99th career Pro Stock win last season in  Dallas, a win that was crucial to his title bid. Since then, Anderson has been relatively quiet, missing the mark at the final two events of 2021 and the first six Pro Stock races this season. He’s still sitting on 99 wins and to suggest that he’s starting to get a bit impatient would be a bit of an understatement.

“It’s time to get this over and done with,” Anderson said. “We’re not in a panic right now but I’d like to finally put that [100th win] in the bank. If you go back and look, we’ve made progress at every event. We just need a bit of luck. It will happen; I’m convinced of that. And, it could happen this week.”

Anderson doesn’t’ care where he gets win No. 100, as long as he gets it. He knows it will be a momentous occasion that seals his Hall of Fame credentials but if he’s got a choice, why not win in Bristol? Why not do it on Father’s Day weekend?

“I love racing on Father’s Day,” Anderson said. “If you remember, I got my first win at this track on Father’s Day in 2001 and my dad was here and I got to hand him the trophy and that remains one of the most special days of my career. To think that 21 years later I’d be knocking on the door of 100 wins is incredible. To get 100 here, also on Father’s Day, would be absolutely magical.”

When Anderson says his HendrickCars.com Camaro has been “off a tick” he’s not exaggerating. Last season, he qualified on the pole for 12 of 17 races and was ranked lower than third only once. This season, it’s been a different story as Anderson has been somewhat inconsistent. He qualified No. 2 in Las Vegas but started No. 7 in Phoenix and dropped to No. 11 at the most recent event in Epping. As close as the competition is in Pro Stock these days, a solid qualifying effort is almost mandatory for sustained success on race day. So far, he's on the right track with a 6.686 on Friday night that was good for the provisional pole in Bristol.

Anderson could easily write off his performance in the name of testing, but he knows that’s not the case and won’t make excuses.

“The last race [in Epping] was a perfect example of what we’ve gone through,” Anderson said. “We struggled in qualifying and went into Q3 not in the field. We had to make massive changes just to make sure the car would go down the track and we’d get to race on Sunday. We were two runs behind everyone else and it showed. Qualifying is extremely important. You’ve got to have that data so you can make changes to the engine and chassis and we were lacking. That’s one of the things we need to clean up.

“We haven’t raced here since 2018 and they’ve done a lot of work to the surface, which is a good thing. It’s a lot less bumpy which is a hell of a change. Last time we ran here, I remember my head bouncing off the roll cage and I’m not exaggerating. The shift light would turn on and off as the car bounced. This is one of Bruton [Smith’s] crown jewels and they’ve addressed that and I think we’re all looking forward to it.”

Entering the Bristol race, Anderson finds himself in sixth place in the Camping World NHRA standings, and he’s 249 points behind leader Erica Enders. That’s a sizable deficit, so Anderson knows he’s not likely to catch his main rival. He also knows that the last six events of the season will decide the title so that’s where his focus lies.

“We had a five week break after Houston and to be honest, the KB team needed it,” Anderson said. “We definitely made our product better. The simple truth is that we weren’t ready to start the season but we’re ready for the long haul now.”

When Anderson does win his 100th race, he'll join an exclusive fraternity that includes John Force (155), Dan Fletcher (105), Frank Manzo (105), and David Rampy (100). The next closest active pro is Tony Schumacher who has 85 wins.