JOLIET, Ill. (June 1, 2019) – Team Summit entered the Route 66 NHRA Nationals with an agenda, and on Saturday evening at Route 66 Raceway, they were able to mark the first half of their mission complete. Greg Anderson, driver of the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, came out on top with a cool 6.571-second pass at 210.54 mph in the final session to secure the 103rd No. 1 qualifier award of his Pro Stock career.
Anderson’s Summit Racing teammate Jason Line, who was No. 1 two weeks ago in Richmond and the provisional pole-sitter on Friday in Chicago, landed the No. 2 spot with a best time of 6.575, 209.39. The last time the KB Racing duo qualified in the top two positions was in Sonoma in 2018, which was also Anderson’s most recent No. 1.
It took quite a few years and quite a few final rounds, but Anderson has two Route 66 Raceway wins on his scorecard. One was earned in 2011, and the other was achieved in 2016.
“I’ve always loved coming to this racetrack,” said Anderson, now third all-time in NHRA’s history of No. 1 qualifiers, behind only John Force and Warren Johnson. “This is a great Pro Stock track, and it’s a place where every bit of power you can find can be applied to the racing surface. I have no earthly idea why I struggled to win here for so long because it’s such a great place and the starting line is so good, but I love racing here. Tomorrow should be a good day.”
The 21-year Pro Stock veteran, a four-time world champion in the category, will race Alan Prusiensky in round one. Anderson entered the event at Route 66 Raceway No. 5 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings and claimed at total of six bonus points* to aid in his quest to catch teammate Bo Butner, the incoming points leader.
Anderson’s final qualifying pull was his best of the weekend so far, and with it he claimed not only the pole, but also top speed.
“You can always make high quality runs here, but this last session, it was just a perfect run inside the car,” said Anderson, who was runner-up in Chicago last season and is in the hunt for the 92nd Pro Stock win of his career. “Tonight, it was one of those times when you’re going down the racetrack, and you’re almost clapping, going, yes, yes, yes. Rob Downing, Dave Connolly, and all the guys back at the shop and here at the track have just done a great job.
“We got the green hat as the No. 1 qualifier, and that’s great. Now, on to business tomorrow to try to find a way to get a yellow winner’s circle hat. This class is so hard to win in, but I think these are the best racecars we’ve had all year. It’ll be up to the drivers to get it done.”
Anderson’s Summit Racing counterpart Line was No. 3 in the standings coming into the event and picked up five bonus qualifying points. As of Saturday evening, he has three Route 66 Raceway victories on his scorecard. Most notably, Line earned the first Pro Stock win of his career there in a final-round showdown with Anderson in 2004.
“I’m pretty happy with my Summit Racing Chevy, and we’re all glad to see that we’re making improvements with Greg’s car,” said Line, who will race Kenny Delco in round one. “It would have been nice to get that No. 1, but I’m happy that my teammate has it this time. It’ll be interesting to see how tomorrow goes. We have a lot of history here. It should be fun.”
KB Racing-powered Butner, driver of the Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro, has dominated the season with four wins in the first five races. Butner, who was also competing in Super Comp in Chicago this weekend, will begin his challenge for a fifth trophy on the season with a first-round meeting with Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Butner qualified in the No. 8 position with a 6.598, 209.10. He was runner-up in Pro Stock at this event in 2016 to Anderson, and in 2012, he went to the final round in Stock Eliminator, where Daryl Bureski was awarded the trophy.
“The starting line here is exceptional, but we’ve really missed it down low every hit with my car,” explained Butner, who qualified fifth or better at each race so far this season and was No. 1 in Phoenix and Las Vegas.
“We have plenty of power, and our Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet is still the same good car that we’ve had all year, we just haven’t hit it down low yet. I look for tomorrow to be a good day, though. We’ve had a lot of luck this season so far, but a lot of it isn’t luck at all. The crew does their job every time. That’s very relieving for me, because I can just go out there and do my best. We’ve had very good fortune though, and there’s no reason it can’t keep going.”
*Bonus points are awarded in each qualifying session to the top three quickest cars, with the quickest of the round awarded three, second quickest gets two, and third quickest is awarded one additional point.
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.607-second at 209.26 mph (No. 4)
Q2: 6.582, 207.56 (No. 1, +3 bonus points)
Q3: 6.626, 207.904 (No. 1)
Q4: 6.575, 209.39 (No. 2, +2)
First round opponent: Kenny Delco
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.607-second at 208.94 mph (No. 5)
Q2: 6.583, 207.50 (No. 2, +2 bonus points)
Q3: 6.607, 206.48 (No. 2, +1)
Q4: 6.571, 210.54 (No. 1, +3)
First round opponent: Alan Prusiensky
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.621-second at 208.10 mph (No. 9)
Q2: 6.609, 209.85 (No. 8)
Q3: 6.6328, 208.10 (No. 8)
Q4: 6.598, 209.10 (No. 8)
First round opponent: Jeg Coughlin Jr.
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after Route 66 NHRA Nationals qualifying, race 6 of 18)
1. Bo Butner (4), 578
2. Alex Laughlin, 391
3. Jason Line, 370
4. Matt Hartford, 359
5. Greg Anderson, 349
6. Erica Enders, 333
7. Jeg Coughlin (1), 330
8. Rodger Brogdon, 286
9. Deric Kramer, 277
10. Chris McGaha, 273
Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Route 66 Raceway
Chicago (Joliet), Illinois
May 30-June 2, 2019
Route 66 Raceway Track Records
Drew Skillman, 6.528 (2015); Greg Anderson, 211.83 (2015)
Robert Hight, 3.851 (2017); Hight, 334.73 (2017)
Steve Torrence, 3.677 (2018); Torrence, 333.58 (2018)
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Matt Smith, 6.784 (2017); Hector Arana Jr., 200.89 (2018)
Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, June 2
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin
#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Sunday – 11:30 AM-12:30 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1
(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule
Finals / Thursday, June 13 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2
**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**