Sonoma, Calif. (July 28, 2019) – Greg Anderson is having quite a Western Swing. After winning Denver last weekend, Anderson sailed to victory in the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals and is now the only driver on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour with a chance to “sweep the swing” and claim three straight wins. Anderson is also the only Pro Stock driver to have ever accomplished the feat before, so he knows it can be done.
“How about that,” said Anderson, who claimed the 93rd Pro Stock win of his career with his Sonoma victory over Alex Laughlin. “I’ll go into Seattle with a smile on my face, eager to race, and see if the cards fall the right way again. I had a lot of luck today, don’t get me wrong, and it takes a lot of luck to win one of these events. I didn’t make the big mistake and other people did. Someway, I found my way to the winner’s circle.”
Anderson launched into eliminations with a victory over Kenny Delco, 6.570-second at 209.52 mph to 6.594, 209.69. He then came up against Jeg Coughlin Jr., who broke at the starting line and could not make the run. Anderson took a single and laid down a 6.568, 211.10, low of the round and top speed of raceday.
In the semifinals and with lane choice over Summit Racing teammate Jason Line, Anderson was first off the starting line to garner a holeshot win, 6.625, 209.52 to a quicker 6.593, 208.71 that was the quickest pass of the round.
“I had good lights the rest of the weekend, but none of that matters except for the last one,” said Line, who was .064 to Anderson’s .022. “I had a couple of good runs, but not what I needed to win the race. It is what it is, and you move on. Fortunately, we had a good day as a team. That’s all that matters in the big picture, and we can’t wait to get to the next one.”
In the final, Anderson came up against No. 1 qualifier Alex Laughlin. Again, Anderson was dealt a stroke of luck as Laughlin broke and could not make the run. Anderson clocked a 6.602, 208.71 in his winning pass.
“This feels great,” said Anderson, No. 2 in the Pro Stock standings. “It’s been a long time since I’ve won two races in a row. When you have a gap like that between race wins, you start to doubt yourself, if you can still win. You’ve got to find a way to get that right, and without a doubt, the older you get the harder it is to keep in check. The harder it is to make sure you’re sharp.
“This is going to do a lot for me, not only winning last week but winning two weeks in a row it not only proves to me I can still do it but it tells you that you still want to do it and how much fun it is and why you do it. It’s just fantastic, and Sonoma has always been one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. I love racetracks where the cars run fast, we’re at sea level, the air is good and as a person you feel good, you breathe well. And the scenery is beautiful. It’s been at the top of my list for a lot of years and I think that’s why I’ve had a lot of success here.”
In the Sportsman ranks, Pro Stock points leader Bo Butner debuted in the Super Gas category driving a recently acquired ’63 Chevrolet Corvette roadster. As he did when he debuted in Super Street in 2014, Butner won his very first event in the class.
“I knew coming into this that the car was good. I’m very happy with it, and I’m entered for next week in Seattle – but you ask yourself, do you race it or do you be one and done and perfect? We’ll probably race it, though,” said Butner. “It’s a lot of fun, and believe it or not it keeps my mind off the other stuff. I always race better with two cars.”
Butner’s Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stocker was also on par this weekend. He qualified No. 4 and went to the semifinals, where he fell to Laughlin.
“I got out of my element in the semis, and whenever I worry about anything happening in the other lane, I have a tendency to mess up,” said Butner. “That’s exactly what happened. I hated it for KB Racing – it should have been two KB Racing cars in the final. But Greg got it done, so we’re happy.”
The next event on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour will be the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., August 2-4.
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
R1: Greg Anderson defeated Kenny Delco, 6.570-second at 209.52 mph to 6.594, 209.69
R2: Anderson def. Jeg Coughlin Jr., 6.568, 211.10 to broke
R3: Anderson def. Jason Line, 6.625, 209.52 to 6.593, 208.71
R4: Anderson def. Alex Laughlin, 6.602, 208.71 to 7.203, 175.68
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
R1: Jason Line defeated Richard Freeman, 6.570-second at 210.08 mph to 6.585, 210.01
R2: Line def. Deric Kramer, 6.574, 209.85 to 6.578, 210.41
R3: Greg Anderson def. Line, 6.625, 209.52 to 6.593, 208.71
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
R1: Bo Butner defeated Steve Matusek, 6.561-second at 210.47 mph to 6.611, 209.49
R2: Butner def. Chris McGaha, 6.593, 210.05 to 6.745, 180.28
R3: Alex Laughlin def. Butner, 6.614, 209.95 to 6.632, 208.88
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after NHRA Sonoma Nationals, race 9 of 18)
1. Bo Butner (4), 781*
2. Greg Anderson (2), 675
3. Alex Laughlin, 658
4. Jason Line, 582
5. Matt Hartford, 567
6. Deric Kramer (1), 558
7. Jeg Coughlin (1), 544
8. Erica Enders, 535
9. Chris McGaha (1), 477
10. Rodger Brogdon, 320
*clinched berth in NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship