EPPING, NH – June 1, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – There is something about the Northeast that seems to bring out the best in Greg Anderson. The longtime Pro Stock standout and four-time world champion has dominated at Englishtown for years and that has also carried over to a second Northeast stop at New England Dragway, the site of this weekend’s fifth annual NHRA New England Nationals.
Still relatively young in its NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series existence, Anderson has nevertheless been impressive in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro at the facility, winning each of the past two years. He will try for a third straight victory this season, hoping to jump back into the points lead in the process.
“We just like that cool, Northeast air,” said Anderson, who is currently second in points. “(Epping) is like Englishtown, where we love racing. The Northeast is a good place for Pro Stock to run; you always get good track and weather conditions, and our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros just love that. We look forward to these two races every year. For me, the Northeast is a lot like Minnesota with the cool weather, where even if it’s warm during the day, it cools down at night. It’s very comfortable, and it falls right into line for us. Our cars run really well up there.”
Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) were also last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including finals coverage starting at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, June 4. It is the ninth of 24 events in 2017 and kicks off a string of four straight races. If history is any indication, Anderson could find himself back in the driver’s seat after this stretch.
Bo Butner, who won his first two career Pro Stock races this season, jumped past Anderson at the most recent race in Topeka, while rookie Tanner Gray picked up his second win of the season at the same race to stay hot on Anderson’s heels. While Anderson wasn’t overly thrilled with a second-round exit in Topeka, it was a positive sign after an uncharacteristic first-round defeat the race before in Atlanta.
“We didn’t win the race in Topeka, we didn’t quite execute, but the bottom line is that we did find performance,” said Anderson, who has 87 career wins. “We made some mistakes, but we did better than we did the weekend before, and that’s what you want to do. You have to keep finding that performance every weekend and continue to do better each time.”
That will be key in Epping, especially with a daunting month ahead. But Anderson, who won in Phoenix earlier this season and has four final-round performances in 2017, has been nothing short of amazing at New England Dragway. He set the track speed record in 2015 (214.72 mph) and knows what a third Epping victory can do to kick off this four-race swing.
“It’s nice to get into the swing of things, and having a stretch like this helps you race with continuity and do the best you can behind the wheel,” Anderson said. “But heading into four in a row, you hope and pray you don’t have any parts breakage because there won’t be a lot of time to repair anything. The goal is to have our ducks in a row so that we can race strong and make it through.”
Defending back-to-back world champ Brown will look for another Epping Top Fuel victory after winning in Topeka two weeks ago. He’ll have to get by the likes of points leader Leah Pritchett, eight-time world champ Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta and two-time 2017 winner Steve Torrence.
Defending Funny Car winner Capps, who won his first world championship in 2016, is on an incredible roll, having won four straight races heading into Epping.
The event also features thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, showcasing the future stars of the sport. After Nitro qualifying on Friday, fans can watch the spectacular Hanna Motorsports jet cars. Jet cars are thrust driven propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday, June 2 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 3, at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 4.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association