Chevrolet sweeps top seeds for Countdown

CHEVROLET RACING IN NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION
DODGE POWER BROKERS NHRU.S. NATIONALS
LUCAS OIL INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK IN BROWNSBURG, INDIANA
SEPT. 5, 2022

Chevrolet drivers deliver epic U.S. Nationals performances

• Five-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson reaches 100-win milestone
• No. 1 Top Fuel qualifier Brittany Force finishes as runner-up for second year in a row
• Robert Hight advances to Funny Car final round for ninth time in 16 races
• Team Chevy drivers sweep the top seeds for the Countdown to the Championship
• David Barton prevails in all-COPO Camaro final of Factory Stock Showdown

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 5, 2022) – The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals always produces riveting storylines involving Chevrolet teams and drivers, and the 68th edition of the “Big Go” delivered another epic race day at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

  • Greg Anderson became the second driver in NHRA professional categories to reach 100 career victories as the five-time Pro Stock champion drove the HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro SS to his seventh U.S. Nationals win.

“I kept asking myself what do I have to do to win? It just wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to be in Indy,” said Anderson, who delivered the 360th win for Chevrolet in the class since 1970. “When you can win here at Indy and to get the 100th here, I couldn’t ask for anything better. It means everything to me.”

Sixteen-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, driver of the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS, leads all drivers with 155 career wins. Sportsman racers Frank Manzo (105), Dan Fletcher (105), and David Rampy (100) — have also reached the century mark in victories.

Said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of Performance and Motorsports: “Congratulations to Greg and his Camaro SS team on this incredible milestone victory. The 100 wins are the result of Greg’s skill as a racer combined with a great team that has prepared his race car over the years. This is also a very special tribute to his mother, late father and family who have always supported his passion for drag racing and the NHRA. We are extremely proud of Greg’s 100 wins – all with Chevrolet/GM.”

  • Team Chevy drivers Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) – past NHRA champions with Chevrolet – sewed up top seeds in their respective professional classes for the six-race Countdown to the Championship that begins Sept. 16-18 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania.

“We’re going into the Countdown and you’re seeing the competition really come alive, really pick up,” said Force, who was the No. 1 qualifier in the 2021 Countdown opener at Maple Grove Raceway. “That just makes it tough. It puts more pressure on our team, all of John Force Racing. But it’s going to be good, it’s going to be tight and it’s going to be close, and this Countdown is going to be fun.”

  • No. 1 Top Fuel qualifier Brittany Force, who reset her own track elapsed time and speed records a day earlier in qualifying in the Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac Chevrolet dragster, finished runner-up for the second year in a row. She also finished second in the special Pep Boys All-Star Top Fuel Callout.

Force, who has four wins, added to her point total with her second final-round appearance in 16 races this season.

Force will look to 2023 to join her father John, a five-time winner, and sister Ashley, who’s won three times, as a U.S. Nationals champion. No Indy-winning parent has had two offspring also win the U.S. Nationals.

  • No. 2 Funny Car qualifier Hight, driving the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS, advanced to his ninth final round in 16 races.

Anderson also surpassed 900 career round wins – second only to John Force’s 1,412 in NHRA history. Anderson defeated Fernando Cuadra Jr. in one semifinal, while Glenn ended Enders’ U.S. Nationals round winning streak at 10.

“The best win ever. I can’t thank the (team owners) Black family enough for this opportunity; 100 wins together. They’ve made me live me dream all these years. Rick Hendrick, you have another cool trophy coming to your collection.”

John Force’s quest for his sixth U.S. Nationals Funny Car victory came to an end in the semifinals. Force, the No. 4 qualifier in the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS, has advanced to at least the semifinals in nine of the 16 regular-season races and will prepare to chase his 17th Funny Car world title in the Countdown.

Austin Prock, the No. 14 qualifier in the Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist Chevrolet dragster, fell in the first round.

In an all-COPO Camaro final of the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown, David Barton of Reading, Pennsylvania, took the points lead through six of the eight events in the season-long series with a victory over No. 1 qualifier Aaron Stanfield of Bossier, Louisiana.

“There’s really stiff competition out here, so you have to take it one round at a time,” Barton said. “We tried to stay focused and here we are in the winner’s circle. Two to go and we’re going to try to hold onto the points lead the best we can.”

An interview with Pro Stock winner GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, HENDRICKCARS.COM CHEVROLET CAMARO SS:

HOW MEANINGFUL IS THE MILESTONE?

“It’s incredible. I kept asking myself what do I have to do to win? It just wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to be in Indy. I’ve made no bones about telling everybody all my career how special Indy is to me. It’s an out-of-body experience when you can win here at Indy and to get the 100th here I couldn’t ask for anything better. It means everything to me.”

YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY AS A DRIVER. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR WORK ETHIC?

“I had a good, basic skill set when I came to Warren (Johnson). There’s no question that Warren opened my vision to a lot of different things and educated me on a lot of things. I learned that northern Minnesota work ethic that has followed me all my career. I tell people every day that I’ve never met anyone in my life that has failed by working hard. I’m not a brain surgeon. I’m not the smartest whip out there, but I work hard. That’s a valuable lesson.”

YOUR THOUGHTS ON BEING IN THAT EXCLUSIVE CLUB?

“It’s incredible. About three years ago when I was trying to chase down Warren with 97 (wins), I tried not to think about it. I was having too much fun racing, still thinking I could race forever. I don’t think I’m done by any means but I’m definitely closer to the end of my career. It’s hard to come out and compete with these kids so I know my days may be numbered but I’m not done. I think I’ll get a few more and I plan on doing this until I can’t win anymore. Sometimes, it’s good to have a few of us crusty old veterans out here. I used to win Indy fairly often. We won six times between 2001 and 2011 and I thought I’d have 10 of them at some point. I’m not going to get there but I think this is the most special one of all.”

YOU WOULDN’T HAVE 100 WITHOUT WINNING INDY SEVEN TIMES.

“It’s fantastic. I remember back in the day when we were winning quite often; it’s been since 2011 that I’ve won the U.S. Nationals. It’s been a long time, but from 2001 to 2011 we won six times. When you haven’t won here in so long, you can really appreciate it.”

YOU GOT TO TELL RICK HENDRICK THAT YOU GOT THE BIG ONE AT THE U.S. NATIONALS.

“Pretty incredible. He oozes cool. He loves to win. He doesn’t do this just for fun. He does it because he loves to win, he wants to win. When you call him or he calls you when you’ve won, he’s over the moon. It’s always a wonderful phone call.”

STARTING TO PEAK AT THE RIGHT TIME WITH THE COUNTDOWN NEXT?

“We just weren’t quite up to par, and we were getting outrun by (Elite Motorsports), basically. We have done a lot of work over the last three months, and it is starting to pay off. We are starting to climb that ladder back up with a car that can win again.”

CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT

TOP FUEL

BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, FLAV-R-PAC/MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET DRAGSTER: “Overall, not a bad weekend for this Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac team. We can’t complain. We qualified No. 1, ran for the Pep Boys Callout money, got beat in the final. Race day, Monday, had another final round appearance. So, it’s positive all around,. Our biggest objective coming in was leaving with the points lead and we did just that. Everything resets in the Countdown but we’re in the position we want to be in, and we head to Reading, Pennsylvania next.”

AUSTIN PROCK, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONTANA BRAND/ROCKY MOUNTAIN TWIST CHEVROLET DRAGSTER: “I thought this Montana Brand/Rocky Mountain Twist dragster had a little more out there to get around the champ. When you go up and duke it out with (Steve) Torrence there’s always some extra motivation and a little extra competition at the line. I left on him so I did my job but it’s a team sport, win as a team, lose as a team, it can go both ways. We made a full pull, which we struggled to do through qualifying, so hopefully that’s something we can consistently do and gain some power heading into the Countdown. We get a charity spot but hopefully we can hurt some feelings during the last six races.”

FUNNY CAR

JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK ANTIFREEZE AND COOLANT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “Well, we went some rounds, had some good runs in this PEAK Chevrolet. We were able to find some consistency. That’s good, especially heading into the Countdown in two weeks. We’re fifth in points, which means after the reset, only 50 points out of the lead. Things can change quickly but we’re in it, we have a chance and that’s what we’re going after. Huge thank you to all the fans out here. You’re who we do this for, you bring us motivation.”

ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “Not a bad day for this Auto Club team. Granted, not the way we wanted this afternoon to go, but we’re not putting our heads down. The Auto Club guys have been working hard all weekend, it’s a marathon here at the U.S. Nationals. We made some really good passes, went some rounds and we’re going into the Countdown in that number one spot. Now the real work starts, only ahead 20 points with the standings resetting for the Countdown, just have to take it one weekend at a time, one run at a time. I’ve said it before, it’s going to take another two or three wins to get that championship, that’s what we’re looking for.”

About Chevrolet

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, available in nearly 80 countries with nearly 2.7 million cars and trucks sold in 2021. Chevrolet models include electric and fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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