NHRA: Anderson (Pro Stock), Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) reign at Joliet

Leave a comment

JOLIET, Illinois – Like fine wine, Greg Anderson just seems to keep getting better with age.

The 55-year-old former four-time NHRA Pro Stock champion powered to his sixth win of the season in Sunday’s K&N Filters Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

Anderson (6.644 seconds at 209.01 mph) defeated teammate Bo Butner (6.667/209.17). Anderson now trails fellow teammate and points leader Jason Line by 80 points.

2016_Greg_Anderson
Greg Anderson won NHRA Pro Stock Sunday in Joliet, Illinois.

“We basically out raced them today and we just flat found a way to win each round,” Anderson said. “That’s what it’s all about.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. It is certainly our hardest-fought win of the season. I am looking forward to the battle that’s coming. This Western Swing (Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, which starts in two weeks) should be a real battle.”

MORE: Results and standings from K&N Filters Route 66 Nationals

There were a number of upsets throughout the first three rounds, including:

* Two-time defending Pro Stock champ Erica Enders continues to struggle this season. Enders (6.686 seconds at 208.36 mph) lost in the first round to Vincent Nobile (6.643/208.55). Nobile (6.658/208.30) then lost in the quarterfinals to Shane Gray (6.622/209.72).

* In turn, Gray (21.336/36.96) lost to Anderson (6.631/209.14) in the semifinals.

* Drew Skillman (6.644/208.52) lost in the first round to former five-time Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. (6.641/208.23). In turn, Coughlin (6.663/207.85) lost in the quarterfinals to Jason Line (6.615/209.62).

* In one of the biggest upsets leading up to the final round, Butner (6.631/209.23) handed Jason Line (6.616/209.56) only his second defeat of the season in the semifinals.

The NHRA enjoys next weekend off before returning to action July 22-24 with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, Colorado.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In Pro Stock Motorcycle, it was defending series champion Andrew Hines (6.858 seconds at 194.91 mph) who took his second win of 2016, defeating Angelle Sampey (6.893/193.40) in the final round.

“We had a good motorcycle all weekend, it was just a matter of making the straight, consistent runs that we needed to,” Hines said of his third career Route 66 win. “That’s what allows you to go out there and turn on four win lights.

Andrew Hines won Pro Stock Motorcycle Sunday at Joliet, Illinois.
Andrew Hines won NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Sunday at Joliet, Illinois.

“I’ve always loved this track and I always seem to excel at the hot racetracks. You have to be on top of your tune-up these days and you can’t cut anyone any slack.”

Among key races during the first three elimination rounds:

* Karen Stoffer (6.895 seconds at 194.77 mph) defeated Jerry Savoie (6.851/195.65) in the first round.

* Stoffer (7.173/161.48), in turn, lost in the quarterfinals to Steve Johnson (6.905/192.93).

* Johnson (8.320/108.61), in turn, fell to Hines (6.877/194.35) in the semifinals.

* Hector Arana (6.882 seconds at 194.97 mph) defeated son Hector Arana Jr. (6.886/193.82) in the first round.

* Eddie Krawiec (6.856/184.14) fell to Sampey (7.022/191.05) in the semifinals.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues July 22-24 with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway near Denver.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

PRACTICE CHART: Click here to see the speed rundown from Thursday’s session

FRIDAY AT IMS: Details for watching Race 1 of the Harvest GP

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET Thursday on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for Oliver Askew (who is recovering from concussion-like symptoms), also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule of road and street courses in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at ground zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Johnson told Lee his sponsorship hunt to run a Ganassi car “has gone really well. The fact that I’m here today and ingrained so deeply in the team is a great sign of where things are going. Looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a car soon and hopefully having some announcements for the world to see soon, too.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.