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

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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.

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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.

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Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”