POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 14, 2016) – Greg Anderson captured the historic first win of the electronic fuel injection (EFI) era of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock class in the 56th Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway to lead Chevrolet in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opener.
Q: Why weren’t you confident going into the final?
A: For the first time all day long I didn’t feel I had the better race car than the guy in the other lane. I felt I had a superior car all weekend long until I lined up against my own teammate in the final. He has as good as equipment as I’m driving,so I know he could run every bit as fast or gone faster than mine so it’s a different mindset. Then it all falls back in the driver’s lap. I got a great light in the final and got it done.
Q: No problem with the shifting?
A: No, the shifting is great. Like I said earlier, the drivability of the car is the biggest challenge. Doing the burnout, getting the car staged smoothly. Once you get in to wide open throttle they’re great. You wouldn’t know anything is different. You got to be able to do it the same every time. You have to be able to do a perfect burnout. You got to be able to stage the car perfect or it doesn’t matter what happens during the shifting process. It’s every bit as important as what the car does at wide open throttle. We’re all working on it. We all got better through the weekend,and hopefully we’ll be better again when we get to Phoenix.
Q: Do you think the shifting caused some problems like (Vincent) Nobile’s (incident)?
A: I think Nobile just wanted to win bad and he stayed in the car too long. It got a little too aggressive and it spun and shook the tires. When it’s race day, he was racing a teammate. It seems when we race teammates we want to beat them more than anybody.
Q: With the new EFI, it’s a level playing field and learning curve?
A: Everybody has a steep learning curve. I wouldn’t know who to put my money on. I feel great about the effort we’ve put in so far. It could be a completely different ballgame by the time we get to Phoenix. There’s just so much more to learn about it. We’re just scratching the surface on what this thing can do. It is a new challenge, but we love challenges.
Q: What about the visibility?
A: The visibility is great.I’m all for it. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be. We drag racers, I think we drag race because we don’t have that great an attention span. That’s why we can only make it 4, 5, 6 seconds down there. Distractions will come into play. We’ll be looking the grandstands and notice things we never noticed before. It’s another new challenge.