POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2022) – Greg Anderson had one goal heading into Pomona, to deliver Ken Black one final win along with a Wally before he headed into retirement and Anderson begins the next phase of his career without Black at his side.
He did exactly that!
Anderson closed out one of the most successful partnerships in the history of NHRA championship drag racing when he sent KB Racing team owner Ken Black into retirement with his 101st Pro Stock victory. Anderson won the Auto Club NHRA Finals title on holeshot when he stopped newly crowned world champ Erica Enders, 6.516 to 6.515. Anderson got off the starting line first with a .020 light and never looked back as he also moved to second place in the Camping World standings.
“Obviously this was emotional after 20 years with Ken Black,” said Anderson. “We’ve had a hell of a ride together. He’s made all my hopes and dreams come true and he’s like a second father to me. Honestly, I feel like a lottery ticket winner. Coming into this race, I knew we weren’t going to win the championship but I thought the only small way I could thank him was to win this race and hand him a final Wally.
“I think I did a good job driving and my race car was fast, so this was the best story I could write. It was just like Indy when I won my 100th race. Honestly, those are the two biggest wins of my career. Just two fantastic races. Beating Erica is always fantastic. I don’t win many on holeshots but somehow I found a way to get it done. When I handed Ken that Wally he was speechless. It was just a wonderful moment and a great way to pay him back. I have to thank Ken and [wife] Judy and [son] Kenny Jr. and the whole KB team. This wasn’t a bad year, but this is the way to end it.”
Anderson was dominant in 2021 when he won his fifth championship but struggled at times this season. He earned his landmark 100th win at the U.S. Nationals, but wasn’t able to gain ground on Enders during the Countdown to the Championship. Coming off a runner-up finish at the Las Vegas event, Anderson was rock solid in Pomona with a 6.509 in qualifying that that good for the No. 2 spot and round wins over Chris McGaha, Bo Butner, and Fernando Cuadra Sr.
Enders didn’t get her 11th victory of the season, but accomplished her main objective by winning her fifth championship in the Pro Stock class. The Elite driver put together an amazing 55-9 elimination record this year including her three Pomona wins against Mason McGaha, Troy Coughlin Jr., and Aaron Stanfield.
“I’m really disappointed in myself,” Enders said. “It’s just the way I released clutch pedal. I did the same thing in the first round. We got the championship but I‘m still mad at myself.”
Much is left to be announced about the 2023 season Elite Motorsports as well as Anderson are planning to extend their car counts. Will Anderson and Enders be the top contenders or will we see a new name enter the mix?
Unofficial Pro Stock Points Standings For The Countdown To The Championship
1. Erica Enders 2,823
2. Greg Anderson 2,581
3. Aaron Stanfield 2,575
4. Troy Coughlin Jr. 2,538
5. Kyle Koretsky 2,459
6. Matt Hartford 2,397
7. Dallas Glenn 2,375
8. Cristian Cuadra 2,295
9. Bo Butner 2,265
10. Deric Kramer 2,259
11. Mason McGaha 2,241
12. Camrie Caruso 2,229
13. Fernando Cuadra Jr. 2,227
14. Fernando Cuadra Sr. 2,214
15. Chris McGaha 2,164
See the recap by NHRA National Dragster staff:
See the Erica Enders Championship recap by Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor:
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Photo: NHRA / RPM