NHRA's Greg Anderson Will Make ‘Damn Sure’ All Wires Are Connected Sunday

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Anderson Keeps No. 1 Qualifier Despite NHRA DQ MediaNews Group/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images - Getty Images

Five-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson has been involved in racing for three decades, but he doesn’t remember ever having a “crazy” weekend like the one he experienced in the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

It began on Friday night when it came time for his second qualifying run. He was No. 1 at the time due to a 6.500 ET. When it came time to pull up to the line for his second run, his car wouldn’t start. Despite the cooler temperatures, no one surpassed his ET.

Anderson entered Saturday in the provisional No. 1 position. He won the third qualifying quad, which included the first round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. However, NHRA disqualified him for “bypassing a safety device.” That kept him from the second round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge and the fourth qualifying run. Six-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Erica Enders replaced Anderson in the fourth qualifying run and won the #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. Still, Anderson’s time from his first qualifying run was good enough to keep him as the No. 1 qualifier for Sunday’s elimination round.

“All you can do is just shake your head and chuckle,” Anderson said. “There’s no sense in getting mad about it. Mistakes are made, obviously, and it’s nothing you can do about it. It’s drag racing.

“When you do have a day like today, I think it gets the guys a little bit sharper and on their toes, and double and triple checking everything. I really, really feel good that we will not have any mistakes tomorrow (Sunday).”

Anderson said Friday night’s problem was due to the car’s electronic control unit.

“As we were in a mad thrash to try and get the car started on the starting line, one of my guys disconnected a safety wire, which is hooked to the air bottle in the car where it’s a safety system where if the air pressure gets too low in the air bottle which launches the parachutes, it’ll shut the whole system off. We wanted to make sure that wasn’t cancelling out the ignition as to why it wouldn’t start.”

Once the ECU problem was diagnosed, the crew forgot to reconnect the safety wire to the air bottle. NHRA ruled that was a safety violation and disqualified the third qualifying run.

“It’s just been a crazy day. An absolutely crazy day,” Anderson said. “But it’s over now and we’re gonna forget all about that. We’ll make damn sure all the wires are connected when we go out in the first-round tomorrow (Sunday).”