At some point this week, a feeling of accomplishment, excitement, and even reflection will come over longtime Pro Stock star Greg Anderson.

A year ago, Anderson wasn’t able to compete at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at prestigious zMAX Dragway, the home track for his Summit Racing Equipment team, after off-season heart surgery. Instead, he watched from the starting line as teammate Jimmy Alund drove his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro to the winner’s circle.

It was certainly a different feeling for the four-time Pro Stock world champion, but any doubts of returning and competing at a high level are now a distant memory. Anderson broke the longest victory drought of his Pro Stock career at the most recent event in Gainesville to not only put his 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series on track but also give Anderson his milestone 75th career victory.

That momentum has Anderson excited about what is ahead, beginning with this weekend’s NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway. The state-of-the-art dragstrip sits just a short distance from the KB Racing team headquarters in Mooresville, N.C.

“This time last year, I hadn’t even been able to get back in the race car yet,” Anderson said. “I was standing on the sidelines and watched my race car go to victory circle with no idea if I would be able to do this again or be able to do it at a high level. A lot of crazy things went through my mind standing on the side of the racetrack there last year, but those are all in the past. I have no worries or concerns. This is a completely different chapter, and so far it’s a pretty great one.”

The next chapter includes Anderson competing at one of the most unique races of the season and the fourth of 24 races in 2015. Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Alund (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN will provide live eliminations coverage on Sunday starting at 2 p.m., and Mello Yello Series racing will begin at 1 p.m. (ET) at the track.

Anderson has always enjoyed great success at zMAX Dragway, winning the Four-Wide Nationals two different times. The strength of the Summit Racing team was again on full display last year when Alund put together an impressive performance, winning the Four-Wide Nationals in just his fifth career Pro Stock race. This year, Alund will return to zMAX Dragway alongside teammates Anderson and Jason Line, who won the season-opening race in Pomona.

“I was very proud of Jimmy and the race team, but boy, what a strange feeling knowing that’s my race car and where I’m supposed to be,” Anderson said. “That just shows you what kind of team we’ve got. It’s a very deep team to be able to win like we did last year with Jimmy in one of the Summit Racing Chevy Camaros. It gives us a lot of confidence as a team.”

Anderson finally got the boost of confidence he needed with his outstanding performance in Gainesville that included a final-round victory over Line. After a winless streak that stretched back to Englishtown in 2012, getting the win in Gainesville was meaningful in a number of ways.

“Finally winning again was something really special, not just for me but for this whole team,” Anderson said. “You know, I was shocked when that win light came on for me, I was surprised, and I can’t remember a feeling quite like that before. The emotion came close to one of my first victories. It’s very hard to win these days. It was hard back when we first started, but I never realized how hard it truly was until these last few years.”

Outside of two stellar Summit Racing teammates, Anderson will try to thwart off a talented Pro Stock field led by reigning world champion Erica Enders-Stevens. Other top contenders include Allen Johnson, rookie Drew Skillman, Shane Gray and Jonathan Gray, Chris McGaha, and current points leader Rodger Brogdon.

After extensive work on the zMAX Dragway racing surface during the off-season, Anderson also tested at the facility leading up to the race and came away impressed with the improvements.

“We had a great test at zMAX Dragway last week, and KB Racing has had a lot of victories at that particular facility and at the Four-Wide [Nationals],” Anderson said. “It’s a different challenge to race this format, and it’s an odd thing that you only do once a year, but for Team Summit, this four-wide concept has been pretty good to us. My hat’s off to zMAX Dragway and the folks there. It’s such a beautiful facility and a great place to race, and the Summit Racing team is fortunate that we can call it home.”

In Top Fuel, Brown won at the Four-Wide Nationals for the first time last season and claimed six victories in 2014. Spencer Massey, who was victorious at the most recent event in Gainesville, won in 2012 and 2013, and reigning world champ Tony Schumacher, who won the Phoenix event, has two victories at zMAX Dragway but is looking for his first in the unique four-lane format. Doug Kalitta, J.R. Todd, three-time world champ Larry Dixon, reigning rookie of the year Richie Crampton, Brittany Force, Steve Torrence, and 2013 world champ Shawn Langdon will all be major contenders as well.

Hight scored a Funny Car victory at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in 2014, his first of three straight victories on the season. The winningest driver in NHRA history at zMAX Dragway with four victories, Hight has won twice at the Four-Wide Nationals. Reigning world champ Matt Hagan, who opened the season by winning the first two races and is the current series points leader, is a three-time winner at Charlotte, and other stars include John Force, Courtney Force, three-time national event winner Alexis DeJoria, Del Worsham, Cruz Pedregon, Jack Beckman, Tommy Johnson Jr., and recent Gainesville winner Ron Capps.

Hines and Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate Eddie Krawiec dominated the Pro Stock Motorcycle season in 2014, combining to win 11 of the 16 events. Hines claimed his first win of the year in Charlotte and claimed five more titles en route to his fourth career world championship. Krawiec, 2009 world champ Hector Arana Sr., 2013 event winner Hector Arana Jr., two-time world champ Matt Smith, Angie Smith, recent Gainesville winner and current points leader Karen Stoffer, and former zMAX Dragway winner Steve Johnson will all be competitive in the two-wheeled category.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and enjoy some cherished face time with their favorite NHRA drivers.

Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food, and fun for the entire family.

Mello Yello Series qualifying begins Friday, March 27, with sessions at 1:15 and 4:15 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, March 28, also at 1:15 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 29.

The NHRA Four-Wide Nationals also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.


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