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Drag racing: Duluth native Greg Anderson wins on his 60th birthday in NHRA season opener

Pro Stock driver, after going winless in 2020, gets 2021 started in style with 95th career win.

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Greg Anderson races in the days before COVID-19. (Photo courtesy NHRA)

Duluth native Greg Anderson celebrated his 60th birthday Sunday by winning the Pro Stock title at the season-opening 52nd annual NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida.

Anderson, a four-time world champion who resides in Mooresville, North Carolina, won for the 95th time in the class with an elapsed time of 6.602 seconds at 209.33 mph in his Chevrolet Camaro to beat Troy Coughlin Jr. in the final round. It was the 159th time Anderson made the final round in his career. After going winless in 2020, he was understandably pleased with the win.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve held one of those trophies, and I’ve said it a million times in my career, you always wonder if you’ll be able to do it again,” Anderson said in a news release. “I guess you’re not human if you don’t have doubts, and it’s a shame to have those thoughts, but I think it’s good in a way because it drives you to work harder every day. You just want to have that feeling again so bad. To finally get back to the winner’s circle a year and a half later, and to do it on my birthday, well that makes this a win that I'll never forget.”

In the other Pro classes, rookie Josh Hart won in his Top Fuel debut, J.R. Todd won in Funny Car and Matt Smith took top honors in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

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