Driver Achieves Longtime Goal
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A veteran South Carolina NASCAR Late Model driver won a long-sought track championship in 2013 and added a third consecutive state championship.
Anthony Anders, 42, of Easley, S.C., captured his first track title at historic Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway.
“It took a lot of sleepless nights, late nights in the shop with the crew, and the support and understanding from all our families to put all our time into racing,” Anders said. “It took 15 years of dreaming about it – and racing in Late Models for nine years – to get it done.”
“We got off to a good start and won six races in a row at three different tracks,” Anders said. “I was watching the national point race unfold, but we decided to stay close to home for the season. I wanted to win the Greenville Pickens championship and have my name painted on the wall.”
Track champions’ names dating back to 1957 are painted on the backstretch retaining wall creating a historic monument. Ralph Earnhardt’s name is there for titles in 1965-66, as is David Pearson’s for his 1959 title.
Anders’ name was added after the last weekly race night of the season.
“That was really special,” Anders said. “I’ve been coming here since I was a little boy watching a lot of those champions race. It was a little overwhelming to see my name added.”
Anders won the NASCAR Late Model track championship at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway in 2012 giving him titles at two different history-rich tracks in back-to-back seasons.
Anders’ overall national record for the 2013 season was 11 wins, 28 top-fives and 31 top 10s in 37 starts. He placed 37th in the 2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Top 500. His state championship record was nine wins and 25 top-fives and top-10s in 28 starts.
Anders has a favorite win from the season. While racing in a feature he caught glimpses of a wheel-chair bound young fan cheering him on from the terraced parking area outside the exit of Turn 2.
“I was leading on the last lap and I saw she was so excited when I went by. She was just amazing,” Anders said. “When I got to Victory Lane, I asked during the interview over the P.A. that if she would come to my hauler, the trophy was for her. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later she and her parents came to the hauler. Now we’re buddies.”
In addition to Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway – where he stage his season opening streak – Anders also made starts at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C.
Anders credits his crew for his success. They include crew chief Lee McAlister, Derek Lathum, Robert Haseleu, Brandon Lee Fox, and Greg Guarry.
Anders has five Ortec chassis-based Late Models. Phil Harper maintains the Ford crate engines, Chris Sadler builds a Dodge engine and Kowalsky Racing Engines power the Chevrolet. Anders is an owner-driver. He also operates Anders, Inc., a construction company specializing in roads and bridges, and Busy Beaver Tree Service. Outback Steakhouse is his primary sponsor.
Anders began his racing career at Greenville Pickens around 1996. He spent seven years in the Charger division before advancing to Late Models.
Anders’ 2013 NASCAR state championship is his third in a row in South Carolina.
Sources: Paul Schaefer/NASCAR PR