Anders Hopes for Better in Second Martinsville Attempt

RIDGEWAY, VA :: Anthony Anders entered last year’s Valley Star Credit Union with the spotlight on him after winning the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship in controversial fashion. This year, he’s worn a different suit for much of the year but he’s coming back to Martinsville for a second time.

Anders is now the promoter at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina, the track where he won most of his races in 2014 en route to his national championship, but he has continued racing. Last year, in his first ever attempt at Martinsville Speedway, he made the field but was swept up in an accident with Peyton Sellers on the final lap of the race.

“Last year, that last lap, I never would have imagined it to be that way,” Anders said. “One of my worst wrecks I’ve ever had. It was really one of my last races I was intending to do for the year. I’m excited to be back at Martinsville and see what we can do.”

This time around, Anders expects better.

“The car is driving a lot better than last year,” Anders commented. “I think any time you repeat yourself back to another track, you always seem to fit the track a little better than you do the first time. I’m really pleased with it. I’m hoping to be up front at the end of it and grab one of those grandfather clocks. That’s what we’re here for. I’m excited.”

Anders felt he learned a lot in 2014 and has already made changes to the setup on the car heading into Sunday’s Valley Star Credit Union 300.

“A little different setup this year,” Anders explained. “Last year, the car, I could just never get it to turn down into the center. I struggled all race long and practice long trying to get it down into the center of the corner. This year, it seems to be driving really good. I’m just really snug. As it rubbers up, we get tighter and tighter here. We just have to free it up, free it up, free it up.”

Anders has enjoyed his season promoting at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, which is his hometown track. He has also enjoyed racing on a limited basis in 2015 and having success in doing so.

“Taking over Greenville-Pickens Speedway, it’s one of the most historic tracks in the south here. I’m really excited about that,” Anders explained. “Coming from running 30 or 40 races a year, and turning around to not running but four races this year. Myrtle Beach, one of the races down there, we finished second. We raced the Shriner’s race there at Anderson a couple of weeks ago, finishing fourth. Still, my standings are pretty good. Won one, finished second, finished fourth. In one of those Lee Pulliam was in, he finished behind me, which made me feel really good as well, too.”

After spending three years chasing the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national championship, Anders was merely a spectator to this year’s shenanigans. Last season, he was often criticized by championship rivals Lee Pulliam and Keith Rocco. Anders said the start-and-parks are still necessary to win a championship and said Pulliam’s third championship, which he secured in September, was proof of that.

“Seeing everything unfold this year, watching everything at all the other racetracks, it still looks like, you know, you’ve still got to have those start-and-parks to win a national championship. I think Lee’s really set the pace for that for all the drivers again this year. As bad as they say I did last year, it looks like he capped me out this year.”

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