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Anderson’s fortunes on rise as holiday race nears

Could tonight’s Dr. & Mrs. Maresca of St. Lawrence Radiology Presents The Sellers Construction 200 at South Boston Speedway be a breakthrough race for Bruce Anderson?

The South Boston resident surely hopes so.

Anderson has put together a solid string of finishes as of late, with top-ten finishes in each of his last four starts, including a pair of top-five finishes. For the season, Anderson has a pair of second-place finishes, three top-five finishes and eight top-10 finishes in his 11 starts in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division at South Boston Speedway, and stands sixth in the track points standings despite having missed one race.

The recent string of good runs has Anderson optimistic heading into tonight’s 200-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division race that pays $5,000 to win.

“We’re digging hard, and everybody on the team is working really hard,” Anderson pointed out.

“Our goal going into the race is, obviously, trying to win it. We’d love to have a good strong top-five finish, and if everything lines up, a top-three (finish) or possibly a win. We’re working hard for it, and we’ll be as ready as everybody else is. Hopefully we can make a good showing.”

Anderson has competed a number of times in South Boston Speedway’s annual pre-Fourth of July racing extravaganza that also includes a 100-lap Limited Sportsman Division race, a 50-lap Pure Stock Division race and a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks show after the night’s racing action ends.

“It’s really cool,” Anderson said of South Boston Speedway’s pre-Fourth of July event.

“It’s something that is real special. I had an opportunity to win one when I was competing in the Limited Sportsman Division. I was leading the race, and took the white flag (for the final lap) and the motor broke on me. 

“Getting to carry the American Flag around the track if you win is the coolest thing,” he added.

“There is always a really good crowd here at the track for that race, and with the fireworks and everything, there is more incentive for you to win that night.”

Anderson says qualifying well and getting the car’s chassis adjusted so that the car will be consistent throughout the race are big keys to success in tonight’s 200-lap NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Division race.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a 75-lapper like a twin-75’s race or the 200 lapper coming up, your car has got to be good all night long,” Anderson explained.

“It’s got to be good in qualifying, and it’s got to be good at lap 200. Lee (defending NASCAR Whelen All American Series national champion and South Boston Speedway points leader Lee Pulliam) has definitely got the bull by the horns here at South Boston Speedway. He’s so good about being able to run so consistently lap after lap.

“That’s what we’re looking for in our car,” continued Anderson.

“We’re working real hard at trying to get our car more consistent. Whether you’re running 75 laps or 200 laps, you’ve got to be able to run a good pace all night long to be able to run with the 1 car (Pulliam) and everybody else that is here.”

One of the big things in Anderson’s favor this season has been the fact that he is having fun again. Working with the students and instructors of the Patrick Henry Community College motorsports program and driving their car has been a pleasant experience thus far.

“I’m having a lot more fun, and that’s what I do this for,” Anderson pointed out.

“We’re here, first off, to run well and let these kids from Patrick Henry Community College learn something and hopefully achieve their dreams of working on these cars at a higher level of racing. It’s really neat to be here, and I’m really fortunate to be associated with them and have the people I have around me. 

“Last year,” Anderson continued, “there were a lot of nights when I left the track it made you wonder what you’re doing. I doubted myself a lot as a driver, and still do that a lot. But, when you’re getting some finishes and getting some results, it makes all of the hard work a lot easier.”