Anderson on the verge of a repeat

Kelly Anderson is a perfectionist.

That's an admirable, yet time-consuming, trait for a race car driver to have. It's also why Anderson, 34, has had such good success during an 18-year racing career.

Thursday night, just 24 hours ahead of two big nights of racing, he was in his shop, with three cars up on lifts as he continued to prepare them and about 25 tires for two nights of racing this weekend.

Anderson, from Hager City, Wis. (just across the border from Red Wing), is looking to close his 2012 season just as he closed the 2011 season — with a track championship to show for all of the time spent in the shop.

The driver of the No. 8 Super Stock, Anderson is on the verge of capturing a second consecutive points title at Deer Creek Speedway. He takes a 13-point lead over Rochester's Jeff Brauer into the final points race of the season at the track on Saturday night.


"I'd say it's been an excellent year so far, with 11 feature wins," Anderson said. "Consistency is the big thing. We've been in the top five every night with no (did-not-finishes). That's my main goal, no DNFs. The cars are set up 100 percent to win. We go through them thoroughly every week and run them across the scales to make sure the numbers look good.

"There's no cutting corners. The first time you cut corners, it's going to get you in trouble."

Anderson, who also drives in the Late Model division at Deer Creek, won the Super Stocks track title last season in dramatic fashion. He captured one of the tightest three-driver points battles in the track's history.

As the white flag came out in the feature on championship night, Anderson slid up past Ed Sanders to move from fourth place to third. The move gave Anderson the championship by one point over Ryan Siegle. Brauer, the 2009 track champion, finished just four points back.

A second track title this season isn't out of the question for Anderson, either. Tonight, he can cut into Tommy Richards' 15-point lead at Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wis. MTS won't crown its track champions until next Friday, so Anderson can still chip away in hopes of driving his Jay Orrichio-owned No. 8 car to another championship.

Regardless of how it plays out, the perfectionist in Anderson will get put on the shelf for a few months once the racing season comes to an end. He'll likely allow himself some time away from the daily in-season grind of working on the cars.

"I might just put my feet up for a while," said Anderson, who started his racing career in a Street Stock, but moved on to a Super Stock two years later. He bought his first Late Model in 2005.

He'll also spend even more time with his wife, Jennifer, and their sons, 6-year-old Braydon and 4-year-old Landon. The boys, Kelly said, have already become addicted to racing, too, joining him daily in the shop while he works on the cars or on equipment used on the family farm. And the odds are good that they will soon have another gigantic track championship trophy to admire.


"I'd just say I've done a good job, I don't know how to describe it," Anderson said of the possibility of winning his second consecutive title. "It's just a feeling of saying 'hey, I was that good all year, that consistent.' It's nice to know that what you've done all year has paid off."

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