Waxahachie, Texas resident, Craig Anderson spent the 2011 season again chasing points in two, of what many consider, NHRA's toughest sportsman classes, Super Gas and Super Comp. While Anderson continued to drive the 1963 Corvette Roadster that he won the Super Gas Division 4 championship in the season before, the car he wheeled in Super Comp throughout the year, including a final round appearance at the World Finals in Pomona, was thanks to some good friends with some outstanding equipment.
Craig Anderson's New 2012 Chevy Cobalt Ready to Turn Heads on and off the Track!
"I had sold my Super Comp dragster and I ran the Hughes Motorsports dragster all year long," he explained. "They knew I had sold my car and was waiting on a new Top Sportsman car that I had ordered and I was very flattered that they offered for me to drive one of theirs. He said look, we have this car sitting here, so come get it. So, I started out the year with it at the first Pomona national and then brought it home with me. They told me to just treat it like it was my own and if I blew a motor, they would build another and so on."
"That was just a great opportunity and meant a lot to me for someone to do something that that for me," he continued of racing the Hughes dragster.
Surprisingly, one of the biggest highlights for Anderson during the 2011 season came as a car owner and not a driver. "After finishing first in the division the year before in my Gas car, I started to think maybe I was really turning the corner of having an outstanding season," he said. "I was having it all happen this year and just couldn't get anything together. I would be dead-on the dial and have a bad reaction [time] or I'd be good on reaction and the car wouldn't run the number. So come time for Indy [US Nationals], so I put a kid in my car , Ryan Herem for Indy, just on a whim and he went on to win Super Gas. He mowed through a field of tough customers to make that happen, including the sponsor of the car I was driving in Super Comp. That was the big highlight of the year for me, my car winning Indy."
Anderson did have a fairly strong year in the Super Comp car he was driving finishing tenth in the NHRA Div 4 standings after some good turnouts in Arizona and Louisiana. "I didn't get to compete in my last division claim of the year or it's very possible that I could have finished higher," he said of his 2011 Super Comp Finish. "For the final points race, which was Vegas, we decided to get Jim's son, Joey Hughes in the car. He needed to get some experience and it was his last chance to get a grade point to be ready for next season."
Before he completely relinquished the driving duties of the Hughes Super Comp dragster for the season, he was able to compete with it one final time and did so during the NHRA World Finals at Pomona, where he took it all the way to the final before bowing out to Val Torres in a tough round.
"I've always been able to go rounds at Pomona," he said. "A few years back I was able to runner-up in Super Gas and now I finished last year with a runner-up in Super Comp. One of these days I'll get that win."
As much as Anderson was excited about his last race of the season in Super Comp, he was even more so for finally being able to pick up his new Top Sportsman in December. "I've got it in the shop and it turned out really-really nice," he admitted. "I'm not for sure as to when I'm going to debut it, but I'm also going to run it in Super Comp. It's a 2012 Jerry Bickel Cobalt and it has a 706ci Sunset Racecraft motor from Tracy Dennis which makes over 1400 HP without nitrous. I'm going to have a single stage of nitrous on it, just for grins. So if I can't make it in somewhere [in Top Sportsman], maybe I can push it a little bit."
"I plan on running the new car at every event I go to, whether it's in Super Comp or Top Sportsman," he continued. "We are kind of leaning to start with it at Pomona [February national event], but we are still not for sure about that. I'm trying to find a place to test with decent weather that doesn't take two days to get there."
Like every ride Anderson competes in, each are loaded with nothing but the best available parts and many of those coming from K&N Engineering. "This new car is really super nice and not only does the new K&N scoop look great on it, but the engine has all the protection it needs with K&N air and oil filters," he noted.
"K&N is always working hard in all of the development of new products and even tweaking others," Anderson said. "I have worked with Steve Williams [K&N VP Vice President of Research and Development] a lot and he not only is a very smart racer, but he has also shared a lot of tips and what-not to me to help make my cars a lot more consistent. I just cannot say enough about Steve or K&N."
During Anderson's last trip to the southern California area, he had a chance to visit K&N's headquarters in person. "All I can say is wow," he exclaimed. "It is a sight to see all that they do there and how they do it. They just don't throw things together. They design it and they even have the machines that build the other machines that manufacturer the K&N products. Talk about quality control, it was absolutely amazing to see it all."
When Anderson is not racing or working, he is hard at it behind the scenes of the very successful annual Circus Motorsports Greg Morris Memorial Golf Tournament, just last year raising almost $80,000. "All of that money goes to NHRA drag racers that may become sick or injured and K&N is a big part of what we have been able to accomplish with our event over the years," he said. "Steve Williams and K&N have been extremely helpful for anything we needed to make this event a success."
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