CONCORD, N.C. -- Nationals
"I wish I could explain the success we've had there. It's so much of a challenge for a driver," said Anderson, who holds the distinction of being the winningest driver at the Bellagio of drag strips. "It offers like 15 new ways for a driver to look like an idiot out there - for a driver to fail."
But since notching his first victory at zMAX Dragway in the fall of 2010, Anderson hasn't failed often, winning three of the last five events, including the last two four-wide contests. That makes him the winningest driver in the track's history, an accomplishment he'll look to improve upon when the greatest spectacle in drag racing returns.
"We're going to have to have our cars at top song. You've got to have a fast race car, otherwise you can't win these days," said Anderson. "The competition in this class is, right now, tougher than it's ever been. There's not a standout favorite anymore."
The challenge of winning is even greater at the Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Anderson added, because the unique format requires drivers to break from the routine and face an entirely different set of challenges, from staging next to three competitors to a unique four-bulb Christmas tree.
"There's so much more going through your head," he said of sitting on the start line with three other competitors staging next to you. "Everything's foreign to you. Everything's new. You race two lanes your entire career. It is a huge challenge for a driver. You have to try so hard to concentrate and be on your game so you don't make a mistake."
Anderson, who drives for Mooresville-based KB Racing, said he has the added pressure of racing at his home track. While he has the added advantage of regular testing at zMAX Dragway, racing at home ramps up the pressure in front of his family and friends.
"It seems like the races where there is more pressure are hugely important to us, and it seems to be those are the ones that we are able to capitalize on," said Anderson. "I don't have the answer to why, but apparently there's always something left in our minds that we can find to add a little more focus."
To purchase tickets to the fourth annual Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, April 19-21, visit www.4widedrags.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans who buy three East Grandstand tickets to any day will receive a fourth ticket free. Every ticket is a pit pass, so fans can walk through the pits and see their favorite drivers and teams as they prepare to take to the track.
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