|Posted by Doreen Anderson on September 13, 2017 at 3:20 PM|
There are times I have to remind myself that I am already living the dream that I never thought I would have. I feel so fortunate to be able to do this with hard work and the support of my family. We went to the NHRA Earlville Iowa race over the weekend with the best of intentions. 10 cars fighting to be in an 8 car field and being relatively new to the competition scene I was a little intimidated. Q2 on Saturday ended up being my new personal best 5.49! Finally into the 5.40s. Another goal of mine was accomplished and it felt great. I've been trying to take it step by step. The car wasn't even running that great on half of that run so we now know that it can and will go even FASTER! Unfortunately the number 8 spot ended up being a 5.46, so we did not qualify for this one. We went from the highest highs running in the 40s to finding out we did not qualify. I always say that I'm not that competitive but the truth is I strive to be better at all times. That may be one of my biggest strengths that is also a weakness. It's not about being better than anyone else, it's about being better than myself. It was disappointing to end the weekend early but we move on by focusing on the good progress that we had. The cars in this field are very competitive and we can't wait to go to St Louis and pulling out the rest of the potential from the car.
Racing can definitely be a fun time too, if you make it that way. Earlville is very close to the movie set for Field of Dreams. We decided to go there Sunday morning before heading home and I of course had to run the bases and explore in the corn. Little adventures while traveling to different race tracks make the memories even better. Make sure you enjoy the memories, the little things and the small wins. Life is too short not to focus on the positive.
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on August 21, 2017 at 6:55 PM|
We just got back from the trip to Brainerd! It was honestly a very good experience. We had a couple of setbacks that we are taking back as learnings. Fortunately we were able to fix them on while at the track and qualify with a 5.54 at 229. It was our best run ever and I lifted just a little early. Going into first round we tried our best but the car dropped a couple holes and ran a similar 5.58 to the number one qualifiers 5.26.
Just prior to round one on Saturday night we learned that we were the recipient of the Edelbrock Never Rest Performer for the weekend! I am honestly so humbled that we got this honor and that we got to take home a mini wally from our first race! It was a huge learning experience. We didn't break anything, we went faster than we ever have and figured out a couple things on the car. This is a car we built on a very low budget, but with lots of heart, hard work and dedication. This is just the beginning for me and the Anderson Family Dragster team. I'm so addicted and will keep working until this car goes fast but I am really proud with how far it's come in the 2017 season. I'm very thankful for all of our supporters especially the crew, the teams that have helped push us in the right direction, Comp Fab, Zrodz, PMP, Champion Auto Parts, and Goodson.
Check this out! -----we made it onto Comp Plus!
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on July 24, 2017 at 2:00 PM|
Wow how time flies! It is almost August. The summers always fly by because every moment spent not racing is spent working on the car to get it ready for the next race or I'm at the track trying to learn more.
It's crazy how addicting this sport is. This weekend was supposed to be my first race, the St. Louis division race. It was postponed due to hot weather. Although this was probably the right call, I couldn't help but be disappointed since this was going to be my first official race I enter as a licensed TAD owner/driver.
The last time I was in the car was already 3 weeks ago and I'm itching to get back in the seat. We were fortunate enough to put on a show for the ADRL fans at one of my favorite race tracks US 131 in Martin, MI. It was the AFD team vs the NitroU Gas Monkey Energy car driven by Alex Laughlin. Friday was a rain out so we made two runs on Saturday. The first run we went 5.89 @ 224 but Alex went 5.41 @ 265. This was my first time ever staging and running a fast car with another car in the other lane. I was nervous. After deploying the chutes, slowing down and turning off the track I was getting out of the car and Alex told me that I did a great job (knowing that it was my first time). It definitely calmed my nerves for the second run. Right before we started up the cars for the second run I was told we are going to do side by side burnouts and whoever has the longest burnout gets $100. Knowing that I am the car owner I smiled because I knew I could win this. And that I did. It was the most exciting and fun burnout I have ever done, I loved it and so did the crowd! The second run was better for us 5.78 @ 228 but Anthony had the NitroU car really flying for that run because I could not catch Alex with his 5.30 @268 run.
Overall we had so much fun that weekend in Michigan and we learned a lot about the car. We previously were having a couple of issues like intake springs breaking which were resolved after these runs. We actually had to get them closer to coil bind! ( I know these racecars are so crazy most people don't believe it)
The weekend after Martin was our local national NHRA event in Chicago. We were expecting quite a few cars so we hadn't planned on entering this, at least not this year. Only 16 TAD cars showed up. Ouch! Any drag racer knows it's very difficult to be at the track without working on or driving something. So many people asked where my car is since they know I'm licensed but we just had not planned on it. It takes us a little more time with being new to the routine and the whole team working full time jobs on top of trying to get the AFD team going just doesn't give us much shop time. There are so many things that go into getting a nitro car ready for a race.
Luckily a couple different friends welcomed me into their pits to learn more about how to run afuel, show them things I had questions on and I got to hang out with my friends for the week too. I am so thankful to all these people that are constantly showing me so much hospitality at the race track. Definitely a great group. One of my favorite examples of this was when an afuel starter didn't work a bunch of other afuel guys were running all over trying to get them a starter. I wouldn't be able to do this without the help of so many teams throughout the years. Even though I didn't bring my car it turned into a great weekend. I learned a lot and not one but TWO good friends walked away with wallys and I got to be a part of it. I was Megan's PR girl for the weekend so I got to video every run for her all the way into the winner's circle. The other friend that won was Sean Bellemuer, he was running in the Bartone Bros TAFC. Both are just great people and I was so thrilled that they won.
So what's next? Well I have a family vacation planned where we are actually going to the Seattle national event (because what's vacation without racing) but like I said I'm itching to be back in the drivers seat AFTER ONLY 3 WEEKS. It's a sickness. St. Louis was postponed until October and my next planned race was not until Earlville in September. That is just way too long to wait. I need to put this license to good use.
After talking it over with the crew and making sure it's possible the team has decided we will be entering in the Brainerd MN national event. We originally had said we wouldn't be doing any national events this year, but we are going to make an exception for this race. I can't put the excitement I have into words. It's not going to be easy for us to get there but it's going to be so worth it and I can't wait to get to be out there on this level in 2017! It's really happening!
We will also be running the Frantic Fueler the weekend before (on Aug 12) at Byron IL! I get to have some fun outside of the drivers seat when we run this.
2017 has been a great year and I can't wait to see where else it takes us. What a journey!
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on June 5, 2017 at 10:45 AM|
I AM OFFICIALLY LICENSED!
This past weekend was one of the best of my life I'm sure. There has been so many years of hard work leading up to this and finally it happened. The recap is that we made one run on Friday after the Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car Qualifying session. I went to about 1000 ft before lifting to get a 6.27 @ 185mph. I was excited that I jumped from a 6.98 to a 6.27 but at the same time I was disappointed that what I needed to make it count toward my license was 6.20 @ 205. It was just 7 hundreths off. ugh! When we took the engine apart there was a small amount of damage that we would need to fix the next morning before running again for the Burndown at Sundown show.
The Burndown at Sundown was so much fun to be a part of. I got to make two runs on Saturday night after qualifying again. A ton of family and friends came out to see us run. We made a few different tune up changes and went out there and I was able to make my first full quarter mile pass! The pass turned out to be 5.84 @ 223 mph. It felt so good to turn off the track and have NHRA officials tell me "I think they said a 5...80something" my response was "WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING?!" I definitely miss the excitement of watching the car go down the track and seeing the board light up with the numbers. I've realized this weekend that you don't get that part when you're the driver. I was so excited that the car improved from a 6.27 to a 5.84 I was just in shock and all smiles. Many people know that this isn't good enough usually in the TAD class but for us in this car that I built it was a huge accomplishment to finally have a 5 second ET.
The celebration literally didn't last because my only focus was going out there and getting another good full pass to finish my license. We had a couple hours to turn around the car and we decided to make a couple safe tuning changes and go out there to see what it would do on the second run of the night. The run felt good, faster than the last one in the beginning but it nosed over a little and I corrected an drove through it to the finish line. I pulled off the track and here comes the NHRA official on the scooter saying "You did it!". I finished my license runs with a 5.63 @ 232!! Another huge improvement for the team. This time actually would have put us in the number 9 out of 11 qualifying position in an 8 car field. It all still feels like a dream. Everyone is asking what is next now that I'm licensed. We are looking at possible races and funding. Martin, MI ADRL race and St. Louis NHRA division race are both on our radar.
There are so many people that have helped us get to this point that I can't even name them all but thank you to you all. The other teams that are rooting for us and pointing us in the right direction or selling us parts. The new and the old sponsors that believe in our team. My family and my friends that are all so supportive. & Definitely my team who has been working on this for 7 years with me from fabrication to 5 seconds. THANK YOU!
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on June 2, 2017 at 1:45 AM|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
‘Search for a Champion’ Finalist Marina Anderson Kicking off 2017 Season with Final Licensing
JOLIET, Ill. (May 31, 2017) – After being selected as one of 25 finalists in Champion Spark Plugs’ ‘Search for a Champion’ contest, Marina Anderson will begin her 2017 season with the final passes required to earn her NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster license. Anderson and her family-owned A/Fuel dragster anticipate a multi-race schedule with the NHRA and ADRL series. The Illinois team will be working with Premium Motorsports Products (PMP) to accommodate its parts supply needs and to provide supplementary technical support.
Anderson, 24, was one of only two drag racers to be named a finalist in the 2017 Search for a Champion contest, put on by Champion Spark Plugs since 2012. Anderson’s story of fabricating and driving her nitromethane-injected A/Fuel dragster captured the attention of thousands of voters over the multiple voting periods required to reach the “Finalist” status.
“It was definitely rewarding to be named a finalist because there were over a thousand entries,” Anderson said. “It was an honor to know that I was in the top 25 of the thousand on-the-track entries. It’s been a really big honor to be a part of it and to have people, some that I didn’t even know, telling me that they voted for me. It’s been a humbling experience.”
Anderson and her dragster, built at Competition Fabrications, will head to Route 66 Raceway this weekend for the Burndown at Sundown NHRA North Central Region race, June 2-4. Though she isn’t entering the race, Anderson will use the opportunity to make her final licensing runs. Once she has her Top Alcohol Dragster license, the Anderson Family Dragster team plan to attend the ADRL race in Martin (Michigan) and an NHRA regional event in Earlville, IA, while additional race dates are tentatively planned.
“This season is special to us because this will be the first time we get to bring the car to races. We’re really getting somewhere and all of the hard work is paying off. People are believing in what we’re trying to do, and want to support us and want to see us out there. I’m excited to be out there with the support of so many,” added Anderson, who is also involved with tuning the dragster alongside her father, Scott.
Marina Anderson and the Anderson Family Dragster team welcome the connection with Indianapolis-based Premium Motorsports Products (PMP), a high performance drag racing parts, product and service company founded by noted nitro tuner Mike Domagala.
“We’re teaming up with PMP because they believe in what we’re doing,” Anderson said. “We feel like they’ll be a great partner because we’re both working our way up and building our brands. They’ve been in drag racing for a long time, while we’re working our way into it. They’re a reputable racing parts supplier for premium new and used parts.”
For more information on Marina Anderson and the Anderson Family Dragster, please visit www.afdragster.com.
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on May 27, 2017 at 1:25 AM|
There has already been so much going on in 2017! The very fun ride of the Search for a Champion has come to an end. We are really honored to be a part of #TeamChampion for the year since we were one of the twenty five finalists. So many people were voting everyday and I appreciate you all. It was a long road for us all to remember to vote and then wait to hear results but so much fun too. I'm sure my many vote reminders got to be annoying to some. Champion has a whole lot more than spark plugs to offer so be sure to check out their products out for your vehicle, lawn mower, motorcycle etc.
As we were finishing up putting the car together to go testing in April I was also patiently awaiting the arrival of my niece. Avery Rae came into this world on April 19, 2017. She was perfect from the start (I may be biased). Her parents are doing so well with her already and I love my new title "Auntie". Sorry but I'm not really sorry for all the adorable baby pics to come on social media. I have to break up the racecar posts with a little bit of what makes me, me and being an aunt definitely is important to me.
We have already had a few challenges in 2017 as a race team. Unfortunately it's very difficult to try to race in the spring in the Midwest. There has been rainy weekends after rainy weekends or no place open to test. We made the trip out to Earlville IA in April for a beautiful day. The track was great and the car ran fairly well but not as good as we would like so we took it back home and made a few updates to get ready for the Indy NHRA northcentral region race.
The Indy race brought more rain than any other weekend. Looking at the weather we knew it wasn't going to be favorable so dad and I went down there to look the car over with tech. Being a brand new car we wanted to make sure we would be prepared for the Joliet, IL race in June and everything looked good. We watched one round of qualifying before the pits turned into a lake (literally) from all of the rain. It was kind of an entertaining day because of it. (Also I highly suggest the garlic rolls at Sal's)
After Indy we were on the hunt for another place and time to test. We tested at our local track Route 66 in Joliet, IL in May. I finally got to see a time slip in the 6 second range and signed off on one of the three passes needed for my upgrade! Definitely progress in the right direction. We have been learning and updating a few things since then and we are finalizing everything to go to the race in Joliet next weekend. It will be a fun weekend. I will be able to make 3 runs after the other alcohol cars qualifying runs to try to finish up my TAD license upgrade. I definitely can't wait to get back in the drivers seat.
Thank you all for your continued support!
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on February 22, 2017 at 8:55 AM|
I'm so excited to announce that I'm 1 of 25 finalists in the Search for a Champion contest! This means we are still eligible for the $50k grand prize sponsorship and we are already guarenteed a $1k sponsorship. It has been such a great year already and we can't wait to see what else is in store for the team.
We need your help by getting public votes again. The finalist voting will be Feb 23 - Mar 23. You can vote ONCE PER DAY. Spread the word.
Thank you for your support!
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on January 3, 2017 at 9:55 AM|
I have been working really hard with my cousin over the past month to create my entry for the Search for a Champion. It would really mean a lot to the Anderson Family Dragster team to be a part of Team Champion. Please help by voting for my entry. The voting period is January 5 - February 2. People can vote once per day. Please vote every day if you can and share with as many people as possible it would really help push the team forward to win this sponsorship.
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on October 25, 2016 at 11:25 AM|
I am excited about the progress we have seen over this past year. There have been bumps in the road and many lessons learned for the whole team. I have always been honest about how tough this journey is. It's fun and difficult all at the same time. I like to say if it were easy everyone would do it. Trust me, growing up around drag racing it always seemed like a dream that would never happen to me. You can make it happen though and no matter how long it takes we will keep working at it.
Looking back on the 2016 season I am thankful for so many things including the races I got to attend even though I wasn't racing my car. Every race I go to I learn even more just by being around A/Fuel cars, especially on the starting line. It has helped me become more aware of every part of my car. I am thankful that Dave and my dad both allow and expect me to be more than a driver. In the beginning of the year we learned the hard way to pay attention to what the data is telling you. This may seem like a no brainer but when you first look at a data logger as robust as racepak it can be overwhelming. We became best friends with our racepak after it saved us every penny we paid for it this year. From rubber in fuel lines to a dead battery we had anything you can think of go wrong our first couple times out this year. Being a low budget team I would much rather go home with everything in one piece than have the experience of blowing everything up at this point. I know people say it will happen with nitro racing and trust me we are always acquiring spares. Every time we run the car we learn even more through the data and now we are just learning what the car wants to be able to go fast. I am not officially licensed yet but we are so close that I can feel it around the corner.
The last test session we had for the year was at US 131 in Martin, MI in October. Not many tracks stay open through October in the Midwest. I am so glad we decided to take the 4 hour trip to Martin because they provided a safe track and treated us really well. We went out there and ran two test passes to about 1/8th mile both in the 7s. These were our two best passes yet, so we are seeing progress. I was planning on staying on the throttle longer for the second pass but the car slowed down and I could tell. This also was the first time I would say I actually had to drive the car. It was pushed around the lane a little but I was able to keep it straight. I was disappointed there wasn't a 6 or a 5 on my time slip but I know that the car is showing signs of getting there. I hope we will get to go back to Martin...maybe even for an ADRL race
I'm so appreciative of the people that work on the car. There are so many people who are a part of the Competition Fabrications family that have helped us get to this point. I definitely couldn't be living this dream without the time and dedication that both my dad and Dave both put into the car. We have a list of things to do over the winter and we are working on getting back out on the track so I can license ASAP.
|Posted by Doreen Anderson on May 26, 2016 at 4:45 PM|
Wow! I can't believe it's almost June and Memorial Day weekend is around the corner. This year has seriously been flying by already. I think it's safe to say that I am beyond addicted to this sport and so thankful for the many friends I have made. After winding down from the holidays I enjoyed my annual trip to Detroit, Michigan where we go to the Autorama car show in February. Some friends of my dad's brought a car this year and we had a good time. I couldn't handle the winter months in Chicago without any racing for months so I made plans to go to Gainesville, Florida for the Gatornationals to help my friend Megan Meyer in her national event debut. It was so much fun, I worked on the bottom end for the weekend. We went rounds (she lost on a holeshot in the finals) and I learned a ton from both Megan and her dad. Such a great experience to be there with them and I am grateful I was able to. I even made a few more friends that weekend and let me tell you I was so sore from Megan's Sunday morning workout.
After Gainesville I wanted it even more. I just love this sport and I knew I needed to get ready to race in my car. We finished up a few more things that it needed to be NHRA legal like carbon fiber brakes and additional weight. Every weekend from the time tracks opened I was checking the weather and track schedules at literally every track within about 6 hours driving distance. I still am on this schedule honestly. We need to both test the racecar because it's brand new and I need to complete two full passes and one half pass to upgrade my current super comp license to TAD. The first experience at the track was in April, we found a major problem when we started the car up, rubber in the fuel lines. Thankfully we didn't make any passes with it like that or it would have cost us big time. With a new car and a crew that is all new to this class we are learning so much. That time we learned that the data will tell you everything you just have to listen.
The month of May was not easy. Between rain every other weekend and the loss of my grandfather we only made it to the track one weekend. He was always very supportive of my dream and I'm glad I got to share it with him when he came out to see the build at Comp Fab I could see it in his eyes that he was proud and the people I had never met before knew my story through him. The test night in May was another great learning experience for the whole team. I am so thankful to be out there doing what I love and taking steps toward making my dream come true. We knew it would not happen over night but it is so worth all the work we put in. I can't thank the people that help me enough.
I am looking forward to being on Teresa's Radio Show on May 31st at about 4pm Central
Besides that we were trying to test at the Joliet regional race but I still don't know if we will be ready. If we aren't we hope to go to Villa Park Summerfest (local car show in my hometown) on June 17th then we will continue to test and finish my license. Who knows you could see us in Columbus or Earlville for those regional events!
I'll be staying busy learning even more in the alcohol pits at some national events too!... Look out for Megan she's doing some awesome things!