DRO: So you never went to college?

Anderson: Never went to a university, never went to a college. Graduated high school and as soon as I graduated high school I knew what I wanted to do and that was race. I started working full-time Pro Stock racing then. Working on cars and working on clutches and rear ends, though I never did a lot of motor work. I was a mechanical guy that did a lot of work on cars whether it was street cars or race cars. That’s where it all started.

When I talked to Kurt a couple of years later he asked if I wanted to get back involved and I said you know maybe it is time to come back in. I had decided when I went away from the sport, if I ever did it again it was going to be with one of the funded top teams. There were only three or four back then, Morrison, Glidden, Warren, and one or two more.

I had learned racing with John Hagen when he was out competing with these guys, he did really well, but it was always a struggle because we weren’t heavily funded. We didn’t have sponsorship back then. I decided right then that if I ever got back into it would be with one of the top teams that had sponsorship and could do it properly. Otherwise, you’re just beating your head up against a wall. I learned that at a young age and the opportunity with Warren set the mold.

I was with Warren at the end of ‘86. I went down, checked the shop out, and I was impressed so I thought I would give it a whirl. So I called my father, told him I was moving to Atlanta, going racing and he said, “I’m behind you all of the way. If that’s what you want to do, I’m behind you all the way.” It was tough on him because I did a lot of work at his car lot for him, but it was what I wanted to do. It was what my father introduced to me; the drag racing got into my blood. I’ve never been a day away from the racetrack since then.

DRO: Were you married at that time?

Anderson: No, I was single up until six years ago. I lived a single life and to be honest with you, racing with Warren and traveling and working on the cars, that was a seven-day-a-week job. It was tough for people to be married. I saw that part of it; it was hard to take care of your family.

For a lot of years until I finally decided it was time, I stayed single just because it was better for that particular job. You could devote more time to it and you weren’t cheating your family. I held off until I was 37 years old before I finally got married.

Things are great now, I have and wonderful wife and great children, but a lot of guys still pay the price because we work so much and travel so much. We work in the darn shop seven days a week. Even on our off weekends when we’re not racing we’re here working at the shop. Through all those years with Warren I learned that you win the races at the shop. All the preparation you do at the shop, that’s where the race is probably won or lost. When you go to the racetrack you have to execute and everything has to go perfectly for you to win the race, but if you show up without your ducks in a row, without power, without your car right, you’re not going to do anything.

DRO: When did you decide to leave Warren and what led up to that?

Anderson: I never really thought I would leave Warren. I loved it there. He has a great facility, every bit as nice as this right here and I knew that nobody else in the class had that type facility and that type machinery at their fingertips. I felt lucky to have all this stuff at my fingertips. Every day you’d come to work and do something different. You’d learn every day. You had the professor and all the equipment to learn on and it was a neat play shop. You wanted to go to work every day, it was neat and you had fun and you won races. That’s what the bottom line is, I love winning races. We didn’t go to a race ever thinking we weren’t going to win.

I worked for Warren for many years, but never had the desire to drive. I was happy just working on the cars. Kurt and Warren and myself would work on Warren’s car in the early years there, and bottom line, there were three of us and we all had our own opinions and our own ideas. We just flat didn’t agree on much. We were different type people. Over the years I had gained confidence and I would put my two cents in and of course they were the bosses, they were the men, the guys, and they had their two cents. When we got to where it was the three of us with different ideas we would fight and talk and couldn’t come to a good in the middle agreement. And we struggled for a bit.

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