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Kurt and I would always pick on the one that lost the race because he was late all the time. “How come you can’t have better reaction time? How come you did this? How come you did that?” We didn’t know any better; we had never driven one of these things you know. So finally, after years of this, Warren said, “That’s it! I’m tired of listening to you guys tell me how easy this is, why don’t I do this, and why don’t I do that? I’m sending both of you guys to Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School. You’re going to get in these cars and you’re going to see just how hard it is to drive these damn things. And also that should help you to tune these cars better because you’ll see it from both sides and if you see it from both sides then you’ll understand what’s going on with these cars.”

So, it was his idea to send us to Roy’s school. It was back in ‘91, ’92, or ’93. I should remember the year, but that’s when he sent us. We went a week apart; Kurt went the first week, I went the next, and both of us from the day we came home from that school knew we wanted to drive a Pro Stock car. He’s what started it all. We probably both had somewhere in the back of our minds maybe the hope that someday we would drive a car, but it wasn’t a priority. But ever since we went to that school we got the bug and it wasn’t a matter of weeks when Kurt got out of school he went and found him a ride. He just had to do it. He got a ride from the Scrimner brothers and another ride from Jerry Haas or somebody the next race. He just begged, borrowed, or stole and got rides in each race and that’s how Kurt got started.

DRO: Did you start looking for a ride right away, too?

Anderson: Well, I just couldn’t do that. I was working on Warren’s car full time and I didn’t have the leverage to do that. I kind of had to bide my time and hope that one day I would get the opportunity. My hope was that one day I would get the opportunity to drive Warren’s car; that someday he would retire. He was getting on up in age, even back then, and many times he said that he didn’t want to do this any more and wanted to put someone else in the car. That went on for years and years when he said that.

I kept thinking that could be me, and I finally came to him and told him, “Look, I want the opportunity to do this or to take over for you when you pull out, but I know that you’re not going to consider me if I have no previous experience when it comes time to make that decision. Somehow in the next couple of years I need to start getting some experience.”

So I asked him if it would be all right for me to be doing some of the testing of his car when we go out and make some test laps, so he could stay in the shop more, where he is more valuable. He kinda’ agreed to that, but as the years went on it never happened. Time just went on and Kurt had become a full-time racer by then and I came to the conclusion that there is already two here and there’s not going to be three. And I had heard Warren say for years that he was going to quit driving, but I finally realized he’ll be in the grave before that happens. So I finally decided that if I do want to try this, at least see if I can really do it, I’ll have to go elsewhere to do it.

I met my wife about the same time and her father Troy Humphrey raced Pro Stock part-time. He had Ricky Smith and Mike Bell driving his car for a couple of years each. When I married Kim he offered me an opportunity to come drive his car. That would have been in ’98 when Mike Bell was still driving his car and Troy said he’d run two cars with him in one and Mike Bell and I both drove for about a half of a season in the other one and then Mike moved on somewhere else and I took over Troy’s car. That was my opportunity, that’s where it started and hey, I’ll be the first to admit that when I started I stunk. I wasn’t any good at it.

DRO: When did the decision come to put together your own team?

Anderson: A couple of years later, I raced for my father-in-law a couple of years and we just couldn’t find any kind of sponsorship and we couldn’t race but six or seven times a year with the budget we had and we couldn’t compete.

DRO: Were you at least qualifying?

Anderson: Sporadically, not every race, but I was qualifying at some. The next year I was qualifying most of the time, but not able to win any races or anything like that. Then the last year of the arrangement with my father-in-law we joined up with Mark Pawuk and ran a second car for Mark. Troy still had his truck and trailer and I drove the car, but I actually helped Mark and that was when he brought in Rob Downey as his crew chief. He kinda’ brought me in to bring Rob up to speed faster. So for a year I helped Mark and drove Mark’s second car. That was 2000 and we did not win a race, but we did get three or four runner-ups. So I could see that I was progressing and getting better. I told Warren the day I walked out, that if I go and see that I’m not cut out to do this, I’ll be back knocking on your door within a month wanting my old job back and I’ll be satisfied the rest of my career working on your car.

I didn’t have any success to start with, but I could see that each time I went somewhere and got in a car I progressed. If I hadn’t seen that progression, then I would have bailed out.

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