Anderson loses close race in semifinals TOPEKA, Kan. - In only his third race behind the wheel, former Jr. Dragster standout turned NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Paul Anderson reached the semifinals of this past weekend's Division 5 Lucas...
Anderson loses close race in semifinals
TOPEKA, Kan. - In only his third race behind the wheel, former Jr. Dragster standout turned NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Paul Anderson reached the semifinals of this past weekend's Division 5 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan. The event marked his return to competition after severely damaging his car when he ran off the end of the track in Denver.
Following his top end accident in Denver, where his parachutes failed to deploy, the team was forced to 'front half' the chassis and mount a new 2006 Dodge Stratus body. Anderson, 21, from Denver, qualified his Vern Moats tuned machine sixth in the field with a 6.037 second elapsed time at 232.51 mph. In round one, he squared off with Moats, his mentor and tuner, and took the win with a 5.911 at 242.93 mph.
In his semifinal matchup with Jonathan Johnson, both drivers stayed locked together, swapping the lead three times going down track, but it was Johnson who prevailed by the narrowest of margins, winning with a 5.802 at 247.57 mph to Anderson's career-best 5.817 at 245.72 mph. The margin of victory was a mere .026 of a second.
"We're very happy with the weekend," said Anderson. "We really hated to run Vern in the first round. I told him we didn't drive all this way to race each other in the first round. Vern just told me that's racing. He tunes our car, but we ran each other heads up. It was a real close race against Johnson in the semi's and I could hear him all the way down the track."
"Vern has the car running good and we still have it set up pretty conservative," Anderson continued. "We don't have a computer on the car, so we just have to tune it off the plugs and bearings. Luckily we have a veteran like Vern in our corner."
The next event for the Paul Anderson Racing team will be in two weeks for the Division 5 closer in Earlville, Ia.