Topeka S. Anderson story (Top Fuel)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 SHELLY ANDERSON LOOKING FOR SMOOTHER RIDE AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, Kan. -- In a figurative sense, Shelly Anderson will be the first to admit that she hasn't been ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

SHELLY ANDERSON LOOKING FOR SMOOTHER RIDE AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, Kan. -- In a figurative sense, Shelly Anderson will be the first to admit that she hasn't been lighting up the track lately in the Parts America Dragster. But in a literal sense, Anderson put on quite a show of driving skill while burning up the quarter-mile during the Mopar Parts Nationals on May 18 at Englishtown, N.J. Anderson walked away from a fiery incident during a victory in the first round with just a sore back and a small cut on her ankle. The engine in her Parts America Dragster exploded about 1,000 feet into the 1,320-foot pass, shredding the left tire and damaging the rear wing. Anderson guided the car safely across the finish line despite being unable to steer. The Parts America team worked feverishly for 90 minutes to rebuild the car in time for the quarterfinals, where Anderson lost to Scott Kalitta. "There was a really huge concussion when the engine exploded," Anderson said. "It was like having a bomb go off right behind my back. I could feel the fire all over my back, and I could see the flames over my head." Anderson, from Ontario, Calif., will seek a smoother ride at the fifth annual, $1,509,950 Western Auto Parts America Nationals presented by Slick 50 at Heartland Park Topeka. The race is the ninth event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. After a promising start, Anderson and the Parts America team have struggled this season. She is eighth in the NHRA Winston point standings with one semifinal finish, in March at Houston. "The good thing is we feel like we came away from Englishtown having learned something about how to make our race car run better," Anderson said. "Our car is launching off the starting line really well. If we can capitalize on that at Topeka, then we may be on to something good."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Scott Kalitta , Shelly Anderson