In the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series, the line between series regulars and local favorites is mostly blurred. But every now and then there are drivers and tracks that seem to come together as a package deal. One of those package deals includes Anthony Sanders and Carolina Speedway, the next track on the Carolina Clash schedule.
For Sanders, 2018 has had its rough spots in his limited appearances throughout the Southeast, but he feels that it’s only a matter of time before his new car clicks with lady luck. He’s hoping that his luck will turn around Friday night when the series makes its second stop of the season at Carolina Speedway.
“It’s been up and down this year. We got this new Longhorn car and it’s been a good car, but we’ve run it four times and we’ve had four things happen,” Sanders told Speed51.com. “Just need a little luck to kind of get the year turned around. But overall pretty pleased with how things are going. We’ve had the car, just not the finishes.”
The Sanders family operation is a small one, running cars for both Anthony and his uncle, Dirt Late Model veteran Doug Sanders. While it is a lot to manage, the racing family always makes the best of it.
“We got four cars total,” Sanders explained. “It’s me and him plus a few other guys that help us here and there. It’s hard to keep two cars going but it keeps us busy for sure.”
The Carolina Clash has become the touring series of choice for Sanders the past couple of years, with many local tracks providing a stage for consistent finishes. This Friday’s event in particular will have the added spice with the Ultimate Super Late Model Series co-sanctioning the event, bringing in a number of drivers from the Deep South.
“In 2014, we won the rookie deal. With my uncle racing the last 30 years, he’s always supported the Clash and I’ve always run as many of those races as I can,” Sanders stated. “It’s good to have a local series within two or three hours of my house every week where you can run for $4,000 or $5,000. This week is a combination race with the Ultimate Series, which is a good deal with both series working together to help the racers.”
Despite the added challenge of extra competition from the Ultimate Series, it is a challenge that the Spartanburg, SC driver will always rise to meet. In fact, he hopes to see more of these combo races in the future.
“Last time they did this deal at Modoc a few weeks ago they had a really good car count, you had about 25 of the best cars in the South. It makes it tough for us but it’s good for the fans to have a field full of competitive cars. Hopefully after this year they can schedule some more combination races and help the whole region out.”
Lately, Sanders has elected to run a “pick and choose” schedule revolving mostly around the Clash and Ultimate Series. While he would like to run for a season championship, his business Big A’s Custom Graphics has taken up a good deal of time.
“At the beginning of the year I’m always so busy between January and April, getting the race car wraps and everybody ready to go,” Sanders said. “Our plan every year is to follow the Clash or Ultimates for the points deal, but lately something comes up with our car not being ready or our motor is not ready because of the business. After that we pick and choose where we run to make some money and keep the racing account full.”
When time has allowed for Sanders to race, Carolina Speedway has been a top destination, partly out of proximity, but also because of past success. But for this particular Friday, Sanders is looking to turn around some bad luck which has struck him in the past few races.
“I grew up going to Carolina from the time I was six months old to now. My shop is 15 minutes away from there. We consider it our home track; we’ve run good there, won five or six Crate races there and a couple of big crate races. Still trying to get the first Super win, to get it at Carolina in front of the hometown crowd would be great. But it seems like every time we go there nowadays we have bad luck, but I definitely like the track, hopefully we turn it around this time.”
Speed51.com will have live Race Day Now coverage, as well as post-race video highlights from Friday’s race on the Speed51 Network.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT