The ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series will celebrate Independence Day weekend with races at Lavonia Speedway (GA) on Friday, July 3 and Cherokee Speedway (SC) on Saturday, July 4. With a chance at some home cooking on Saturday at Cherokee, Anthony Sanders hopes to continue a strong start to his 2020 season.
Anthony Sanders has been a regular competitor with the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series for several years, making his first start with the series at Laurens County Speedway (SC) during its inaugural season in 2011. Last year, Sanders finished third in the series points standings.
Sanders is once again third in points entering this weekend’s doubleheader, currently 17 points behind two-time champion Zack Mitchell. The Spartanburg, South Carolina driver is riding high entering the weekend, hoping to continue his strong showing with the series.
“We’re feeling pretty excited about this weekend,” Sanders told Speed51. “Lavonia is a track we’ve run good at before. It’s not our best track, by no means, but we’ve had some good runs there in the past.”
The chance to race at Cherokee Speedway particularly excites Sanders. Roughly 20 minutes from his hometown of Spartanburg, Sanders cut his teeth at the Gaffney, South Carolina track over the years and has recently enjoyed several strong runs in his Super Late Model at “The Place Your Momma Warned You About.”
“Gaffney has been one of our best tracks in the past year or two. We’ve found something that works good there, and the last four races we’ve run top-five each race. I’m definitely looking forward to Saturday. We’ll try to get through Friday first, and then Saturday I think is our best chance to win a race.
“I’ve been running Gaffney since 2007 when I first started racing. I’d pretty much consider it my hometown track. I’ve always run well there in the past, but these last few races we’ve run there have been really good.”
Cherokee hosted ULTIMATE’s first event after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on May 30. While Sanders started 13th in the 24-car feature field, he drove his way to a fourth-place finish, matching his career best with the ULTIMATE series.
“The last ULTIMATE race there, we finished fourth. We started 14th or so, had some issues in qualifying and drove up to fourth.”
The pandemic presented its own set of challenges for Sanders’ racing operation, with shipping delays on parts for his engine. However, a borrowed engine from none other than Zack Mitchell has kept Sanders on track.
“We’ve had to borrow a motor pretty much all year, because the coronavirus has our parts held up. I still don’t have my motor back yet, but I’m lucky enough that Todd Mitchell and Zack Mitchell let me borrow a motor from them. It’s been a pretty good piece.
While Sanders has long been a loyal competitor with the ULTIMATE Supers, 2020 is shaping up to be the first full-time campaign in the series for Sanders. With three consecutive top-10 finishes, Sanders is excited to start his season with some momentum, rather than playing catch-up.
“Every year, we try to run this ULTIMATE deal and we seem to get behind the eight-ball early in the year. We run good later in the year, we just never get that start of the year where we’re comfortable competing for points. This year, everything has worked out really good.
“We’ve just been pretty consistent this year. There has been a couple of races where we haven’t been that good. Lancaster is not one of my best tracks at all, but we were able to salvage a sixth-place finish there. Every week we try to run top-10, do the best we can do, but this year everything is working out really well.”
Race fans can watch Saturday’s ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series event at Cherokee Speedway live on Speed51. Click hereto watch Saturday’s broadcast, free for premium subscribers as part of Summer Thunder TV.