NWAAS • December 01, 2014
South Carolina Driver Becomes First New National Champion Since 2010
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2014) - When he was 16 years old, Anthony Anders began working with dreams of retiring by the time he was 40.
Racing was also a dream he started having roughly 20 years ago while watching some races with friends at Greenville Pickens Speedway. This season his dream became a reality in the biggest way possible.
While he might still have dreams of retiring from his day job he’s showing no signs of slowing down on the racetrack.
Anders enjoyed a season for the ages at Greenville Pickens, and in the process became the first new NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion since 2010.
"It’s amazing how things have come together for me since 2011," said Anders. "I can remember when I first started racing one of my goals was just to make it on the scoreboard to see my number in the top five and now we have gone from leading races to winning them and championships. It has been a wonderful past couple of years for our team."
Anders, 43, lead the national standings from start-to-finish in 2014 thanks to impressive statistics that included 30 wins, 44 top-five and 48 top-10 finishes in 51 starts between Greenville Pickens and nearby Anderson Motor Speedway.
It was Anderson coming back under NASCAR sanction in 2014 that made it possible to pursue the championship.
"In year’s past I have been able to win races but never able to make much of a dent in the national standings," Anders said. "I was thinking one year at the banquet that if I was ever going to be able to challenge for the national title I had to figure out a way."
Anders kept racing and after winning the state title in 2013 he was content to give up racing for a national title until he heard Anderson was going to be sanctioned, and he had a timely meeting with car owners Lee McCall and Randy Hawkins.
Anders was ready to return to his family-owned team until veteran crew chief and car owner McCall and Anders met just before the start of the 2014 campaign. After the duo worked out a deal the rest is now well-documented history.
"This is an unbelievable accomplishment for our company because it was not expected," McCall said. "We have been fielding late models for a few years now and have been content helping develop young talent and race at a bunch of different tracks. We really didn’t think much about competing at one track until we put a deal together with Anthony just before the season started."
The new partnership produced results right of the box. In addition to GPS and Anderson, the team made starts at Myrtle Beach and Hickory Speedways.
"We had an unbelievable season and we ran up front and were fast everywhere we went this year," Anders said. "And one of the things I am proudest of is that I have been able to win at least one race a year since 1993."
Anders also joined an impressive list of drivers to have his name painted on the Wall of Champions on the backstretch at Greenville Pickens, a list that includes legendary names like David Pearson and Ralph Earnhardt. The only other driver to earn the NWAAS national title from Greenville Pickens was Dexter Canipe in 1997.
The Easley, South Carolina, driver also celebrated his fourth consecutive South Carolina NWAAS state title.
"One of the biggest honors you can have racing at Greenville Pickens Speedway is to have your name on the wall at the track," Anders added. "For all of us who live in this area and have competed at the track, that is a very big deal for us and on the night I clinched the championship we went back there and put my name up there as national champion and that is something I will remember for the rest of my life."
Anders also made it known after clinching the NWAAS championship that he will not compete full time next season.
"I will still race some next year but I am going to be focused in helping my son Brandon Lee Fox go after a track title at Greenville Pickens," Anders said. "He is a talented driver and finished second to me this season and I want to help him go after a track title."
Anders - along with his crew members Fox, Derek Smith, Derek Latham and Greg Guarry - will be recognized in conjunction with champions from each of the 58 NASCAR-sanctioned tracks at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards on Dec. 12 in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
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