Fond Memories of Anderson Speedway; NASCAR Drivers Recall Local Track
Today they race at Bristol, Daytona and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but
drivers that climbed to the highest ranks of stock car racing through the
American Speed Association remember racing at Anderson Speedway.
When Rex and Becky Robbins founded the former ASA Midwest touring series for
late models and stock cars Anderson Speedway was the home track.
Three-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson competed at Anderson Speedway
twice with ASA, sitting on the pole position in 1999 during his second and final
season with the local sanctioning body.
Over the years current and former NASCAR stars like Mark Martin, the Wallace
brothers Rusty, Mike and Kenny, Tony Raines, Ken Schrader, Dick Trickle competed
on an annual basis.
Trickle said racing at Anderson was like “flying a jet fighter in a
gymnasium”.“That was my very first pole in a stock car,”
Johnson recalled about his second visit to Anderson. “Obviously I remember how
small it was and the crazy figure-8 pit road.“I remember the fact that you
didn’t watch to touch the fence because the bolt heads were sticking out and
would tear up the sidewall out of the tires,” he said. “There are legendary
stories about (Bob) Senneker and the other veterans hitting the Turn three
opening because a bolt head cut down a tire.”
Kenny Wallace said Anderson is a legendary little race track and was one of the
smallest that he ever competed at during his career.
“The second time there in 1987, I ran second to Dick Trickle,”
Wallace said. “The first time I was getting lapped by Mike Eddy and before I
knew it I was wrecked. Eddy got on my outside and I ran him up into the wall.
That was a tough night for me.”
Wallace said the atmosphere surrounding the annual ASA visit to the track was
another thing he recalls and mentioned the parade on race morning when the race
cars were pulled through the city by Wheel Horse lawn mowers.
“I would drive the lawn mower and put my wife inside the race car,” he said. “It
was so much fun.”
Former Pendleton resident Tony Raines said he remembers going to the Anderson
Speedway when it was called Sun Valley Speedway.
“I love that track,” he said. “Remember I qualified really well, but I never won
“It was always a big race,” Raines said of ASA’s annual visit. “You run 400 laps
there you know you’ve done something, that’s for sure.”
He said several tires went flat on the famed bolt sticking out of the Armco
barrier. Raines said he finally figured out where it was at on the track.
Mike Wallace, who raced at Anderson Speedway once during his ASA career, said it
was the speedway of short track racing.
“Everyone wanted to go to Anderson,” he said. “You were somebody if you got to
race there. I had an average night, nothing to brag on, nothing to remember all
“I remember that race clearly,” Wallace continued. “I had taken a new car there
and the suspension was new to us.”
Wallace said it was a pleasure to race at Anderson Speedway.
“There are certain tracks around the country that have a lot of history and
prestige of just going there,” he said. “They didn’t pay a lot or have a good
trophy, but you wanted to go there. Anderson was one of those tracks at that