Anderson goes from pageant stage to Speedbowl making debut in Sk Liteswaterford
Press release from the New London Waterford Speedbowl
WATERFORD — Samantha Anderson of Wolcott has traded in her crown for a racing helmet.
The 2016 Miss Connecticut Outstanding Teen has a passion for motor sports. She competed in the Street Stock division at Stafford Motor Speedway this past season and finished 15th in the point standings, despite missing five races. She racked up six Top 10s and captured a pair of heat race wins.
This weekend, however, she is about to take the biggest step in her brief racing career, Anderson, 19, will be making her debut in an SK Lite Modified, owned by Ken Barry at this weekend’s finale at the Speedbowl. It is a car that Andrew Molleur has driven to a win in the Bubby Brouwer Memorial at the Speedbowl on Sept. 8, plus four wins at Stafford.
It’s a step that Anderson can’t wait to take.
“I’m very close to Andrew Molleur,” Anderson said. “Just watching him throughout the season was inspiring. I looked up to him as a driver and wanted to be more like him. Just through my association with him, I got closer to his car owner, Ken Barry. He ended up asking us if we wanted to drive for him. It was really incredible.”
While Anderson doesn’t have any feature races in the car, she did practice in it last week.
“I was doing pretty good,” Anderson said. “Kenny actually said he was surprised with how well I did and that I impressed him. Hopefully, we just get better from there.”
Anderson always has had Modified racing in her veins. Her dad is Bill Anderson, a former Modified driver at the Speedbowl and Stafford.
“I started in quarter midgets which are open wheel cars,” Anderson said. “Obviously it doesn’t have the power that an SK has, but getting inside that car was great.”
“I like the open wheel cars better than the fender cars. The fender cars have that loose feel. You’re bumping and grinding with each other like crazy and you’re relying on the guy outside of you so you don’t spin around. That’s really not my style. “
Anderson has very modest goals as far as her debut is concerned.
“I just want to be a better driver throughout all of this,” Anderson said. “I think Kenny Barry and myself really work well together. It is easy to piggyback ideas of each other. We should be a good team.”
A good team that has good results.
“I’m very excited,” Anderson said. “I’m looking forward to finishing races and hopefully getting Top 5s and being consistent.”
Anderson, who is a sophomore at Quinnipiac University and hopes to be working in the media after graduation, has many sponsors and supporters behind her, including Jason Derwin with Royal Screw Machine Products; Jodie Lynn; Rent a Racecar; Tick Mike and Tick and Mosquito Hose Spray; Mike Deleo with M&G Towing; Mom and dad, Tara and Bill Anderson, with First Class Automotive; Kenny Barry with Spafco Race Chassis; and the crews of the 89 Street Stock and 35 SK Lite.
“I also want to thank the Molleur family,” Anderson said. “I called up Mike Molleur some time in April explaining to him that if I had my own gear, my dad said he would get me back in a race car. Well, sure enough, I proudly wear my Andrew Molleur gear for every race.
“Lastly, I really want to thank my family who continuously supports me throughout every aspect of my life, whether it would be pageants or racing.
This weekend it will be racing. The Speedbowl finale will be serving as a preview of coming attractions for Anderson.
“Next year we’re not going to be driving the Street Stock,” Anderson said, “We struggled this year because we really didn’t know the car. Being a new driver and not having the best car was a huge struggle. We want to get that car going and hopefully rent it out.”
Anderson plans on being in an SK Lite.
“We hope to race not just at Waterford, but also at Stafford, possibly at Thompson — wherever they want to take me, Anderson said, “Hopefully this weekend will be a springboard for me next year.”
After all, Miss Connecticut Outstanding Teen wants to be just as entertaining at the Speedbowl as she was on a stage.
The Finale is a two-day show, kicking off at 2:30 p.m. with qualifying and features. The feature racing will consist of a 100-lapper for the Granite State Pro Stock series, 25-lappers for the NEMA Lites, Ct. Pro 4 Modifieds, NEMA, 375 Sportsmen, Super X-Cars and X-Cars and a 20-lapper for the Bandoleros.
On Sunday qualifying and features start at 1:30 p.m. The main event will be an 80-lap SK Modified feature. There will be 30-lap Late Model and Limited Sportsman features, and 25-lappers for the Legend cars, Speedbowl Trucks and Mini Stocks.
Contact Mike Serluca at email@example.com