NORTHFIELD, MN (Sept. 20, 2018) – For many racers, a summer filled with wins and podium finishes would be a banner year in itself. And while Cole Anderson is not discounting his successes from this season, he has his sights set on bigger prizes this fall as the prestigious season-ending events begin to draw closer.
This weekend’s trip to Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, is one of the most important visits to the half-mile the Minnesota driver will make this year. On Saturday night, the facility hosts their final regular season event for late models, including a 100-lap pro late model event which serves as the final tune-up for the prestigious Snowflake 100 run in December annually.
In March, Cole had a shot at victory after qualifying second quickest, but a final-lap skirmish ended his night in the tenth spot. He captured the pole in a subsequent trip and finished in the top five at the end of the night, but this weekend’s race may be the best test of what the No. 97 team has for the upcoming Snowflake in December.
“All the races during the year are important, but in the earlier races we can try different things,” Anderson explained about the previous races at Five Flags. “Now, we have to stick closer to what we know works and build on that so when we unload in December we should be good. We’ve been pretty good in the pro lately, including our last visit to Pensacola, and I think we’re going to stick to something like what we usually run and tweak on it from there.”
Despite winning five races and the championship during the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna in February, Anderson struggled with bad luck and misfortune during the opening part of the season. A little bit of time off resulted in the 20-year old returning to the seat with a vengeance, nabbing four wins in six starts during the scorching summer months of June, July, and August. Needless to say, the ATF & Gunslinger team who prepares Cole’s Toyotas appears to be firing on all cylinders.
Although it’s been nearly three weeks since Cole raced on pavement, he’s also been keeping himself fresh behind the wheel racing a dirt modified in his native Minnesota. In addition to a number of races within a few hours of his home, he also recently competed in Canada in a $10,000-to-win event where he placed inside the top ten.
“We’ve had some good time away with the modified, including a top ten in a big show,” Cole said. “It’s really good to keep racing no matter what it is, but we’re ready to go for Pensacola and running the pro late model this weekend.”
Open practice begins the weekend for the No. 97 Timberwolf Plastics team on Friday night from 5-9pm Central Time. Raceday festivities kickoff at 2:30pm with the only round of practice before time trials at 5:15. The green flag will fly immediately following the first race of the night which is scheduled to go green at 7:45pm CT.
For more information and the latest updates about Cole Anderson visit his website at ColeAndersonRacing.com. He can also be found on social media such as Facebook (@ColeAndersonRacing), Twitter (@Cole_Anderson97) and Instagram (@Cole_Anderson97).