OPP, AL (Mar. 19, 2018) – Cole Anderson and his ATF/Gunslinger team competed in their first Rattler 250 weekend together this past weekend, finishing tenth in the pro late model on Saturday. On Sunday, a mechanical issue forced them to park the No. 97 prematurely, resulting in a 22nd place finish.
The team led by Dustin and Jamie Skinner prepared Anderson another fast car, proven by practice early in the weekend when the team charted second fastest in both of Friday’s practice sessions. Qualifying yielded similar results with Anderson clocking in fifth fastest, setting him up for a solid starting position entering the 125-lap Baby Rattler event.
At the drop of the green, Cole began working his strategy, attempting to position himself for the run to the checkered flag. He kept pace with the leaders until problems began to emerge on the No. 97, causing the car to get tight, making it hard to turn through each end of the speedway. Ultimately, he was able to wrestle the car home with a top ten finish despite the issues which arose mid-race.
“We were top five in practice for the pro and consistently fast, so to have a problem really sucked,” Anderson lamented after the race. “Something in the suspension stopped working properly because the tabs on our crossmember weren’t even close to where we needed them to be. The left front wasn’t staying down which made the car super tight.”
Sunday was a new day, however, and Anderson was stoked for a chance to redeem himself after Saturday evening’s bad luck. During Saturday’s super late model qualifying session, he ranked 19th, placing him inside row ten for the green flag, but he did not stay there for long. Again, Cole began to work his way forward as the race slowly progressed toward halfway.
Soon after a mid-race pit stop for tires, Cole called back to the crew to inform them the car had picked up a vibration. After discussing the likelihood of various causes, the No. 97 came down pit road under green where the crew discovered a loose wheel. After losing a couple of laps, and not wanting to chance racing with damage to a hub, the decision was made to retire from the 250-lap Southern Super Series contest.
“We’re still learning the super late model and what it wants because it’s a new car,” Anderson explained after the race. “We started 19th and made our way inside the top ten until the wheel came loose. It wasn’t worth risking a wreck to the car. After we had to pit under green, we just pulled it behind the wall. Despite the bad luck, I can’t say enough about the cars Dustin and Jamie gave me to work with this weekend. They were fast and we were confident with what we had and I believe we’ll continue to get even better as we go.”
Anderson’s next asphalt race with ATF/Gunslinger will come on Easter Weekend when he pilots the same pro late model which won the World Series of Asphalt title, this time at Five Flags Speedway. Anderson has plans to compete in at least ten races at Five Flags Speedway this season in pursuit of experience to win year-end accolades at the Snowflake 100 and Snowball Derby.
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).
Credit: Pit Row Media
Photo Credit: Cole Anderson Racing