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Exclusive interview with Randy Anderson
Randy Anderson comes from one of the First Families of US Drag Racing. Randy has driven in Top Alcohol Funny Car and Fuel Funny Car, sister Shelley has driven in Top Fuel Dragster, and father Brad Anderson has a been a Top Alcohol champion, crew chief on various teams, and owns a performance parts company.
Eurodragster caught up with Randy Anderson at the 1999 Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway, where he was acting as a consultant to Leif Andreasson's Top Methanol Funny Car team.Eurodragster: Randy, tell us about your visit here.
Randy Anderson: I'm here as an adviser. Leif bought an engine from us so I thought it would be good to come here and see the racing.
Eurodragster: We spoke to Gordie Bonin last night and asked him if he found a difference in attitude in the teams over here in Europe. Do you think we approach things differently here?
Randy Anderson: I haven't seen any difference in this team. They are very serious, and they have all the latest equipment. No, I don't see a big difference.
Eurodragster: Are you just here for the one race, or will you be working with Leif's team for the rest of the season?
Randy Anderson: No, I'm just here for the one race, then I have to get back to the USA.
Eurodragster: You've driven both Alcohol and Fuel Funny Cars. Could you tell us a little about the differences between the two?
Randy Anderson: I have described it as "Apples and oranges". You're much busier in an Alcohol car, for example loading the clutch as you go to the line, and shifting twice during the run. A Nitro car is much harder to control, and there is so much more to happen. In an Alcohol car you can sit back and enjoy the ride: I never felt an element of danger. In a Nitro car there is always something to go wrong. Both types of car will always give you a hint that something is going to go wrong. The Nitro car is more subtle, and you have to learn to sense the warnings.
Eurodragster: Do you think it helped that you were in an Alcohol car before you went into the Fuel car?
Randy Anderson: Without a doubt, having driven Alcohol before going to Nitro hurt me. They're so different that you can have a hard time adjusting. For example, I became immune to shake, and in Nitro you need to feel the shake.
Eurodragster: Tell us about the difference in sensations between an Alcohol car and a Fuel car.
Randy Anderson: With the Nitro cars, there is no comparison. It's amazing. When I first raced in a Nitro car, I went 5.12 and 5.07, and from half track on I was thinking "There's no way this car can pull so hard without getting loose. It's gonna break loose any moment". And it never did break loose! It's amazing.
Eurodragster: Thanks for your time, Randy, we know you're very busy so we'll get out of your way. Good luck with your racing career back in the US.
Randy Anderson: Thank you!
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