ALGER — With some success earned an ocean away — and a little help from a couple of friends — New Zealand’s Daniel Anderson is headed into this year’s Dirt Cup with confidence.
Anderson is familiar to Skagit Speedway fans. This will be his fourth Dirt Cup, and he’s been racing in the Northwest for nine years.
Last year, he came into Dirt Cup low on seat time due to a series of crashes that left him with a concussion and a long layoff. This year, he’s coming off a successful season in New Zealand’s War of Wings circuit, where he finished third.
“This is probably the most confident I’ve been coming into Dirt Cup,” he said.
Anderson said much of the credit for the good run goes to a couple of figures associated with Northwest racing: Doug Rutz and Jim Richmond.
Anderson has known both for several years, but this year they made the long trip to New Zealand to help him.Rutz, a former driver, helped him with his car’s setup. Richmond, the owner of Richmond Racing Engines in Vancouver, British Columbia, helped tend to the motor.
“He’s an amazing, clever guy,”Anderson said of Richmond.
Anderson said he met Rutz and Richmond after racing in the Northwest. He watched Rutz’s son Travis race.
“That’s one reason I got hooked on racing,” he said of the experience.
Anderson was more than happy to have Rutz and Richmond help out in New Zealand.
“I picked them up at the airport,”Anderson said,”and drove them right out to the track.” He said the duo helped him greatly.
They’ll get a chance to do it again this weekend. Both Rutz and Richmond are expected to be on hand when Anderson competes at Dirt Cup.
Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma is dark this weekend in order to allow Southwest Washington 360 sprint car drivers to participate in the Dirt Cup. Racing returns next weekend for the Mid-Season Championships for all five classifications — 360 sprint, modifieds, street stock, hornets and midgets.