Courtesy of Coloradoan.com
by Henry McKenna
Scott Anderson has spent much of this hot summer in padded clothing, stuffed in a tight seat behind the driver’s wheel. While many would consider this torturous, the 23-year-old Fort Collins resident finds pleasure in the pain.
He started Indy car racing when he was 14. He enjoyed racing as a hobby at first, but after trying other sports he always gravitated back to racing.
“I couldn’t find anything that quite compares,” Anderson said.
He moved from kart racing to the Skip Barber Racing School. There, he spent a year in the Regional Racing Series and then a year in the National Series.
When he won the national series, he received a $200,000 scholarship to help fund his ride for this year’s USF2000 National Championship from Mazdaspeed Motorsports. The championship is the first of three stages in the Road to Indy.
Anderson signed with Belardi Auto Racing team last year to fund his passion for racing, which is an expensive sport. Race weekends can cost tens of thousands of dollars, said Derek Daly, owner of the Derek Daly Academy. He also said drivers like Anderson are worth it.
“Scott is developing a good reputation for good communication and technical skills,” Daly said of Anderson’s ability to relay the complexities and intricacies of the car to plan a winning strategy.
Anderson’s best performance this year was a fourth-place showing at the Night Before the 500 race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis in May. In that race, he started in 13th and had trouble adapting to the racetrack.
“It was looking bad for us,” Anderson said.
He took a few risks with the setup late in the race and jumped into fourth.
Anderson is learning the necessary mental and physical toughness of racing. Drivers are constantly hot during the race, as the car forces airflow away from the driver. The turns also generate considerable g-force.
“It’s like your head wants to get ripped off your shoulders. It’s like a UFC fight and a football game all at once,” Daly said.
Daly explained that if a driver lets emotions or exhaustion get to him, he starts making mistakes or begins having trouble reading the car.
“Despite the heat of the races, Scott does a great job keeping a cool head," Daly said.
Anderson hopes he can stay cool in his next race, the Aug. 3 Izod IndyCar Series at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.