Berlin Raceway’s Denny Anderson is making his 50th race season one of his best
By Cara Cooper
3 Minute Read
Anderson began competing in 1970 when he was 17. Other than a two-year break in the early 2000s, he’s been behind the wheel every summer since.
Anderson’s dad started taking him to the racetrack when he was about 10, and from then on, he said, “I couldn’t stay away from the place.”
Though he was a talented baseball player in high school, his heart was at the track.
“I gave all that up just to go to the race track,” he said. “Kind of crazy, huh? “The speed, the noise, the sound, the people. It’s a lot crazier than baseball, more fun I guess. It’s hard to say.”
Anderson went between dirt and asphalt tracks through the early parts of his career, and he eventually found a home at Berlin in the 1980s. He won his only track title at the NASCAR Home Track located in Marne, Michigan in 1984.
He stayed at Berlin until 2006, when he got out of the sport to help his son’s budding race career. Anderson’s son died in a boating accident in 2007, and afterwards, Anderson took two years off from the sport.
He eventually bought one of the cars his son built and decided to go racing once again.
“Those are the only two years I’ve taken off,” Anderson said. “My late wife always said I had probably 150 feature wins through my career in 50 years.”
When it was time to return to racing, Berlin was the only track Anderson considered.
“That’s my home track,” he said. “I live, like, five miles away from the place. I’ve always loved the place. A lot of good guys have come out of there. … I’m glad I’m back. The racing family here is unbelievable. A lot of good people.”
Not only is this a milestone season in Anderson’s career, but it’s also one of his best. In Berlin’s Limited Late Model division, he has two wins and 15 top fives in 21 features this summer. His worst race of the season was last Saturday when he finished eighth.
Anderson goes into this weekend’s season finale at Berlin second in the Limited Late Model division points, 136 points behind leader Tyler Rycenga and 15 points better than third-place Josh Frye.
“One of my better years,” Anderson said. “I’m just surrounded by great people right now, a great car owner, great crew guys. Just everything’s clicking right now. I’ve got a great car. Just everything is working out good.”
Anderson thanked his team, including car owner Shawn Kriesh, his crew chief, Austin, and crew members Andy, Mike, Dusty and Mark for helping him find more success at Berlin this season.
He also thanked his girlfriend LuAnn, who he called his “backbone” this year.
“She drives me and tells me all the good things I do,” Anderson added. “She gets me out of my highs and lows, because racing is so up and down with highs and lows and everything.”
Track profile: Everything to know about Berlin Raceway
With one race left in season No. 50, Anderson said he feeling confident after his team made some changes and fixes to the car this week.
Is there anything he’s looking forward to in order to cap off his final race of 2023?
“Yeah,” he said. “A checkered flag. That would be awesome. That would be good to get one more.”
Don’t think for one second, though, that Anderson has any plans of stopping before the start of season No. 51.
“Our shirts this season, the front patch says, ‘Keeping the dream alive.’ That’s for my son and my late wife,” Anderson said. “I’ve got no inclinations of quitting yet. We’re still running pretty decent, and I’m going to run until I can’t, I guess.
“As long as the owner keeps me in it I’m going to keep going.”
Berlin’s Chet Championship Night, featuring races in the Super Late Model, Limited Late Model, Sportsman, 4 Cylinders, and Vintage Racing Organization of America divisions will begin on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. local time.
All the action can be streamed live on FloRacing.