By Mary Lendzion
Kurt Anderson is a standout in his strong classic Camaro.
He pulls wheelies and picks up wins, and he earned his third LME Street King championship last year in the car powered by a 416 cubic-inch LS3 engine by Wegner Motorsports and backed by a Turbo 400 by Proformance Racing Transmissions.
That’s why some fans and fellow racers were surprised to see him in his wife Shawna Anderson’s 2001 Camaro packing a 346 cubic-inch LS1 engine by Wegner Motorsports and Coan Turbo 350 at the Whipple Superchargers NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem presented by Holbrook Racing Engines in mid-March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida. As it turned out, he was having some work done to his combination.
“My engine was at Wegner Motorsports to be freshened, and in the meantime, I had decided to try a set of AFR LS3 Mongoose heads to replace the heads I had been running, and they hadn’t arrived before it was time for me to go to the race in Florida,” said Anderson, who uses an intake by Mast Motorsports. “They had gotten lost in transit.”
Happy to have his wife Shawna’s car as a very capable backup, Anderson entered LME Street King as well as MagnaFuel Open Comp, but had an issue during qualifying.
“The transbrake wouldn’t hold when I set it on the starting line, and the transmission wouldn’t go into second gear in the second round of qualifying, which caused the engine to bounce off the rev limiter, and I thought the transmission went on me,” said Anderson. “I started asking around for a transmission, and I ended up driving twenty miles to pick one up from someone. When I pulled Shawna’s transmission on Saturday night, I saw the pickup tube laying in the bottom of her transmission pan, along with the bolts, so that was the problem. We fixed it and put her transmission back in place, rather than the borrowed one.”
Somewhere in between, Anderson thought it would be clever to text to his wife a picture of her transmission laying on the ground, and in true racer form, she responded, “What in the heck are you doing to my car?”
With 10.50 as his chosen index, Anderson managed to make it to the second round in LME Street King and MagnaFuel Open Comp, and in that time, he got word from back home that his new AFR LS3 Mongoose heads had arrived at his shop, Autokraft Racecars and Restorations in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. As soon as he got home, he shipped them to Wegner Motorsports, where they’re being worked on.
“The heads are 69cc, and in order to get the compression that I normally run, we have to cut them down a little,” said Anderson. “As soon as they’re done, my engine will go on the dyno at Wegner Motorsports. I think it will make more power with the new AFR LS3 Mongoose heads, but I also like the idea of supporting AFR, which is part of our contingency program.”
Anderson will be in his wife’s car for the Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals presented by MAHLE Motorsport, this weekend at Atlanta Dragway, and plans to be back in the driver’s seat of his own car for the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by HPJ Performance, May 13-16 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
“I have to make some headway at the race in Atlanta, but I think I’m ready,” said Anderson.