KELOWNA, BC – Western Canada’s toughest racing Series on the dirt has always attracted unique drivers and personalities. When one of Canada’s top Monster Truck competitors took the wheel of a Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series race car at the 2003 Oilmen’s Invitational weekend in Edmonton, it was anyone’s guess how he’d react. “I had never raced on an oval before,” recalls Marvin Anderson of his August 31st, 2003 debut, “I was a monster truck driver. I go over cars.”
Watching race cars pass each other was not a foreign concept to Anderson. He was a part-time crew member for three-time NPP Series Champion Trevor Emond during the 2003 and 2004 race seasons. Anderson indicates he really never had the urge to get behind the wheel of a stock car.
“I remember it was a two-day show and I was crewing for Trevor on the #71 car. Rob Reeves was filling in for the regular driver of the #42 car [Bill Baudin]. Rob smacked the wall and bent up the car pretty good the first night.”
The car was patched up but would have no driver for the second night.
“With some persuasion, the next thing I know is that I went from being on Trevor’s crew to driving.” For his first-time behind the wheel of a NPP Late Model, Anderson exceeded many people’s expectations — including his own. “I was surprised at how sticky the dirt was in the race,” exclaims Anderson, “I didn’t know how the car was supposed to handle. I did ok. I think.”
Anderson finished 5th and 7th in his two heat races. He remembers heading out on the race track for the big Feature event.
“I started at the back of the pack [rookie driver]. Compared to the heats, I couldn’t believe how tough the Feature was both physically and mentally.”
Competing at Monster Trucks events at at venues all over North America, Anderson was used to handing out the hits. The role was reversed as he was on the receiving end on the oval track.
“There was a pretty good pileup in the Feature I remember that. The race was red flagged. Someone then smacked into the back of me. It was a pretty good hit. Got a flat out of the deal and had to pit.”
In the end Anderson escaped his oval debut with a 10th place finish in the Feature finishing ahead of several veteran racers including Dwight Kennedy and eventual 2003 Rookie of the Year Sheldon Ford.
Anderson currently is the manager of Western RV Country in Kelowna, British Columbia and is still involved in the Monster Truck scene.
“We have five trucks right now. Four of them are ride trucks and one of them is a race truck.”
Asked whether or not he’d like to have another shot at racing on the oval again.
“I haven’t been in a stock car since that one race (ten years ago). Sure I had fun. Sure, I’d do it again!”
Northern Provincial Pipelines Ltd, based in Edson, Alberta, is title sponsor of the NPP Late Model Series which brings big league racing to motorsports fans in Western Canada.
from: Gord Craig/ NPP