Weedsport, NY — January 31, 2010 – From Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
World Racing Group officials and the entire DIRTcar Racing Northeast staff extend their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Northeast Modified Hall of Fame award winner Barbara Ann Anderson, who passed away January 27 following a bout with cancer.
In May of 2006 long-time Weedsport, N.Y. resident Anderson was among a trio of females that shared receipt of the fifth annual Gater Racing News “Outstanding Woman in Racing” award during the Northeast Modified Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. This special award was initiated in 2002 to recognize outstanding contributions made by women in auto racing during a customary time of tribute to the legendary male drivers in our sport.
Born in nearby Syracuse, N.Y., Anderson worked at the DIRTcar Racing Northeast headquarters in Weedsport and most recently was employed by the Montezuma Winery. As an avid snowmobiler, she was one of the original members of the Weedsport Winter Wanderers, which she and others started and was a lifetime member. She was also an avid bowler and belonged to the 600 Club in Auburn.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in the White Chapel Funeral Home, 2719 Erie Dr., Weedsport. Friends may call on the family from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday. A Spring burial will be in Weedsport Rural Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Mrs. Barbara Anderson to Hospice of the Finger Lakes 1130 Corporate Dr. Auburn, or the American Cancer Society, 6725 Lyons Street, P.O. Box 7, East Syracuse, New York.
Barb Anderson – Northeast Modified Hall of Fame Class of ’06
Gater Racing News “Outstanding Woman in Racing” Award Recipient
For all the right reasons, Anderson sort of married into the local racing scene. Her husband Bill Anderson was racing Late Models when they were married and she started off helping maintain the car once stating, “Racing gets in your blood.”
Soon after, she was approached by Gater Racing Photo News to write stories covering the now defunct Maple Grove Speedway in Waterloo, N.Y. and the since renamed Weedsport Speedway in Cayuga County. She covered these tracks for a few seasons, providing race result stories and writing up driver profile pieces that Gater News specialized in at the time. Along the way she still was helping her husband Bill with his racing efforts.
Then came an offer in the late 1960s that she just could not ignore. Weedsport track owner Stan Dudzinski was changing over his weekly program from Sportsman cars to feature Late Model racing. It was around this same time that the flat head engines were giving way to their more powerful cousins, the overhead cam engines. The offer was for Barb to race a Late Model in the weekly Powder Puff events. Powder Puffs were popular in the late 50s when traveling groups of women participated at different tracks. Now Dudzinski wanted his own weekly series and she was about to become a “Weedsport Stockette.”
“I won three features in a row at Weedsport,” Barb stated. “It seemed that either I or this lady named Donna from Solvay would win weekly. One time I drove the Ward Late Model Mustang. I spun that thing around three times down the back chute and hit nothing. I guess I excited that team some.”
Once DIRTcar Racing founder Glenn Donnelly purchased the speedway, the Powder Puff events became less frequent. Barb participated in those she could, winning one at Weedsport in 2003.
“My worst moment in racing came at Canandaigua when Bill flipped his Modified,“ Barb recalled. “His helmet came flying off in the accident and landed on the track. I guess everyone thought the worse had happened. I was plenty frightened by that accident.”
Today, Bill and his son Bill Jr. still participate in racing. For Bill it will be his fifth decade putting on that helmet and going racing. Both compete in the IMCA Modified division. Barb considers herself a “Racing Mom!”
“I own the white car that Bill drives,” she stated. “I’m in charge of the tires for both teams.” When not racing she and her husband run snowmobiles for relaxation. Barb has been a vital part of the DIRT NE Hall of Fame Museum throughout the 1990’s and into the new century.