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Spotlight On Eric “Mustard Dog” Anderson

There has been a time in nearly every young man’s life when he goes out looking for trouble. Most often the flip side of this is that one guy who knows damn well trouble is gonna find him most every Friday night. When Bulletin boards started becoming popular  fast fingers and quick wit allowed some of the less physical guys to flex their web based muscle and going looking for a fight in a virtual world. In the 4 wheel drive world that virtual tough guy lived by the monicker “Mustard Dog”.  Eric Anderson has long since soften his online personality which in the case of is a sign of age, family status, and experience. As a member of the Tin Benders 4 wheel drive club you could say that Anderson has seen a lot of changes in the way his club recreates at the Hammers, and like a vast majority of the club they have been on the leading edge of the sports unbelievable growth.

From a club event racing up Backdoor trail to raise money for land use, to a full professional race effort for KOH has been a unlikely ride for a guy who in the early years, looked more like a throwback from the Suburbia movie.  Anderson has maintained a solid image that has lead to some pretty impressive endorsement deals that have kept him in the game on some of the best teams in the sport.

While partnered with John James in the Ftoy class of Werock James and Anderson where almost unbeatable behind the wheel of the Marlin Crawler rig. An endorsement that kept the pair in the best equipment, and playing at the top of their game in the Toyota Spec class. When Anderson participated as a co driver in the 2007 OG13 KOH race the hook was set, and Eric would utilize his skills learned in Rock crawling to capitalize on this new form of rocksports.

Always keeping land use as a priority through his association with the Tin Benders 4 wheel parts took notice and offered Anderson a sponsorship when they began supporting the race. That relationship continues today as the multiple car 4 wheel parts team prepares for the 6th running of the King of the Hammers.

Anderson talks about his billboard in Utah with Bower Media

 

First things first whats up with the name “mustard dog”?

My first 4 wheel drive was a Mustard yellow Toyota Land Cruiser, so you can figure it out.

What year was that?

Around 1997.

How long have you been competing in Ultra 4 Racing?

Since the beginning, I’m part of a select screw known as the OG 13 Co-Drivers.

How long have you been racing?

I was racing my Big Wheel when I was 5, does that count?

Tell us about your past experiences in the King of the Hammers and where you have finished?

Top 10 in 2008,   Top 24 in 2009, .. Then nothing but big fat DNF’s since then.

You and John James had quit the run with the Marlin Crawler F-Toy, haw many wins did you guys pull down?

Its hard to say how many wins, but we have something like 3 class championships from the Marlin team.

You spoted for Hobie Smith also?

Yes we won a national championship together.

What’s the attraction to racing of King of the Hammers for you?

It’s close to my house.

What’s your favorite part of the King of the Hammers?

The fast part and the big rocks. Also love seeing my friends from all over the country that come out for the race.

Bower media caught Mustard in action in Baja

How do you physically and mentally prepare for this type of racing?

Diet is a huge part of preparation. So I cut out pizza and stick to cheeseburgers. Less carbs that way.

 Teamwork is a big part of KOH, Tell us about your team for the King of the Hammers?

Our team is my co-driver Aaron, who’s been in that seat since the 2009 KOH. Crew chief Dan Phillips and my dad Jim. I also have the full support of the Tin Benders.

How much does strategy play a part in KOH?

For us is doesn’t really. We’re just trying to survive to the finish. We don’t even think about getting all clever with strategy.

What will it take to win the King of the Hammers in 2012?

Be faster than the 99%

How much does a car vs. a drivers ability play into winning the King of the Hammers?

I think a good driver can make up for a POS car, but only to a point. A bad driver in an awesome car still sucks.

If you had the opportunity to participate in any race in the world, what would it be and why?

Camel Trophy. I remember seeing the ads in the magazines as a kid and thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

Who is your racing idol and why?

Ricky Bobby. Enough said.

If you had an unlimited budget what would you build to compete in the King of the Hammers?

Either a hover craft or a personal jet pack, way smoother of a ride.

Do you have any advice to give someone who is aspiring to race the King of the Hammers?

Try to enjoy it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for an awesome finish. Try to experience the full spectacle that KOH race week has become.

Can you tell us about the sponsors and people that have made it possible for you to do this?

4Wheel Parts has been with us since the beginning and that’s been a great relationship. My wife Rose puts up with a lot so I can go act like a race guy.

 The Facts Eric “Mustard Dog” Anderson

    Co-Driver Name:     Aaron Frappier

Team Name      Team 4Wheel Parts             Car #    66

Age:   42                         Hometown:  Apple Valley, Ca

Chassis Builder:     Hendrix           Engine:   LQ9

Transmission:    TH400                  T-case:  Atlas

Axles F/R:  Diamond Housings, Longfield  Lockers F/R:  ARB

Seats:      Mastercraft                                    Shocks:  Bilstein

Tires:        BFG Krawlers 39”              Wheels:  RacelineMonsters

About the Author

Jeff Knoll is the former Event Director for the King of the Hammers event. He has raced various classes in SCORE, BITD, MORE, and MDR. Following the California 200, Knoll travelled to Washington, DC to meet with BLM officials regarding the Special Recreation Permit policies of the BLM. Knoll serves on the BLM’s Desert Advisory Sub-Committee regarding Special Recreation Permits. Knoll also drafted language for Nevada’s Senate Bill 156 in 2011 regarding action sports safety.

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