NORTH EAST — He’s only 10 years old and in the 5th grade, but Liam Anderson has his career goals set.
“I want to get into NASCAR Legends,” Anderson said.
That’s a sanctioned division of racing with smaller 4-cylinder cars. Anderson is already building a following with his go-kart racing skills and he’s preparing for the 2023 season to begin in March.
He currently drives a vehicle powered with a 260cc Briggs & Stratton motor that provides 15 horsepower.
“I’m traveling at 50 mph around corners. The fastest I went is 72,” he said of his travel speed on the courses. It’s a kart he got for Christmas in 2019. His dad, Shawn Anderson, drove to North Carolina to get the go-kart and made it home a day later; Dec. 24. It sat in the garage until Christmas morning, but Liam knew it was out there. He just had not seen it yet.
“I couldn’t concentrate,” he said of the days leading up to Christmas morning. It was his first full size go-kart. It’s covered in flames against black paint and lettering. Across the front is “Liam Bean.” Before Liam was born, his late mother, Samantha Ball, and his dad, Shawn, referred to him as their “lima bean.” Switching up the letters was the obvious choice and he was named Liam, Shawn said.
“I’ve been racing 3 years; almost 4,” Liam said. “But I began watching NASCAR at 1 year old.”
Not long after, Shawn took him to Nicholson Speedway. And he got the racing bug.
“It caught my eye,” he said.
It was at the Chestertown track that Liam said he had his worst race day to date.
“I went backward,” he said. He careened into the bales of hay and sprained his wrist. Like NASCAR, go-kart racing has safety rules. Believe it or not, there is no 5-point restraint or even a seat belt in these regulation go-karts. Shawn said it’s safer to be ejected than to stay in the go-kart in a crash.
“He wears a Snell-approved helmet and clothing,” Shawn said. Underneath, there’s a vest that adds to Liam’s girth and shoe-horns him into the seat.
“I have enough air to breath,” Liam said, adding, “But that vest squeezes you to death.”
In 2022, he got his first ever pole position. He had 10 Top 10 races, four indoor wins, three second place finishes and three in third.
Liam recently completed a 10-week Racing Academy in Philadelphia. It was five classroom sessions and five sessions on the track.
“I learned about the apex, how to do it,” he said of what he considered the best part of the hands-on training. “It shows you how to get into the preferred racing line; the fastest way around the track.”
Each season, Liam and his dad decide on a child fighting cancer that would become the recipient of their fundraising.
“Last year we raised money for Benny,” Liam said. A check was presented just before Christmas. This year he will raise money for MJ, a little girl in the fight for her life.
One of his first race experiences was at Sandy Hooke in neighboring Harford County.
“That’s where a lot of NASCAR drivers got their start,” Shawn said.
Both Liam and Shawn wish there was a go-kart facility in Cecil County.
“It would be nice,” Shawn said.
Meanwhile, the youngster is now an LLC; Liam Anderson Motorsports. You can find it on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok .
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