Mark Martin: “He’s going NASCAR racing the old school way.”
This weekend, Jordan Anderson Racing welcomes a new sponsor. The ‘Mark Martin Podcast’ will be represented on the deck lid at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8, 2018.
Anderson doesn’t fly into the race track like your typical racing driver. He’s one of the few, if not the only NASCAR driver that pulls his NASCAR Truck Series machine by a dually. State highways and race tracks, Anderson spends a lot of time looking out the windshield.
Last season, the team only had one truck for 18 races. He only missed Eldora and Talladega. A crash would place the team on the night schedule as they tried to make it to the next one. Now for 2018… Crate engines, new partners and new sponsors opened the doors for the little team to expand.
“We raced against Jordan when he was 10 years old at the Summer Shootout in Charlotte,” Mark Martin explained on the Mark Martin Podcast. He was racing Bandoleros and Matt [Martin] was too. When Jordan Anderson showed up, everybody was racing for 2nd.”
“As every typical racer does — If you’re getting beat by somebody that somebody has gotta be cheatin’. I mean, we just could not figure out how Jordan Anderson just beat the fool out of us. And not only us.”
That was the first introduction Mark Martin has to the young Jordan Anderson. It took 15 years for Mark to bump into him again. Where? Anderson began racing in the NASCAR Truck Series and it caught Mark’s eye. That led to a follow on twitter and a greater understanding of what the racer is out there doing.
“One of the things that I really enjoy about Jordan is he’s going NASCAR racing the old school way. He’s seeing the countryside from the windshield of a dually pickup. Pulling an enclosed trailer with one truck inside. Workin’ all day and drivin’ all night.”
“It’s one thing when you’re a kid and your dad puts together a great race car and you do a good job driving it. It’s another thing when you’re in your mid-twenties and you’re out here making it happen with your own bare hands.”
“I think it’s really critical for our sport of NASCAR for guys to be able to make it happen. In a way that is basically out of a garage, out of their own shop. Be able to take their stuff to the race track and be able to compete and follow their dreams.”
“It’s not a disadvantage or anything like that with the way we do things. We’re doing it on our own terms. We’re building and getting better every week.”
“The fact that we drive across the country. I got a lot of stories to tell and I’ve met a lot of amazing people through racing, the way that we do.”
In 2014, Jordan Anderson was on the super late model circuit. He ended up losing a primary sponsor which placed him on the sidelines for 6 months. In June, he was selected to run a NASCAR K&N race for Andrew Bloom.
“I thought that would be my big break.”
Unfortunately, Andrew Bloom had financing issues. He wrote several bad checks to the driver which in turn created unforeseen debt.
“He disappeared, moved out of state and left me with about $30,000 of bad checks. I sold my super late model, the motors I had. Basically, paid off all the debt that he sent us to start this race team up. I figured that was it for Jordan Anderson going racing.”
However, that situation might have indirectly presented Anderson with his big break. After he sold everything, he had just enough money to buy some tires and run someone else’s equipment.
A team owner gave him a call and stated that if he could pay for the tires and other expenses that it takes to go racing, they would allow him to jump in their truck. That was in 2014 via MAKE Motorsports in a NASCAR Truck Series machine at Phoenix Raceway. He finished 24th in his NASCAR Truck Series debut.
“I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. I finally got an opportunity to go race NASCAR.”
Over the next few years, Anderson bounced around, running for a few teams. He drove for: Mike Harmon Racing, Bolen Motorsports, Rick Ware Racing and TJL Motorsports.
“I was on a crash course of how those trucks work. And how to work on them. I had a blast. There was no pressure, just kinda learned things at my own rate.”
Ahead of the 2018 season, Jordan Anderson met a family out of Texas who became a sponsor. Anderson would always talk about how great it would be to own his own truck and do things in his own way.
That family decided to help Jordan Anderson buy a truck of his own. Anderson shopped out a truck and with the ‘ok’ and a check from the family he purchased the first truck of his own from Niece Motorsports.
“They had an older Turner truck that was fairly complete. After having the opportunity to buy that truck it kinda got a discussion going with those guys. I ended up buying another two trucks from them through a new sponsor we got over the off season.”
Niece Motorsports recently moved to Statesville, North Carolina. They had some extra space in the corner. Anderson ended up renting that space.
“They got probably 20 employees on that side of the shop. I’ve learned a lot watching those guys.”
Ahead of 2018, Anderson also bought a truck with a Ford body from Brad Keselowski Racing. It sat on casters and wheels just waiting for an opportunity to return to the race track.
“It sat that way until after our Dover crash. We came back, pulled a few all-nighters and put that thing together. We got 4 trucks now, they’re all in different stages. Got two Ilmor motors.”
“We’re still small compared to some of the other teams. One thing that I wanted to do when I started this team was do things with integrity and honesty and treat people the right way.”
Jordan Anderson now has 3 full-time crew members. He’s run all 7 races in the 2018 season thus far. He’s finished in the top 20 in 4 of 6. He best finish ever was claimed at Daytona in February, he finished in 9th.
“You’re able to overcome the odds. Hopefully, what we’re doing is serving a motivation to the next kid that’s a better race car driver than I am out there somewhere. You know, he doesn’t have the big sponsorship funding behind him. But hopefully, he sees that you can work hard and make your own doors open in NASCAR.”
Related: Jordan Anderson becomes owner/driver