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Anderson Thankful For Social Media Support; Will Run Fan-Fueled Truck Again at Texas

Fan support has meant a great deal in Jordan Anderson’s young NASCAR career.

The 25-year-old wheelman drives the No. 66 Chevrolet for Bolen Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series. However, lack of funding has impeded Anderson from competing in all the series’ events, so he turned to social media for support.

“I had some fans tweeting to me after I said I was looking for a sponsor for New Hampshire because we blew a motor at Chicago the week before,” Anderson told POPULAR SPEED. “We’re a small team, and we only had one motor. We did not have the funding to get one for New Hampshire.

“So, I reached out to social media to try to find a sponsor. Then, a couple of fans said, ‘Hey, if you create a Go Fund Me account or something like that, we’ll help out however we could.’”

Anderson created a website called www.SponsorJordan.com, which offers fans the opportunity to sponsor his race team’s truck. Through the site, people can contribute to the No. 66 team’s budget by donating any amount ranging from $20 to $5,000.

Last month at the mile-long track, the website’s goal came to fruition when Anderson’s truck donned a “Fueled By Fans” logo across the bed and on the side panels.

Anderson also hand wrote the 120 names of each person who contributed to Bolen Motorsports’ funding as a token of appreciation.

“I wanted to think of how I could give back to those that helped our program a little bit,” Anderson said. “I thought it would be cool to do something different because I’ve seen names printed on a decal. That just didn’t feel authentic to me, and I wanted to say, ‘Thank you.’ So I felt like personally handwriting every person’s name, which I thought was special for me to do it like that.”

Anderson finished 22nd at New Hampshire with the fan-sponsored truck. He plans to run the “Fueled By Fans” machine again next month at Texas Motor Speedway.

“Some people reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, I didn’t even know about this program — I want to help you out again,’” Anderson said. “So we’re going to do another ‘Fueled By Fans’ truck at Texas in a couple of weeks.”

The 2016 season marks the second year for the South Carolina native in the Truck Series. He’s also made four starts in the XFINITY Series this season with Obaika Racing.

His best finish in NASCAR’s second-tier series came at Chicagoland Speedway, where he finished 29th, despite a transmission failure.

But Anderson said his ascendance in the sport is a result of visiting all of NASCAR’s biggest tracks a second time as well as keeping his fans involved with his team.

“I’ve been really fortunate with the fan following. I think the goal of to keep staying in the sport and finding more opportunities to move up has been accomplished this year,” Anderson said. “From the standpoint of a driver, you never stop growing. I‘ve worked really hard this year to grow a better understanding of the sport. It’s so hard to get into the NASCAR garage area as a driver, and it’s a real honor to be there every week.”

EMAIL JOHN AT john.haverlin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @The5thJohnHav

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or staff. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Trucks

Anderson Gives Business Expertise, Dedication to Bolen Motorsports

Jordan Anderson credits time and perseverance for Bolen Motorsports’s gains – but his own heart and soul is just as important.

The No. 66 team brought home a 14th-place finish at Pocono Raceway, his second top 15 of 2016. He was running eighth before contact with another competitor sent him spinning. The comeback is impressive, yet the driver is enthusiastic about running in the top 10. Anderson was surrounded by series front runners John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, and Ben Kennedy, outrunning the latter before the incident. Grounded by that fact, he knows it makes a huge statement.

“I know how small a team we are, and it’s definitely a humbling experience when you can run against guys that big, with that big of a budget and hundreds of employees when you got three guys back at the shop,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “It’s a really neat feeling to be able to pull that off, and hopefully, there are many runs like that as the season goes on.”

Anderson’s first full-time Camping World Truck Series season is full of similar runs; he also finished 11th at Gateway Motorsports Park and had a top 10 run going at Kansas Speedway before an accident relegated him to 29th. The results don’t communicate the transformation of this small organization, which came together at the beginning of January and missed two races at the start of 2016. They are making strides, and the driver believes time played a huge factor in creating team cohesion.

He said, “No matter what it is, it takes a few months to find that rhythm and groove and what works. I think that’s exactly what it was for us; it took us some time to settle in and find what would make us go fast and what would click. I think we found it and definitely hit on a couple of things.”

The organization is the quintessential little engine that could, running against top contenders when every piece falls into place. This team has strength – a strength that goes beyond fast trucks and notable finishes.

The Bolen Motorsports shop opens at 7:30 every morning. Crew chief Paul Clapprood, the truck chief, and a tire specialist work on their machines. While Clapprood and company work on the No. 66, Anderson is glued to his computer, trying to sell the truck – and himself – to businesses. With his business management degree – with a concentration in motorsports marketing – from Belmont Abbey College, the driver spends hours making sponsorship packages and sending them to potential investors, hoping to catch someone’s eye. He is always emailing and calling companies while he designs his hero cards. When he isn’t behind a steering wheel, he is camped out in an office chair. At the moment, he is a public relations rep, marketing coordinator, and brand manager rolled into one.

Some people give blood, sweat, and tears. Although it seems impossible, Anderson gives even more. His team offers even more. Depending on what needs to be done, a workday can last until 7:00 at night. Or midnight. Or 2:00 a.m. Long nights are a small price to pay to chase your dream – even if obstacles stand in your way.

“Racing is unlike any other sport out there,” he said, adding, “You can go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows within a one to two-day span. This is such a crazy sport that, if you’re not really grounded in who you are as a person, it can really shake you up. I’ve been really fortunate to experience a lot of the highs and a lot of the lows in this sport.”

He remained optimistic through the ups and downs. To him, it is all part of the journey. Anderson compares this season to climbing Mount Everest, and there is a reason why mountains are meant to be climbed; the view at the top is more breathtaking when you have to endure struggles to see it.

He said, “That climber doesn’t experience the same joy if he doesn’t go through the journey of climbing that mountain, whereas if he walked out his front door and was already at the mountain top. That journey from the bottom to the top is sometimes about the process. That’s kind of been the story of my life, to go through those struggles and persevere long enough to see the success and the things that come as a result, the fruit of the hard work.”

Bristol Motor Speedway is next on the schedule, a place where hard work tends to end up as crumpled sheet metal. Small teams like Bolen Motorsports circle the date on their calendars and prepare for the worse. Ironically, it is also the sight of opportunity for drivers who can avoid the carnage. For Anderson, the battle lies in walking the thin line between going all out and protecting one of the few trucks he has left.

“At a place like Bristol, if you can find that balance, sometimes a lot of other guys will be overaggressive and get themselves in trouble and damage their cars,” he said. “It might give us the opportunity to get one of those top 15 finishes. You never really know at a place like that, but I’m looking forward to it.”

The first part of 2016 had its obstacles, but time allowed the No. 66 crew to find their rhythm and led to more solid performances. Everyone in the organization kept pushing, and Anderson is their biggest advocate for perseverance. Despite his doubts early on, the driver is more confident than ever before that this team is capable of greater things – and that his dream is within reach. That is why he works so hard to build up the credibility they deserve.

“The story my team followed at the beginning of this year was just never giving up, no matter how crazy things seem or what kind of storm is around us,” he said. “It’s about never giving up and just staying after it.”

EMAIL KRISTEN AT kristen.schneider@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @KristenS_Writes

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.