By Matt Weaver — South Carolina short tracker Jordan Anderson (@J19Anderson) is fresh off his first two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series but says he may have to get creative in order to run additional races next season.
Anderson, a popular Late Model and Legends driver in the Southeast, recently had to put his career on hold when a series of unfortunate business events forced him to completely start over. Anderson made just one start in the K&N Pro Series this year, at Richmond in April, when everything began to unravel.
“That was an unfortunate deal,” Anderson told Popular Speed following the Truck Series finale at Homestead Miami Speedway. “I had a deal where one of my K&N owners had some bad deals and wrote some bad checks. It was about $25,000 in bad checks and I had just got done building a brand new Super Late Model and had to sell it just to offset those bad checks.
“I had to put my racing career on hold to take care of that. I don’t have a lot of money but I have my reputation and I at least wanted that taken care of.”
Anderson, a 23-year-old Belmont Abbey College (NC) graduate, has a business and marketing degree and used it to rebound nicely. He made his Truck Series debut at Phoenix for MAKE Motorsports and a second start the next week at Homestead for Mike Harmon Racing.
He hopes the seat time earned him a NASCAR speedway license and attracted additional sponsors for Daytona and the rest of next season.
“From where I was at Phoenix to where I am tonight, I have made such a huge jump for where I am as a driver,” Anderson said. “I told both teams, I don’t have an ego — if you need me to do something or try something, just tell me.
“I lost power steering 10 laps into (Homestead) and I had holes in my glove. I’ve never had anything like that happen in my career but that’s okay because we persevered and turned all the laps. I even got to feel what it’s like to have a right front go down on one of these big tracks without putting it into the wall and that was such a valuable learning experience.”
Anderson admits that he is likely not going to have just one ‘mega-deal’ to run in the Truck Series next season and that he may have to race for a variety of teams until he can attract larger sponsors and get some of his personal start-up enterprises tenure and solid footing.
“We have like 10 things in the works,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be a lot of business-to-business, through some of our ministry work and other things I have going on. No one knows this, but I’m a closet geek at heart in that I like to build websites and I’m a software nerd. I have some cool tech companies that are working with me on some things.
“I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I love business and putting things together so it’s going to be a mix-match of a lot of different companies. They’ll complement each other but I don’t think the sport has seen anything quite like what we have in mind for next year if it all works out too.”
Regardless of how it plays out, the always-humble Anderson is just happy to have simply made it this far. He views himself as a small-town kid who has risen up the ranks from dirt, asphalt and now, on the doorsteps of NASCAR national touring, a realization that hit him during the blackout before the Trucks race at Phoenix.
“I just went out on pit road when no one was around me and I just soaked it in,” Anderson said. “I come from a family that has no background in racing. My dad is a carpenter and my mom is a hairstylist. I’m from South Carolina and Colombia is not exactly a hot bed for any kind of racing.
“To be this kid that raced go-karts at eight and is now making his Trucks debut, that was really cool for me. This whole deal for me, it’s just a huge blessing.”