Jordan Anderson Puts It All On The Line To Compete In The NASCAR Camping World Truck Seriesby Hunter Thomas August 16, 2015 0 comments
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas
Putting it all on the line is an understatement when describing Jordan Anderson’s trip to Michigan International Speedway this past weekend. He arrived to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 on Saturday with a four-man team, no pit crew and a truck he has been competing with since Daytona in February.
If you’ve ever met the South Carolinian, then you’d know he’s the easiest guy in the garage to get along with, and he’s always trying to spark up a conversation. Beyond maybe hearing about him winning a Late Model race at Southern National Motorsports Park or another short track in the Southeast, have you ever heard about the journey he has embarked on to make it in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series?
Whereas most teams have a couple of trucks to compete with or maybe even a fleet of them, Jordan Anderson has one, and it’s owned by Mike Harmon. If his race truck gets wrecked and heavily damaged, that very well could be the end of the season for the young driver from Forest Acres who’s looking to make a name for himself in NASCAR’s highest ranks.
Throughout the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, Anderson has had many ups and downs. He missed the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, had an engine let go at Texas Motor Speedway and then he experienced suspension issues at Kentucky Speedway. However, on the flip side, Anderson finished 18th at Kansas Speedway, 19th at Gateway Motorsports Park, 18th at Pocono Raceway and more importantly than anything, he’s still driving the same truck that he kicked the season off with in Daytona.
“I’ve only got one truck,” Anderson said. “I’ve run the same truck from Daytona to now, the same truck all season, and this is only the second motor in 10 races that we’ve run this year. It’s a real blessing to see the hard work pay off. It’s a cool feeling when you can see all of the hard work and all of the late hours lead to something.”
A week and a half before this past weekend’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway, he and his team worked on the truck from 9 a.m. to midnight, every night to get ready for the race in Brooklyn, Michigan. The team loaded the truck into a 40-foot trailer pulled by a dually and drove through the night across the country until they arrived at Michigan International Speedway.
When the team unloaded at the speedway, most would probably say they were out motored because after all, Michigan International Speedway is a two-mile D-shaped oval that wears and tears even the highest quality engines. Not only that, but Jordan Anderson arrived at the speedway with no pit crew. It was just him, his dad and two crewmen, Dan and Dylan.
Well, the four men put all of their knowledge into the truck, and Anderson was able to qualify a solid 23rd. Jay Robinson, owner of the No. 94 truck driven by Wendell Chavous offered up his pit crew in-between pit stops, and before you knew it, Anderson and the team were racing. Competitively, too.
“Jay Robinson and I ended up pitting beside each other,” Anderson said. “His truck would come in first, and they would service it and then the next lap around, I would come in and pit and his crew guys would come over to my pit box and pit my truck. Honestly, it’s a perfect example of everything that we’ve been able to do this year; it’s not without the help of so many people.”
Unfortunately, Anderson ran out of gas and fell two laps behind the leaders, but he and his team were able to fight back to score an incredible 13th place finish. The effort was a career high for the team, and for them, it felt like a win. When competing on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series level, obviously capturing the best finish possible is what every team strives for, but sometimes you’ve got to be pleased with just finishing and having the equipment to move on to the next race.
“For us to get a finish like that at a place like Michigan, it really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Anderson said. “It was so incredible to come across the finish line. It felt like a win to me for what we have for a team. This past weekend at the racetrack, it was me, my dad and my two crew guys, Dan and Dylan, and that was it. There were four of us at the racetrack for everything as far as getting the truck ready, getting it through tech and driving up there.”
Immediately following the race, Anderson and the team packed up and drove back home, only to prepare for the UNOH 200 Presented by Zloop at Bristol Motor Speedway coming up on Wednesday night. The Last Great Colosseum is known to be ruthless, but it’s a track where teams like Anderson’s can really have a shot at a great performance. Heading into this week’s race, Anderson is hoping all of his short track experience he gained while racing Super Late Models will pay off.
“Bristol is one of those tracks to where it’s the same mentality as a Super Late Model race,” Anderson said. “You can go hard as much as you want at a short track like South Boston, or Hickory or one of my favorite tracks, Southern National, but that was one of those things when I won all of those races at Southern National, we’d qualify on the pole, but the first 20 or 30 laps, I would usually fall back to seventh or eighth just trying to take care of my stuff and would eventually work my way back up to the front saving tires. Just going to use the same stuff I learned when I was racing Super Late Models at Southern National, and use it at Bristol.”
Coverage for the UNOH 200 Presented by Zloop on Wednesday, August 19 will broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET.