South Carolina Floods Hit Home For Jordan Andersonby Hunter Thomas October 16, 2015 0 comments
Photo Credit: Darlington Raceway PR
COLUMBIA, S.C. – While Jordan Anderson was competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in early October, his hometown of Forest Acres, S.C. was being pounded by the historic floods that impacted the Palmetto State.
Anderson finished 22nd in the Rhino Linings 350, but as he pulled into a truck stop to fill his dullay up with diesel, he saw that 2,000 miles away, the Midlands area of South Carolina where he calls home, was being washed away by historic flooding. Back home, his parent’s ceiling began collapsing, and his mother’s salon suffered roof damage. Trillions of gallons of rain fell in the state, and some areas saw well over 20 inches.
“I was driving back from racing in Las Vegas and had pulled into a truck stop,” Anderson said. “I knew there was a lot of flooding and a lot of rain and all, but I didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw it on the TV station there at the truck stop as I was getting diesel fuel. To see the places that you drove by growing up and you rode your bike by, the restaurants you ate at growing up completely submerged in water, it really hit home.”
On Thursday afternoon, Jordan Anderson, along with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Joey Logano and Darlington Raceway President Chip Wile visited the state’s capital city to raise awareness of the devastation caused by the floods. The two drivers and the Darlington Raceway staff toured the Columbia Canal area, where a dam was breached. During their visit, they met the first responders, construction workers, volunteers and others who are on the front lines of rebuilding the area.
“It’s been pretty incredible to hear the testimonies of how people are pulling together, and I’m a strong believer,” Anderson said. “I’m a Christian. We always try to look for things and ways on how we can learn and grow and just kind of share our testimonies and adhere to our faith. It has been encouraging for me today to come down here and hear these stories of what people are going through.”
Anderson and Logano also visited some of the locals in the community. The two drivers got a firsthand look at the devastation, while they sat down and talked with the folks who lost nearly everything. Although the drivers couldn’t bring back the lost memories, they could give words of encouragement during such a bleak time. As for Anderson, he feels a sense of pride in having come from such a strong community, and he hopes to use their bravery and positive attitudes to encourage his work in the race shop and on the track.
“This is my hometown,” Anderson said. “This is the area where I grew up, and these are people who I love and grew up with and know very well and hold dear to my heart. Much of my friends are down here and have been dealing with a lot of this mess. Being from this area, it definitely hits close to home, knowing what’s going on here and what people are having to deal with.
“At the same time though, this is a strong community. South Carolina has a lot of pride in its state, and it has just been really cool like today seeing people and volunteers kicking in help. There were 20 or 30 volunteers just in this one location that weren’t getting paid to come work. They just wanted to come help people get back on their feet and help out the community that they lived in, and that in itself was a really, really neat to experience firsthand.”
Coming up on October 24, Anderson will give back to the Midlands community as he competes in the Fred’s 250 presented by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway. In an effort to raise funds for the devastated areas, everybody who donates to the flood relief will have their name handwritten in Sharpie by Anderson himself on the No. 74 Chevrolet Silverado. All of the proceeds will go towards the flood relief.
“I just want to make it personal,” Anderson said. “Instead of doing the whole deal of names on decals, I’m going to handwrite every single one of them to show those people that I’m thinking about them, and I’m praying for them, and hopefully those people will be lifting up other people they know that were influenced or hurt by all of this stuff. It’s going to be an exciting weekend to make all of this stuff come out of it – what we can see as far as raising awareness and raising funds to help this place out. I definitely want to see Columbia get back on its feet.”
Jordan Anderson currently sits 20th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings with just five races remaining this season. His best finish so far this season came at Michigan International Speedway back in August when he crossed the finish line in 13th. Out of Anderson’s 13 starts in the series, six of them have been a top-20 result.
“Our goal this year has been to finish in the top-20 for all of these races,” Anderson said. “If we can finish top-20 in points, that would be phenomenal. That would be a great way to cap off our year and kind of really show people that we did this. We followed through from start-to-finish. We’ve got something to show for it, so that’d be really special if we can string together some good finishes coming up. I know there are some crapshoots coming up with Talladega and Martinsville after that, but if we can make it through those two races and string together some good races, who knows where we might end up.”