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January 31, 2018

New team, same ambition: Jordan Anderson plans owner/driver entry for 2018

RELATED: 2018 Camping World Truck Series schedule | On the move

Jordan Anderson announced Wednesday morning that he’ll enter the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2018 campaign as an owner/driver, fielding a No. 3 entry under the Jordan Anderson Racing banner.

After participating almost all of last year with a single truck, Anderson enters his fourth full season in the series with more resources — a four-truck fleet and four employees, himself included, based in the Niece Motorsports shop in Statesville, North Carolina. The 26-year-old South Carolina native will continue this new endeavor with longtime sponsors Bommarito Automotive Group, LTi Printing, Jacob Companies and Knight Fire Protection.

“It’s a new chapter, for sure,” Anderson said. “It’s a long way from where we were last year, but it’s a new chapter, a new journey for us. It’s going to have its own set of challenges, but I’m excited to see what we can do this year.”

Representatives from those companies joined Anderson’s friends and family in making Wednesday’s announcement, but even with the outpouring of support and the promise of new capabilities, Anderson indicated that he’ll continue in a hands-on role in every aspect of making the team go. That means planning to drive to every event on the 23-race schedule and taking his turn behind the wheel of the team’s modest transporter.

“So many of the adventures and stories and things that we’ve been able to do have come from being on the road,” Anderson said. “The average person may say, ‘That’s crazy. I wouldn’t want to do that,’ but we love it and there’s times where it gets long, but we all have a good time and make the most of it.

“I think that’s been our story. The local Late Model racer that does all he can to get to the track every week or the guy who races dirt Late Models — those are the real racers and fans that our sport’s built on, and I think those guys can relate to what we’re doing.”

MORE: Jordan Anderson, a grass-roots self-starter

Anderson’s self-sent media alert for Wednesday’s news went out at 2:18 a.m. His preparatory note to MRN’s Steve Post, the event’s emcee, was delivered at 4:37 a.m. Wednesday morning’s announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame came at a far more reasonable hour — 11 a.m. — but Anderson’s wide spectrum of waking hours endures as a testament to his hard-working ethos.

Anderson’s new inventory of trucks is also unique, touching all the bases with representation from all three manufacturers. Wednesday, he unveiled his No. 3 Toyota for superspeedway competition, but his fleet will also include two Chevrolets and a Ford for the rest of the schedule.

All the trucks will carry the No. 3, a nod to Junior Johnson and how Anderson’s first reading of Tom Wolfe’s famed “The Last American Hero” profile of the Hall of Famer has stuck with him. So when the No. 3 became available on NASCAR’s list of available numbers for this season, Anderson pounced.

“That’s a legacy on its own that hopefully we can start a new legacy with this number with our team this year,” Anderson says. “Junior, that was my guy. I love watching old videos of him slinging that jack around the front of the truck. He did whatever it took to keep things going, and hopefully we’ll do some things like he did with his team back in the day.”