Jordan Anderson celebrated his first win as a NASCAR team owner on April 22 when Jeb Burton captured the spring race at Talladega Superspeedway. This win was exciting, but it was even more significant based on how his Xfinity Series team started.
The 2021 season started on a frustrating note for Anderson and his first-year team. He was not able to qualify for the opening race at Daytona International Speedway due to rain washing out the session. The 2021 season also only had qualifying sessions during select race weekends, so the team was not able to compete for the first 10 weeks due to the lack of owner points.
“That was kind of where the business model pivoted a little bit,” Anderson said during a post-race presser on April 22. “I don’t think we’d be where we were today if that hadn’t happened, because that was where — I think I was gonna run for Rookie of the Year that year, gonna run all the races, had all this stuff planned out.
“Had a little 15-minute rain shower throw a curveball to that, but that was where I was like, ‘Alright, I need to pull myself aside. The team’s health is more important than my driving career.’
“…I thought the team was… we were done,” Anderson added. “Like, 10 weeks without any income in this sport, it was tough, but we made it. We’re here and it makes it that much sweeter.”
The Missed Time Created a New Approach
When Anderson stepped aside from his role as a driver, he took a new approach with his first-year team. He turned to Chevrolet-affiliated drivers and had them rotate starts in the No. 31.
Tyler Reddick was the first. He took over the Jordan Anderson Racing entry at Circuit of the Americas, which was the first track since Daytona to feature qualifying sessions. Reddick qualified fifth overall and then he finished eighth while stockpiling some crucial owner points.
“At that point, we put Reddick in the car,” Anderson said. “He finished eighth at COTA, fifth at Charlotte. Josh Berry hopped in and finished eighth at Mid-Ohio, and we were off. It was really special. I got to come down [to Talladega], I think I finished fifth in 2021, so that was kind of a bucket check for me that, ‘Hey, I got my top-five in the Xfinity Series. I got a couple in the Trucks and was cool for me to do.'”
Reddick made two more starts for JAR in 2021 while sharing the seat with Berry, Anderson, Erik Jones, Austin Dillon, Kaz Grala, Sage Karam, and Ty Dillon. This group delivered six top-10 finishes and two top-fives.
Myatt Snider took over as the full-time driver of the No. 31 in 2022, and he added four top-10 finishes and one top-five to the stat line. Though JAR ultimately turned to Jeb Burton and Parker Retzlaff as the team expanded to two full-time entries in 2023.
“It kind of opened my eyes that there’s something bigger than myself here for this team, and we put Myatt Snider in the car last year,” Anderson said. “Myatt was a huge building block to us going. Jeb and I talked last year a little bit trying to make something happen.
“And when he came to me on the idea of… he had some owner points from his team last year, and I went to Bommarito, my partner, and I said, ‘Hey, let’s just try to make the two-car team happen.'”
The move to expand for 2023 has paid dividends for the young team. Retzlaff has two top-10 finishes and one top-five in the first nine races. Burton has an average finish of 14.8 and the all-important win that puts him in the playoffs.
JAR Still Continues Fighting on a Daily Basis
The win at Talladega Superspeedway was significant for Jordan Anderson Racing. It secured a spot in the playoffs. It also paid off the hard work that the team has put in since originally entering the Craftsman Truck Series in 2018 and expanding to the Xfinity Series in 2021.
One thing the win didn’t do is erase the problems that the team faces on a daily basis. There are still open sponsor spots remaining on Burton’s No. 27 Chevrolet Camaro, and there are still questions about whether new partners will jump on board after the win at Talladega.
Anderson does not know if this will happen. What he does know is that he will continue to fight on a daily basis while trying to continue building a place in the sport for his young team.
“I feel like life has a way of there’s always a silver lining,” Anderson said. “Like, I tell my guys all the time that we’ve just got to embrace the journey. They said, ‘What does embracing the journey mean?’ This is the way I look at life — nothing bad ever happens. You can learn from it and become a better person.”