He was smiling during driver introductions and more importantly, he was smiling after the race.
Forest Acres product Jordan Anderson and his small but loyal team of sponsors and crew know that they are facing teams with bigger budgets and bigger teams,
But when Jordan is able to finish on the lead lap, bring the truck home in one piece and as a bonus finish in the top 20, those are small victories that could lay the foundation for something bigger down the road.
In the meantime, Jordan continues to grind his way through his first season as owner-driver. That means keeping a constant watch on the budget which looks a lot better when parts on the ride don’t have to be replaced.
"You know, I’m calculating how much tires cost, how much it will cost if we hit the wall or fix something," Anderson said.
"We had an oil line come loose last week at Kansas and I’m like ‘Man, a new motor will cost $50,000 and repair bills are this and that’. I’m running all these costs in my head and I’m like ‘Ugh, I don’t won’t to wreck anything’. You have a lot more to focus on than just being the driver."
That means maximizing every penny in his budget and Friday night was just what we wanted as he finished 20th while leading a lap under caution and the truck didn’t sustain any noticeable damage. At this stage of Jordan’s career – that’s a good night at the office.
"It’s so much about surrounding yourself with good people," Anderson said.
"I’m so fortunate with the sponsor’s we’ve got, the people we’ve got, this thing is just getting started right now. Hopefully, next year, three years from now, five years from now, we’re going to go from four trucks to 10 to hopefully a new hauler and more guys. So, we’re just trying to do things the right way and be here every week and grow."
Growth is something the team showed right off the bat with a ninth-place finish in the season opening race at Daytona.
"When we started in Daytona earlier this year, i didn’t know really what to expect," Anderson said.
"And every week, we’ve gotten better and hopefully earned the respect of some of the teams here about how we do things and how we run the operation. We’re running against guys who have five and six times our budgets. So the fact that we’re hanging with them and running on the lead lap, I’ll take that every week."