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17-Year-Old Racer Jordan Anderson a Marketing Maven
Hanging out at the local mall, lounging by the swimming pool or mastering a neighborhood skateboard ramp are among the typical summertime activities for most teenagers.
But Jordan Anderson, of Forest Acres, S.C., is far from typical. The 17-year-old high school student is a business owner, marketing maven and champion race car driver.
Anderson owns Jordan Anderson Racing, which fields the No. 19 Legends Car he drives each Tuesday night in the Quaker Steak & Lube Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He is also the founder and sole employee of JAR Marketing, which designs web sites for several other young race car drivers.
"Since I was 6 years old, my dream has been to become a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver," Anderson said. "I've learned that racing is both a business and a sport, so I've tried to incorporate these things together in order to accomplish my goal."
Anderson, the defending champion of the Summer Shootout's premier division, has proven to be as successful in the boardroom as he is on the race track.
"Right now we have 30 to 40 primary and secondary sponsors from 14 states," Anderson explained. "We've raised about $60,000 this year, which has funded my entire Legends Car racing program.
"I put together a 10-page portfolio that I take to businesses I visit to show what sponsoring my race car can do for them," Anderson added.
"I tell the businesses that when they become part of JAR that I will respect them as a partner. The sponsors are part of my family and I'm going to work my hardest to get them the money back they put into my program through media coverage and positive exposure."
Giving back to his sponsors is something Anderson takes very seriously. He routinely makes appearances with his Legends Car at various sponsor locations where he signs autographs and displays his trophies.
In addition to public appearances, Anderson also works hard to make sure his sponsors get exposure on the race track. After seven rounds of the 10-race Quaker Steak & Lube Summer Shootout Series, Anderson had five top-10 finishes including a victory on opening night.
"I enjoy representing my sponsors on and off the race track,"
Anderson said. "Sometimes it's tough to have these big multi-million dollar companies represented on my race car, but when you get a win for them and get to thank them on SPEED Channel, it's a really great feeling."
Anderson started driving race cars when he was 8 years old and quickly rose through the ranks, moving from go-karts to Bandoleros to Legends Cars. He captured the 2005 Legends Car National Championship as well as the 2007 Summer Shootout Legends Car Pro division title.
"I've always had a great passion for racing," Anderson said. "I grew up playing with little Hot Wheels cars and I always loved watching racing on TV. The Lord has blessed me with an ability and talent to drive a race car, and to be able to come out here and try to achieve my goal has been incredible."
As he looks toward the future, Anderson, who maintained a 4.0 weighted GPA during his junior year of high school, hopes that both college and racing are on the horizon.
"People have always told me that you need to have a fallback plan in case you get hurt in racing or it doesn't work out," Anderson said. "I do plan on trying to go to college and keep my racing program going. I'm doing it in high school, and I'll try to continue doing both."
Despite his extremely busy schedule, Anderson views all of his experiences as positives for his future.
"I view all of the things I do here, from attaining sponsors to racing to doing interviews as good training in how to handle myself,"
Anderson explained. "When a NASCAR team looks at a driver, they want to see that he has the full package and that's what I've strived to do my entire life. I want to represent that entire package they're looking for."
The 10-race Quaker Steak & Lube Summer Shootout runs each Tuesday night through Aug. 12.
Admission is just $7 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at Gates 4 and 5 the night of the event. Parking is free.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action at 5:30 p.m.
Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m. and is scheduled to conclude by 10:15.
For information, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or visit us online.