Since breaking onto the NASCAR scene, Jordan Anderson has always been an overachiever. Not long ago, he was hauling around his Camping World Truck Series team in a dually, to now having a competitive Xfinity Series team just over 14 months after making its first start.
The team’s debut Xfinity season wasn’t ideal. Mother Nature put a damper on qualifying into the 2021 season opener at Daytona. And with no points to fall back on, Anderson’s newly-formed No. 31 team missed the race, as qualifying was canceled.
And it was a long three-month wait to get back to the track at Circuit of The Americas for the series’ next qualifying session – the majority of races in 2020 and 2021 were set off a metric format.
In the team’s debut at Circuit of The Americas, Tyler Reddick wheeled the No. 31 to an eighth-place finish. The team, aligned with Richard Childress Racing, started its Xfinity tenure with three straight top 10s, with two more coming at Charlotte and Mid-Ohio.
Last fall, Jordan Anderson Racing and Bommarito Autosport hired Myatt Snider to be the team’s first full-time driver. Snider, who won at Homestead in 2021 and finished ninth in points last season, was making the transition from Richard Childress Racing.
“I was looking for a place to continue my racing career,” Snider told NASCAR.com at Pocono of the move. “I felt like I had a lot of success in trying to improve equipment, and go to a team to help try and organize things. I feel like this here at Jordan Anderson Racing was a really good combination of all that because it had what I was familiar with in RCR equipment, but also a group of guys that are a really tight-knit group.”
Reflecting back on his 41 starts at RCR, Snider said it was a building block for his career. He learned a quality trait in what it’s like driving a fast racecar every weekend. At the same time, his experience level was lacking compared to some of the frontrunners in the series.
Still, it was an opportunity that Snider cherishes, allowing him to show some potential, including picking up his first series victory at Homestead.
Snider said, “I try to keep a perspective that there were probably a lot of people that I was around racing growing up at all different levels – not necessarily people that were working with me, but people who I was racing with who were like, ‘That guy is never going to do anything, he’s full of it.’ Here I am, having won at just about every level I’ve gone to and coming close in trucks a couple of times.
“In this sport, you can’t live in the past because then it will just consume you. It’s a place that taught me a lot and I learned at and the place I got my first national series win at. I don’t look at it as the best opportunity, I look at it as a stepping stone and a place where I learned a lot and a place where I can take knowledge [to Jordan Anderson Racing].”
Over the offseason, JAR added “depth” by purchasing a race shop, one mile away from its previous home. It also bought more chassis from RCR (now having 21 total, up from five at the start of the 2021 season), and even added Gen 6 Cup Series cars from Richard Petty Motorsports, where it can convert those over to Xfinity cars.
To have a primary driver was the next logical step for the No. 31 team.
“To have some consistency this year has been great and gives our team something to build off of,” Anderson said. “It’s been a season of growth for us and it’s been cool to see some of the runs that we’ve had on the race track. You see it’s starting to pay off.”
A rain-soaked race at Portland is the highlight of Snider’s season thus far. From 25th starting position, he drove the No. 31 Chevrolet to the lead and won a stage. He ended up finishing second in the race to AJ Allmendinger, despite leading 19 laps.
The driver also had previous experience of competing in the rain, including his third ever legend’s car race where it began to snow.
“It wasn’t a surprise because I knew we would be competitive,” Snider said of Portland. “I got tested [during] that race. I’d have a really good restart and then a half-lap later, someone would spin and have a huge crash and we’d be back to square one. I really hope that we get rain somewhere else this year because I feel like I could show off a lot more speed in this car.”
Through 19 races this season, Snider has a quartet of top-10 finishes, with an average finish of 21.6, which is slightly off his 2020 pace (20.6), when he split the year between RCR and RSS Racing.
“I feel like as long as we’re making consistent progress towards making our speed better, I feel like we’re accomplishing our goals,” Snider stated. “Before the two-week break, we had Texas, Charlotte and Portland, we were running eighth and had a part break and finished in the low 20s. We ran Charlotte and finished 10th and there was still more speed in the car that we could have gotten out of it. We were putting together a string of top-10 finishes.
“Since coming back from that break, it hasn’t been a whole lot of luck for us. I think that’s the big difference between this team and any other team I’ve been with is, we just keep fighting. We don’t let stuff like that get to us. If we see big things that are problems, we sit down and talk about them with everybody. Pretty much everybody is on the same page doing this stuff.
Because JAR doesn’t have a bulk of employees, it’s easier to get less people in a room together to go over notes. Last year, running for RCR, Snider admitted that aspect was a little more challenging.
Plus, Anderson has proven in the past he won’t give up on his racing dream.
“I think what I see here is a lot of ambition, tenacity, a lot of drive,” Snider said. “Jordan is the only team owner I’ve ever met that will be in the shop until 10:30, 11:00, sometimes even 2 in the morning. Seeing that level of dedication makes me want to do my job better.”
As the team owner, Anderson has had fun working alongside Snider. And he’s going to continue giving the team all he has, so that it’s around for the foreseeable future.
Anderson said, “There’s no other business for me outside of this race team. I live and die by this race team. I live, eat and breathe it.”
By the end of the season, Anderson confirmed, it’s possible the team will introduce a second car to the Xfinity field. The goal next year would be to enter two full-time teams on a regular basis.