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Jordan Anderson

Jordan Anderson might be 20, but he's been racing for 10 years. His is a unique story: As a kid growing up in suburban Columbia, he formed a racing team, found sponsorships and won championships in the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

His career progressed to dirt tracks in the Charlotte area, where he raced at Gastonia's Carolina Speedway the past two seasons.

Now, with the help of Sprint Cup driver David Stremme, Anderson is back on the asphalt, running in late-model sportsman races. He is closer to his ultimate goal of racing at NASCAR's highest level.

But, Anderson - who will be a junior at Belmont Abbey in the fall - is in no hurry.

"Somebody told me last week, 'You're getting old,'" said Anderson. "I'm not even out of college yet and I'm considered old? There are guys like Ned Jarrett and Harry Gant who didn't get into NASCAR until they were older, so I don't think age should be a factor."

Anderson still is running his own team, from top to bottom. His partnership with Stremme is helping with equipment and has allowed him to move into Stremme's shop in Mooresville.

And Anderson continues to do things the way only a seasoned race entrepreneur and/or promoter would. For instance, he has two interns - both a year ahead of him at Belmont Abbey - helping with marketing and media relations. His main sponsor? His hometown of Forest Acres, S.C.

"I think I've always understood that you've got to be able to drive and be marketable at the same time," said Anderson, who has 28 sponsors to help fund his team. "Racing is a finicky sport. You have to keep your name out there, or you might disappear for a couple of years before you can come back."

Anderson, who is majoring in motorsports management, admits that taking a full course load in college might be slowing his career some.

"But I'm broadening myself in college," he said. "Anytime you have more knowledge about what you're getting into, it helps. And it's helped me with time management, if nothing else."

Humpy Wheeler, former president of Charlotte Motor Speedway, has been Anderson's mentor for several years.

"He's doing the right things," said Wheeler. "It's a very excruciating journey to get up there. But he goes to the Abbey, and he ends up with two interns working for him! I told him that's unbelievable!

"But he's got talent, that raw, seat-of-the-pants talent that's going to take him far. If not, he can always be a promoter."