Last October, Jordan Anderson left Talladega Superspeedway via a helicopter after injuries during a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.
Fast forward to Saturday night, he left the track as a winning car owner for the first time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Not only that but Jordan Anderson Racing’s other entry, Parker Retzlaff, finished seventh.
“This is one of those races that we have circled on our calendar because they are opportunity races for our team. We do our homework, we put the effort in, and if we give Jeb a good piece, these are races we can win,” Anderson said. “To come down here and have both of our cars qualify in the top ten, win a stage, and I didn’t even know that the No. 31 finished seventh, to have both finish in the top ten, its absolutely phenomenal for us.”
Saturday afternoon’s Ag-Pro 300 was a race filled with wrecks and late drama typical of racing on a restrictor-plate track. In the end, Jeb Burton stayed in front of all the chaos, calamity, and twisted sheet metal, winning the second race of his career, both wins of which have come at Talladega.
“It’s a dream come true, a lot of people have believed in us and helped make this happen,” Anderson said. “This was one for the underdogs, for us to be able to achieve this.”
And as joyous as the victory was for Burton, it was even more so from Anderson’s standpoint. It was here last fall when Anderson’s truck caught fire after a crash. Anderson, desperate to escape the flames that had engulfed his truck, jumped out while it was moving, within feet of the track’s inside wall before the truck made contact with it. Anderson suffered third-degree burns on his arms and neck.
“My wife was here with me then and was here with me (Saturday). We were talking about today, what a roller coaster of emotions to come into this place. You roll into the tunnel…the last time I was here, I didn’t even drive out of the tunnel, I left on a helicopter. To overcome all of that stuff and think of all we went through, from day one, this team was an opportunity for me to keep my career going. It literally started with two trucks, a dually, and a gooseneck (trailer). To accomplish the first of many things we want to accomplish it’s amazing.”
As for Burton, his second win came two years after his other victory at Talladega. That win came with Kaulig Racing. Burton is now a two-time winner, coming with a car owner with a similar nose-to-the-grindstone mentality as him in Anderson.
“This was kind of a career resurgence for the both of us,” Anderson said. “Jeb fights for all the sponsorship, he does all that. He has so much heart to make this happen.”
Now, that fight has resulted in him being a two-time winner.
“The first win was special and big, because it helped me continue my career,” Burton said. “This one right here is just as big. It’s just as special because it’s with a team that came from a late-model hauler to what it is now. I’ve got my mojo back, I feel confident when I get in a racecar. I’m having fun at the racetrack again and just thankful for the opportunity.”
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