Jordan Anderson

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Truck Series practice report from Talladega

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The Camping World Truck Series hit the track for the first time in a month Friday for two practices sessions at Talladega Superspeedway.

Final Practice

Spencer Gallagher was fastest in final practice, posting a top speed of 180.928 mph while only making two laps around the 2.66-mile track.

The top five was completed by Grant Enfinger (180.553 mph), Todd Gilliland (180.366), Matt Crafton (179.480) and Jordan Anderson (179.168).

Only 26 drivers recorded a lap in the session.

Jamie Mosley, who was 25th fastest, recorded the most laps with 14.

There were no incidents in the session.

Click here for the practice report.

First practice

Justin Haley was fastest in the first session, posting a top speed of 193.494 mph.

He was followed by Spencer Gallagher (193.486 mph), NBCSN analyst and defending race winner Parker Kligerman (192.355), John Hunter Nemechek (192.027) and Johnny Sauter (190.947).

Haley also recorded the most laps in the session with 25 and the best 10-lap average at 186.597 mph.

There were no incidents in the session.

Qualifying for Saturday’s race is set for 5:35 p.m. ET.

Click here for the first practice report.

Jordan Anderson says charges against him have been dismissed

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Jordan Anderson issued a statement on his website Tuesday saying that a charge of possession of a stolen motor vehicle filed against him has been dismissed and that the race vehicle in question has been delivered to a “location desired by the Rowan County Sheriffs Department.”

The Rowan County (N.C.) Sheriff’s office confirmed the development to NBC Sports.

The sheriff’s office  said last week that an outstanding warrant had been issued against the Camping World Truck Series driver.

Anderson, 27, was to have turned himself in on Sept. 20 but had not done so as of Sept. 27. Anderson said in his statement that he was notified of the warrant during the series’ race weekend in Las Vegas. The Truck race was Sept. 14.

“I continue to maintain my innocence in this matter, and the fact that I bought the race truck in good faith with a bill of sale, unbeknown of its history,” Jordan said.

The charge stems from an investigation that began Sept. 7 when the Rowan County Sheriff’s office looked into the larceny of a race truck from 804 Performance Road. The report states that a race truck located at Robert Newling’s shop was to have damage from last November’s Texas race repaired. The report states that Newling sold the truck, even though it did not belong to him, to Anderson. The truck was owned by Mike Harmon.

The report states that investigators were able to determine that Anderson had reason to believe the truck he purchased from Newling was stolen.

The report states that investigators attempted to get the truck back from Anderson but he refused to surrender it. The report states that Anderson was made aware of an outstanding warrant and obtained legal counsel.

Newling was charged and arrested for felony larceny of a motor vehicle. He has a court date Nov. 21.

Below is Anderson’s full statement.

In respect to the news that was published last week, I wanted to thank you all for your understanding in light of the situation, and continued support of my character.

We have been cooperating with the investigation through counsel since I was notified about there being a potential warrant for my arrest while we were racing in Las Vegas.

My attorney has stayed in constant contact with the Rowan County District Attourney handling the case to reach a resolution, which has resulted in charges being dropped and a voluntary dismissal being filed earlier this morning without the need of a formal arrest. The race truck in question was delivered earlier this week to a location desired by the Rowan County Sheriffs Department. I continue to maintain my innocence in this matter, and the fact that I bought the race truck in good faith with a bill of sale, unbeknown of its history.

This has been quite a humbling lesson in being a new team owner, and the importance of discerning who you do business with. I take great honor in representing to the best of my ability my fans, partners, and family; and am grateful for your grace, support, and prayers through this all.

Nine months ago when we put into action the idea and dream of starting up our own team to compete, the main principle was, and is, to have faith, respect, and integrity serve as the pillar to every action and decision that is made with ownership. My life verse has been, and will continue to be Proverbs 3: 5-6. I take great hope in knowing that God allows everything in life to happen for a reason, and will apply what God has taught me through this as motivation to keep my relationship with Him first in everything that we do.

 

Warrant issued against Jordan Anderson for possession of stolen motor vehicle

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The Rowan County (N.C.) Sheriff’s office stated Thursday that it has an outstanding warrant against Camping World Truck Series driver Jordan Anderson for possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s report stated that Anderson was to have turned himself in on Sept. 20 but has yet to do so.

NASCAR issued a statement Thursday: “We are aware of a law enforcement matter involving a NASCAR member, and continue to gather facts. We will remain in contact with the authorities as their process continues.”

The charge stems from an investigation that began Sept. 7 when the Rowan County Sheriff’s office looked into the larceny of a race truck from 804 Performance Road. The report states that a race truck located at Robert Newling’s shop was to have damage from a race repaired. The report states that Newling sold the truck, even though it did not belong to him, to Anderson.

The report states that investigators were able to determine that Anderson had reason to believe the truck he purchased from Newling was stolen.

The report states that investigators attempted to get the truck back from Anderson but he refused to surrender it. The report states that Anderson was made aware of an outstanding warrant and obtained legal counsel.

Newling was charged and arrested for felony larceny of a motor vehicle. He has a court date Nov. 21.

The incident report from Sept. 7 lists NASCAR driver Mike Harmon as the owner. The truck’s value is listed as $12,500.

Anderson ranks 16th in the Camping World Truck Series points after finishing 20th at Las Vegas. He has 74 career Truck Series starts since his debut in 2014. He competed in 13 Xfinity races from 2015-17.

Request for comments have been made to Anderson and his attorney. Neither have responded to NBC Sports at this time. Anderson is expected to issue a comment.

 

Friday 5: David Ragan says gap between ‘haves and have-nots’ has grown

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It started with a tweet.

Isn’t that often the case?

It was a few days after Travis Pastrana successfully recreated three of Evel Knievel’s iconic Las Vegas jumps earlier this month. Pastrana, who ran full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2013, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he enjoyed his racing experience except for losing his own money.

“The best way to end up a millionaire,” Pastrana told the newspaper “is to start with two and go racing.”

David Ragan, who has made 417 career Cup starts, responded to the comment with a tweet:

In a conversation with NBC Sports a few hours before last weekend’s race at Kentucky Speedway, Ragan praised the racing, the safety of the cars and NASCAR’s marketing of drivers, but reiterated his concerns about the financial gap between Cup teams.

“The gap has gotten larger from the haves and have-nots,” Ragan said. “A team like Jasper Motorsports in the early 2000s, they could have a good weekend and a good setup and a good pit crew and they could go and run in the top five. Can Front Row Motorsports run in the top five at Kentucky on a normal weekend? No. There’s no way.

“A team like Roush Racing, they’re off right now, they can’t do it. So the distance between the haves and the have-nots are as great as they’ve ever been.”

How to solve the problem, Ragan admits he isn’t sure. He says the sport needs to be cheaper so teams don’t require as much sponsorship money to be competitive.

Richard Petty Motorsports stated before last weekend’s race at Kentucky that it continues to look for sponsorship this season for rookie Bubba Wallace. The businesses of car owners Richard Petty (Petty’s Garage) and Andrew Murstein (Medallion Bank) were the sponsors on Wallace’s car last week and will be on his car this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“Now a team owner, when they hire a driver, the first question is ‘How much money do you have?’ or ‘Can you sell a sponsor for me?’ ” Ragan said.

Ragan admits that there are some such cases that have worked out well for team and driver.

“You look at Matt Tifft and … Brandon Jones, they bring money to the team and it’s a rent-a-ride and those kids are deserving of a ride,” Ragan said. “They do a good job, but it’s not always like that because you do have some kids – and I don’t need to name names – but there are some kids just having a good time spending their daddy’s money and that doesn’t help our sport.

“They don’t have the passion. There’s probably late model drivers, (Camping World Truck Series driver) Jordan Anderson who is passionate about our sport, who drives his truck and trailer all around the country. He deserves a top-tier ride. It all boils down to expense.”

Ragan says it is important for new people to enter the sport and the Cup level.

“What creates interest in our sport, someone from an owner or a driver that says, ‘Hey I can come in and pay my dues and be successful in a reasonable amount of time,’ ” Ragan said. “(I) think that was possible 25 years ago. I think that Bill Davis or the owner of Jasper Motorsports … someone like a Robert Yates, who is not a billionaire but who is hard worker, who is a good team leader and who has good people surrounding them, they could come and be successful. I think like Morgan-McClure, but we’ve run those teams out because this is a rich man’s hobby. If you don’t have a half a billion net worth or more, you don’t have a chance of making it in NASCAR.”

The Race Team Alliance, which Ragan’s Front Row Motorsports team is not part of by choice, has sought to help teams reduce costs through shared expenses. NASCAR repeatedly has stated that one of its prime objectives is costs and that it works with teams on cutting expenses.

One recent example is NASCAR deciding not to run the All-Star package at any other track this season after concerns from teams about the expense of a mid-season change.

Rob Kauffman, chairman of the Race Team Alliance, said on the NASCAR on NBC podcast earlier this month that the purpose of the RTA “is to promote and grow the sport of stock-car racing and pursue the long-term (common) interests of the teams.”

Kauffman said the RTA worked on cutting costs for teams. That included travel costs, working with carriers to ferry teams to tracks instead of teams needing to have their own jets (although some still do).

Still, the sport faces challenges. That’s among the reasons the charter system was created. Kauffman said on the NASCAR on NBC podcast that the RTA was involved in the negotiations on the charter system and “how the rule process works: When, how, when do changes get implemented. The teams are not against changes. I think in general they’re in favor of evolution and trying to promote and grow the sport, just change needs to be done in a reasonable and planned out and sensible fashion.”

The charter system helps Cup teams budget for a season based on an estimated earning per race. Teams still need to secure sponsorship to fund all that they want or need. A hope among owners is that as the charters mature, they will grow in value so if an owner ever decides to sell, they won’t be losing money just like Pastrana said he did.

2. Playoff battle among teammates

Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman hold the final three playoff spots heading into Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Johnson leads Elliott by 15 points and Elliott has a 42-point point advantage on Bowman, who is coming off a last-place finish at Kentucky after a brake rotor failed that caused his crash last weekend.

Bowman admits “it’s definitely crossed my mind” on how to race his teammates if they’re also battling for the final playoff spots.

“I would imagine at that point you just become competitors,” he told NBC Sports. “You’re still going to help each other. The teams are going to share information, but when it comes down to Sunday afternoon, you’re just going to become competitors and can’t race each other easy like teammates at that point.

“Hopefully it doesn’t come down to that and all three of us get in, but it will be an interesting experience and a learning process for me because, you’re right, I haven’t had an experience like that, I don’t know what to expect with that.”

3. Roval concerns

After Cup drivers tested the road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway over the past two weeks, the consensus is that playoff race there Sept. 30 should feature a lot of bumping and banging — crashing.

Over the past couple of weeks, minor adjustments were made to the track. The first test day, additional curbing  and a tire barrier were put near the backstretch chicane to keep drivers from cutting through the exit and shortening the distance to Turn 3 on the oval.

During the test this past week, rumble strips were removed from Turn 8, a left-hand turn that leads cars from the infield portion back on to the oval.

Joey Logano has another change he’d like to see but knows he likely won’t.

“I think the goal should be to try to get rid of the bus stop on the back,” Logano told NBC Sports. “Just get rid of it. Just go. Hell with it. We don’t need it any other time we’re here. There’s no passing zone there. It’s kind of hodge-podge in a way.

“It’s going to cause accidents, and there’s no room for error. Someone is going to hit the tire pylon on exit and knock the radiators out of the car. We’re going to have a big caution and a  big cleanup. It would just be better if we didn’t have it.”

That chicane is intended to prevent cars from carrying too much speed into Turns 3 and 4 on the oval. The challenge with a road course that also has high-speed banked turns is for teams to have the proper setup and Goodyear to provide the proper tire that can handle those speeds and the demands of a road course.

That’s not the only concern.

Aric Almirola noted that for the start and restarts, drivers will come down the frontstretch instead of going through the chicane. He worries about the speed drivers will carry into Turn 1, a sharp left-hand turn into the infield road course.

“Turn 1 is very sketchy, and on the restarts I think that’s going to be a really, really sketchy spot,” Almirola told NBC Sports. “We’re going to be going faster because we’re going to be restarting from the oval instead of from the chicane. That’s going to be an interesting thing to watch and see how it develops throughout the weekend. I just don’t know.

“It’s fun to do something different. I enjoy that. I wish it wasn’t a playoff race. I would love for this to be an exhibition race or to run here in May when it means a little less, but to come here for a playoff race to do something this extreme, I’m not totally in favor of it.”

Alex Bowman said that his team considered simulating a restart during their test last week but ran out of time after having parts failures that limited their track time.

4. Something new?

Martin Truex Jr. has 16 wins since the beginning of the 2016 season but he’s not won back-to-back races. Will that change this weekend?

5. Will the domination continue?

Toyota drivers have led 97.2 percent of the laps run in the last four Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Toyota drivers won three of those four races. Will anyone else challenge those cars this weekend?

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39 Trucks on preliminary entry list for Eldora race

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There are 39 entries for Wednesday night’s Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway.

Ryan Newman and Ty Dillon are the only Cup competitors entered. Newman will drive Jordan Anderson’s No. 3 truck. Dillon will drive for Young’s Motorsports.

Among the drivers entered is 63-year-old John Provenzano, a dirt specialist who will be making his Truck debut. He’ll drive for Mike Affarano Motorsports. USAC National Midgets points leader Logan Seavey will make his Truck debut in a ride with Kyle Busch Motorsports. Dirt modified driver Kyle Strickler will make his Truck debut, driving for MB Motorsports. Dirt modified racer RJ Otto will drive the No. 97 for JJL Motorsports and make his series debut.

The No. 46 truck has been withdrawn.

Matt Crafton won last year’s race. Stewart Friesen was second and Chase Briscoe was third. All three are entered. Briscoe, who has been running in the Xfinity Series, returns to drive the No. 27 for ThorSport Racing.

Click here for preliminary entry list