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Meet "Fast Jack" Anderson!

Meet "Fast Jack" Anderson!
Friday, June 7, 2024
by Joanne Cram

Sixteen-year-old “Fast Jack” Anderson, is one of a handful of Knoxville’s second-generation sprint car drivers set to compete for the 2024 season. The Baxter Community Schools high school junior has just wrapped up a busy winter of wrestling and race car prep and is stoked to get back to his favorite place for season number two.

Jack is the son of Johnny “Lightning” Anderson, a dominant 360 fixture at Knoxville Raceway for several seasons, as well as grandson to late model driver and sprint car mechanic, Jack Anderson. So, it’s no surprise that Jack would follow in his dad and grandpa’s footsteps and take over the steering wheel. Jack has a lot of inspiration in his dad and his dad’s friends in racing. “My dad always had at me at the track from birth. I remember being in the suite with Heather Brown before I could come in the pits, then working on the Higday’s cars as a teenager. I’ve been in love with sprint cars since I was little. I always wanted to be like my dad and Brian Brown and be successful at Knoxville Raceway”. When asked about his relationship with his dad as crew chief and at the track, Jack says, “My dad has lots of high energy, positive yelling, and bantering. We had lots of struggles at first with dad learning how to communicate with me as a driver and dad as a crew chief. We have very different driving styles, he tries what he used to do with his car and driving style, and it doesn't always work with such different driving styles. But we are getting closer. My good friend and team mechanic, Glenn Freeland keeps us from getting super irritated at each other and also balances out our team. I’m super grateful for what my dad does for me”.

Jack began racing go karts in 2010 at the age of 4, the same year his dad hung up his driving shoes at Knoxville Raceway. Unlike sprint cars with the typical three classes, the go karting world has several different classes and paths for a young racer to conquer. Jack started out in flat karts known as a kid kart, then progressed to Putt Putt, Junior One, then Junior Two. Additionally, cage karts known as Outlaw Dirt Karts began to become popular with the younger drivers, as they resemble sprint cars and have roll cages on them. Jack also ran Outlaw Dirt Karts, diving right into the Intermediate class. After the Intermediate class, dirt kart racers can move into the Adult class, as well as the bigger engine classes of the 250 and 500. Jack chose to move into sprint cars as opposed to furthering his cage kart career and was very successful as an Intermediate competitor.

Starting out as a young 4-year-old driver, Johnny had Jack start out in local shows, not running any of the big shows until he got some speed under his belt. In 2015, the family decided Jack was ready to run some bigger shows and more consistent series. Fast Jack quickly became the kid to watch at kart tracks with his obvious talent for driving. It was all downhill after that, with multiple series championships as well as several prestigious karting awards including IKF Nationals Championships (The Duffy) and two Triple Crown honors.

Jack started out in the Junior One class in 2015 where he won his first Duffy, at one of the biggest karting races known as the IKF Nationals. He earned two Duffies in 2 cycle and two Duffies in 4 cycle; two at Newton, and two at Show Me Speedway, MO.

In 2016 he ran The New Years Eve Nebraska Kart Shootout and won that race. 2017 found Jack racing the Maxxis Midwest series where he won the Triple Crown Championship (where a driver wins all class championships; Junior One, Light, Heavy and Pro. The 2018 season, Jack started racing for Cooper Kelly where they ran the Maxxis midwest, winning the points championship for the Light Class and won 2 Duffies that year. He was the Junior 2 Maxx Daddy Champion and the Maxxis Midwest points champion as well in 2018. In 2019, Jack was the Maxxis Midwest champion and won the Triple Crown for the second time, the only driver to do so in the Junior 2 Class. In 2020, he started running flat karts and then ran cage karts for the Pulkrabeks, as well as making his English Creek Speedway Nationals debut in only his second time out in a cage kart, where he won the ECS Nationals. With his success in the cage kart, Fast Jack ran full time at ECS in 2021 and won every race that season, as well as the ECS Nationals and secured the points championship in the Intermediate Class.

2022 was Jack’s first year in a sprint car, where he ran a couple of Sprint Invaders shows in a 360 at the age of 15. “I got a little seat time, till I ripped the front end off it at Bloomfield".

2023 was Jack’s first year at Knoxville and he reflected that it started off well, but on week five they blew up their only engine. Fortunately they got a loaner so Jack could continue to compete for his rookie season. He ran the rest of the season until the Nationals and then was able to borrow Matt Moro’s 360. He finished in the B Main his prelim night, so the team decided to call it a Nationals after that night.

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Jack’s goals are straight forward: a top 10 in points, be a lot more competitive, and work on his craft. His long-term goals are to finish up his junior and senior years in high school and plans to work for UPS full time and still have time to race weekly at Knoxville. When Jack isn’t racing, he is wrestling and staying active in sports in general or working either on Carson McCarl’s car when he’s not racing himself or working at the family body shop (Jack L. Anderson Auto Body) in Indianola.

Fast Jack’s program features an Eagle chassis and an Ostrich Engine. Jack has an incredibly supportive family, including parents Johnny and Jenny; little brother, Pete; Aunt Kelley and Grandma Nickie.
The 7A crew consists of Koiltin Herd, Jimmy Able, Glenn Freeland, The Beck’s, and “Dad”.
Sponsors on the 7A are Tinleehe, Eagle Homes, Bend Selvage Real estate, Knudson Transmission Service, Glasscock Floors, JNG transportation, Ostrich Racing engines, Route 65 Harley Davidson, Cheeks Classic Collision, Downey Tire, Norris Automotive, Jack L Anderson Auto Body, Sign and Creation, Tilube, C&C Flooring, LATVHSS, CMC Pools, Beck Photorgraphy.

Merchandise can be purchased at the track to support Fast Jack, with new hats, shirts and hoodies for sale in the pits. Jack can be followed on My Race Pass at https://app.myracepass.com/share/drivers/29270, or on Facebook at Fast Jack Anderson Racing.