|FEATURE LINE-UP POLE SITTER: Jordan Bland|
Blue Grass Speedway
Vsit his website
Cornett Racing Engines
Jeff & Vicki Bland
Photo courtsey of Rick Schwallie
Jordan’s 2007 Ride
Long Shot Farm
Wave Length Hair Salon
MasterSbilt Race Cars
Perterson Fluid Systems
Advanced Racing Suspension
Cornett Racing Engines
Cox Auto Repair
Hoosier Racing Tire
Simpson Racing Products
Wayne Brown Racing Supply
Wehrs Machine & Racing Products
WMF Racing Products
Jordan is always looking for new sponsors and you can contact him at
DETERMINATION AND DRIVE SPUR YOUNG DRIVER
Jordan Bland started his racing career at the age of 7 in Karting. He drove for the well known Smith Brothers Racing, Newburgh IN, and mainly competed in his home state of Kentucky. Karting was a great beginning for Bland “we had a good team and we were tuff to beat,” commented Jordan. He drove Karts until he was 15, and scored several accomplishments including a couple of State Championships, and in 2002 clinched the title of Kentucky Karting Association Champion. Once sweet sixteen came around this young man traded in his small engine Kart, for a 2300 lb, 800 horsepower dirt late model, with the #12, his fathers racing number painted boldly on the door.
Turning 16 late in the racing season, Bland was forced to run a limited racing schedule his first year. Even running on a limited scale Bland continued to use the routine he still uses to date. During the week he would get up, go to school, come home, work on his car, and race on the weekends. Jordan is completing his last year of high school and still maintains a fulltime race schedule. “You can buy anything else in racing except for seat time that has to be earned,” state Bland.
After Bland graduates he plans to continue his education by attending college to earn an engineering degree. “The engineering field and racing really compliment each other,” “it will help me to continue to understand the mechanical side of competing.” “I could never drive a car that I have not worked on myself,” it is one of the best ways to learn.” “I am not a show up at the track and drive kind of guy” replied Bland. This young man is serious about racing, adamant on making sure his car is ready, and then, if there is still some daylight left, the #12 team will cast a line and do some fishing. Work first, play later pretty much sums up Jordan’s work ethic.
Bland grew up racing at big ½ mile tracks like Blue Grass Speedway, Bardstown KY, and was awarded the 2004 Rookie of the Year Honors his first full season ofcompetition. When competing at “bull rings” (the expression Jordan used to describe smaller tracks) “they can be tuff for me, but a good challenge.” Challenge is the key word and what spurs Bland to take a unique approach to his racing development. He chooses to travel to “big event” races and to compete against some of the best in the business.
Jordan prefers to finish behind a veteran driver than win against someone with his level of experience. “I like to compete with seasoned drivers it inspires me to race harder.” “People think I am crazy for running these “big races” at my age and experience.” “I have raced with guys who have competed longer than I am old.” This approach to his learning curve is different from the traditional start that most drivers take, by racing at a local track first and then travel to bigger events.
Taking an untraditional approach can sometimes lead to misconceptions.
The more I listened to this young man describe what it is like for him to race at big events and against such experienced drivers, it wasn’t a prideful attitude that stuck out, but rather one of great respect. He truly respects these drivers and wants to be around and learn from the best. Kind of like the old saying our mothers told us “you become who you hang with.” I think this could possibly be Jordan’s philosophy if I hang with the best drivers, learn from the best, then who knows, maybe one day I could be the best!
Bland has traveled to many popular tracks and events, so I asked him which track he considered his favorite to race at, “Eldora Speedway”, Rossburg OH was the quick response I received. “I won’t sleep for a week before an event at Eldora.” “There is nothing like racing in front of that many people.” “You can drive off those turns without letting off the gas.” “I love signing autographs for the kids.” “It’s like when the NASCAR guys go to Bristol, and I run pretty good there,” shared Jordan. He does run well at Eldora, his most memorable moment came at a spring race in 2006 when he won his heat race, and beat NASCAR legend Tony Stewart. Bland finished his 2006 season 10th in the Eldora Track Point Standings, and received the Most improved Dirt Late Model Driver honor.
Like most drivers Jordan would like to win The Dream or The World (two large events that take place annually at Eldora Speedway). “The winners circle at Eldora is a concrete stage.” “I have always told folks, that if I ever find myself on that stage, I would take off my shoes because I would be standing on Holy Ground,” stated Bland.
Jordan’s scariest racing moment came while racing at Bureau County Speedway, Princeton IL Bureau County Speedway is a ¼ mile semi banked D shaped oval.
On the particular night in question the track was unusually rough. “It was like racing on a plowed up field.” “It was rough and wicked fast.” “I was on the gas the whole time running at speeds in excess of 150 MPH, and would drop down on that hair pin curve racing back to the flag stand.” “My dad has always told me, “don’t be scared of it, go out there and show them what you got.” “I wasn’t the only driver that was a little unnerved that night,” share Jordan.
Bland credits his father as being the one who has influenced him the most in his racing career. “My drive and passion for the sport comes from my dad.” “He isthe one who encouraged me to get into racing and has contributed greatly to the funds it takes for me to be able to compete.” “He is my role model and I try to model myself from him,” replied Jordan.
Jordan’s mother is credited as his biggest fan. “She always stands by my side no matter how I finish a race.” “I can get down on myself when I don’t perform as well as I think I should have.” “My mom is there to remind me that we are a team,” stated Bland. With a father who was a successful race driver for a role model and a mother who can help her young son see the whole picture, that equals up to be great support system.
I asked Jordan what his thoughts were right before he raced. “The last thing I do is ask the good Lord to keep me safe, to help me to do my best, and not to drive to hard.” “Then I go out there and give it all I got,” shared Bland.
Giving it all he’s got is his intentions for his 2007 season. He plans to race 30+ events, in four different states, at 10 different tracks and that’s just his regular schedule. Then he is going to add the UMP Summer Nationals (The Summer Nationals are 29 nights of racing in a 30 day span.) Bland has competed in the Summer Nationals previously and made 11 Feature events in his 2005 season.
I saw a couple of TBA on his schedule. He is going to be one busy “Cambellsville Convict,” no he is not a heathen or a thief, that’s just his nickname! “I don’t know exactly how I received that nickname,” “but it somehow stuck,” “maybe it is because both words start with a “c”, chuckled Jordan.
I found Bland to be a friendly guy who is a good communicator. His communication skills, not only benefit how he can express necessary car-set ups and adjustments to his crew, but help him in all areas of his racing career. “If you can’t communicate, you can’t race, stated Jordan. I asked him what he would like to communicate to his fans, he replied. “I would like to thank each and every person who comes out and supports me wherever I race, and those who support their local dirt tracks where a star is born everyday!” Maybe Jordan Bland will be the next “star” to shine in the dirt late model racing circuit!