Introducing a brand-new weekly segment for the official website of U.S. Legend Cars International and INEX: “In the Pits.” Each week you’ll get an insight into the life of a Legend Car or Bandolero driver from within the world of INEX. Up first, is Andrew Patterson, a driver for Three Sixteen Motorsports and a mechanic for Jordan Anderson Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Patterson has raced Micros as well as Legend Cars, most recently at the 2022 Dirt Nationals and 2023 Winter Heat, and he hopes for more throughout this year and beyond!

Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
Division: Semi-Pro
Car Number: 91
Team: Three Sixteen Motorsports
Favorite TV Show: Drive to Survive on Netflix
Favorite Food: Mac and Cheese
Favorite Color: Green (not for racing color), Blue (for racing)
Best Vacation Spot: Norris Lake in Tennessee
Dream Car: Cadillac CTS-V or a Corvette

1. What sparked your interest in racing? What made you want to start driving?

On my dad’s side, we weren’t racers. My dad didn’t race, my grandpa didn’t race; not a whole lot of racing going on in the family. We always watched NASCAR, and I always was riding four wheelers and dirt bikes, and all that fun stuff. Eventually, I finally talked him into getting me a go-kart, and we raced go-karts the last 8 years. We ran karts for a while. It was really just me annoying him enough until he finally got me into it. I owe a lot of it to him, just taking me to races and being around it as much as I can.

2. What is your racing story? What forms of racing have you competed in?

Outside of Legend Cars, I run dirt Micros out of Millbridge [Speedway]. Obviously, a lot of karting on the national level, we did that for quite a few years. Really all my diversity in racing has come in the last 24 months, I’d say. Before that I hadn’t raced any cars, had never been in a car, never drove in a car race. I’ve run the Kenyon Midget Series up in Ohio, they’re a great series, ran a couple races with them. Working on some late model stuff for this year, that'll come out soon. But outside of that, Legend Cars has been my learning of the car world. Which has been great because they are hard to drive, you learn a lot.

3. What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in the racing world?

Since moving to cars and working for NASCAR teams, scheduling has become a monumental problem. When you're on the road like I have been the last 2 years with the NASCAR stuff racing 33 weekends a year, there's not a lot of open weekends to go out racing yourself. Working through that as I try to get my foot in the door with the car racing stuff has been difficult. I think this year we got it really figured out. Kind of a good balance of both where we keep Jordan Anderson, the boss man, happy and getting to race. I think this year should be a good balance of both, but that's really been challenging.

4. What is your favorite racing memory?

There's been a lot. My first karting national win in 2018. That one was pretty high up there because it came in the most unexpected way possible. Just a race we didn't think we were going to win and we got it done, it was at Pittsburgh International, the kart track in Pittsburgh. That was awesome.  Dirt Nationals in Legend Cars, that was awesome. Really went into that race without any expectations, didn’t really know how we were going to do, didn't really have any dirt starts before that. But managed to keep it up front the whole weekend and were challenging it for the win in both races. That was a good memory.

5. What is your ultimate racing dream?

The ultimate goal would just be to be able to race professionally, make a living racing – driving something. I’ve had guys in the shop hear me say that ‘you’ll be driving for UPS or something, that counts.’ I’ll be like that's not what I want to do. NASCAR would be awesome; any top series would be great. If driving doesn't work out, I would like to continue on the mechanic side of things in NASCAR, car chief position one day. Maybe crew chief, I don't know if I am smart enough for that, but we will see.

6. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Jordan Anderson. Seeing how he kind of rose up through the ranks in a similar way to what I’m trying to do has been a big inspiration. The way he had that no quit attitude. He's going to go out there and knock on doors, find sponsors is something I really admire. You know you knock on enough doors, eventually you’ll get an opportunity. That's pretty much what happened to him. I mean look at him now, we are starting 2 Xfinity cars full time this year through his program and what he's built. I’d say Jordan Anderson for sure.

7. Outside of racing, what other hobbies or activities are you involved in?

I do. I don’t have as much time to enjoy them as I would like. My parents are down in Tennessee, they have a lake house so whenever I can get away from a NASCAR weekend we go over there. I am figuring out surfing, wakeboarding and all that, figuring that stuff out. I enjoy running, lifting, and working out. That also translates well to racing, which is a nice correlation there. I do a little iRacing stuff. I am not very good at iRacing – figuring that out. Tinker on that a little bit. Mainly just working on stuff, working on the cars in the shop I would honestly say is kind of my hobby. This is kind of what I am trying to do, the driving stuff. So, working on stuff, learning set-up stuff, I’d say are probably my biggest hobbies, or what I do the most.”

8. If you could have a conversation with anyone, who would it be and why?

I would probably have a conversation with Dale Earnhardt because I think we would get along really well. I think he would just be a fun guy to talk to honestly.

9. Do you have any advice to younger kids who are looking into getting started in racing?

I would definitely say Legend Cars is a great step for learning. It's pretty cost efficient compared to most other forms of racing. You learn a lot. The good thing about the Legend Cars is [that] they run the road course, the oval, and dirt so you can knock all three of them out in one car which is really nice. Lots of tracks run Legend Cars, lots of opportunities to race. Big races, as well. You got your world finals for the road course, you got winter heat, Dirt Nats, the [Summer] Shootout - that's always huge. So, Legend Cars I think is a really good step if you’re maybe doing go-karts looking to make the jump to big cars.

As for someone who is just starting out, I feel like you can’t get much more experience and learning done than in go-karts. Whether that's Asphalt in road course karts, or sprint karts. That's where I learned, I feel like that taught me so much about how to drive the race craft. Karting is great but I’d say keep at it, look up what racing is big around you and go that route. Just do your research before you buy stuff, too. Before you go out there and spend a lot of money on something you can’t race locally, and have to travel for. Just do your research, figure out what's close to you, what the big series is in your area, then go to some races, check it out, and if you think it's for you, jump on it, go for it!

10. If you could describe your racing style in one word, what would you say?

Aggressive, I would definitely go with Aggressive. In a race situation, I've always watched what's going on around me and used that to get better, watched what other drivers are doing and where I am better. Just really a full attack mentality all of the time, and if you do it smart you stay out of trouble, occasionally you will get into it a little bit. But I’ve always just wanted to control the race, you're either going forwards or backwards, that's kind of how it is. It's not very often that you're staying where you’re at. So, I’d rather be doing the passing, and moving forward, keeping the momentum going forward, then slipping back and having to regroup for sure. I’d go with Aggressive.

11. If you get stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be?

I would probably bring water, food, and my phone. So, I can live, and so I can watch TikTok.

12. How has working for Jordan Anderson impacted your driving? Has he given you any tips or tricks to help you?

Jordan doesn’t race a whole lot anymore, but still occasionally he will give me tips if I am going to a new track, or something like that. The big thing that has been a value to me working for Jordan has been the connections. He came up through the ranks, he knows people, he knows people on different teams and different areas, as well as working with the guys in the shop. They are all racing guys, they’ve raced themselves. Just listening to them and taking in what they have to say and applying is what has been most valuable. And Jordan also helps me quite a bit with the marketing side of things, how to make a brand, how to make the money go the furthest in the racing world. I can definitely say without moving down here, if it wasn’t for Jordan I probably wouldn’t be doing any of this right now. I probably would still be racing go-karts in Ohio.