The green flag dropped on the 2014 ‘Search for a Champion’ contest nearly five months ago. 392 entrants and their passionate fans voted on Champion Spark Plugs search for $50,000 sponsorship racer. The $50,000 Grand Prize sponsorship winner is sixteen year old Jordan Ives from the Upper Peninsula.
Jordan Ives is a third generation race car driver from Gladstone, Michigan. At the age of five he began racing motorbikes on the ice and within a few years, Jordan shifted his focus to micro-sprint cars where he excelled and won several championships. In the summer of 2012, Jordan made his move into super late models on asphalt where he competes today.
Champion Spark Plug’s ‘Search for a Champion’ contest began with a 2-minute video entry showcasing Jordan Ives’ ride, and demonstrating why he should become a Champion-sponsored driver.
The scouting contest for the best up-and-coming talent in motor racing is a five month competition, and includes countless hours of deliberation. Racers in asphalt, dirt, water, snow submitted 2-minute videos for a worldwide vote. Fifteen racers won $5,000 Champion sponsorships, and the Grand Prize sponsorship of $50,000 for 2014 went to Ives. His chance to get ahead of the competition was highlighted in his grand-prize winning video. It showcased why he was destined to be the next big thing in his sport, and how his past experiences helped him get to where he is today.
Jordan Ives says he has been involved in racing since before he was born. In his 1st place video entry, he said his family’s passion for racing is shared across three generations. Jordan’s uncle Greg, and his father Steve Ives raced Super A model cars, and his grandfather was a key part of the race team as car enthusiast and a mechanic.
Jordan’s first taste of sweet victory was wheeling a Big Wheel around Norway Speedway when he was just four years old. “A spark was lit that summer night to become a champion one day,” said Ives.
He began racing dirt bikes at age five and continued to race bikes until he was ten. Jordan Ives’ dream to become a champion was realized when he made the jump to junior sprint cars, placing 1st in all but one race when he was just eleven years old. He says four wheels is where he belongs. When he was 14 years old, Jordan started racing late models at Norway Speedway, the track he grew up on with his family, and where he won his first Big-Wheel race ten years prior. He placed first a total of eight times in 2012 and was awarded ‘Rookie of the Year’ as the youngest driver to race late models at Norway Speedway.
“My dream is to carry on the family torch of becoming a NASCAR champion,” said Jordan. Ives has overcome five surgeries from complications of a compound fracture to his left leg during his rookie year. “This challenge has only pushed me harder to prove that I have the drive to be a champion,” he said.
Shattering every contest-record along the way, it took nearly a quarter of a million votes to make a final decision and the announcement of their grand prize winner. Champion Spark Plugs say Jordan’s passion, determination, positive attitude, and ability to rise through the ranks are the embodiment of a champion, and he sets an example for all racers to follow.
Congratulations, Jordan Ives!