Spencer Davis’ largest obstacle this past weekend had nothing to do with a race track or a race car. Instead, it had to do with the ground and air transportation that would take him from Hampton, Virginia to Thompson, Connecticut.
The 16-year-old driver from Dawsonville, Georgia competed in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at Langley Speedway (VA) on Saturday evening before shipping up to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker event Sunday afternoon.
On the track, he would finish 14th in the NWSMT event at Langley before charging from the 35th starting position to record a strong 12th-place finish at Thompson.
After taking the checkered flag at Langley, Davis was able to get roughly three hours of sleep before it was time to board a plane for Connecticut. All was going smooth until a mechanical failure on his plane out of Philadelphia resulted in his flight to Connecticut being delayed. Luckily, the re-scheduled flight ended up departing sooner than expected and Davis arrived at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in plenty of time for the Icebreaker event.
Once he arrived at the track, it was a whole new experience for Davis. At a track at which he had only made three prior starts, Davis’ first time strapping into the Hillbilly Racing No. 79 was for the 150-lap feature.
Although starting from the rear would be a small obstacle, it didn’t stop the 16-year-old slicing and dicing his way towards the front. With a great race car underneath him and a solid pit stop by his crew at the halfway mark, Davis was able to position himself in the top-10 before ultimately settling for a 12th-place finish.
“We were really pleased with a 12th-place finish considering where we started,” said Davis. “We came out of the track with a clean car. The only thing that was messed up on the car was the front bumper. That’s definitely exceeding our expectations, especially when we don’t have to really fix anything at the shop on Monday.”
Veteran Modified competitor James Civali practiced and qualified the car for Davis on Saturday afternoon, but because of the driver change Davis would be forced to start at the tail end of the field.
“Having to start from dead last in 35th you still think you have a chance to win, but at the same time you set realistic goals,” Davis said. “Our goal was a top-10 and we were right there. Coming from the back hurt a little bit because I was forced to drive so hard the whole time, so once I got up front I didn’t have exactly the same amount of tires as everyone else had.
Although Davis wasn’t behind the wheel of the No. 79 Coors Light Pontiac during Saturday’s practice and qualifying, he did stay in touch with the team from Virginia. Overall, the communication and positive end result from the weekend had Davis speaking highly of his team.
“Chris Kopec and everyone that goes to the track with us when we go up north definitely know what they’re doing,” Davis stated. “We were all kind of talking back and forth on the phone while we were in Langley practicing the car. They wanted to know what I wanted needed for there and telling me the track conditions and stuff, so it wasn’t like I was going into it blind. We were all communicating well with each other all day Saturday and even Sunday they were giving me feedback about how the track was before I even got there. It just shows how strong our team is to be in two different states and run really strong.”
Next up for Davis will be the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series “Autism Smiles 125” at Ace Speedway on Saturday night, April 18. He is currently sixth in series points after one event and plans to chase the series championship this season.
For more information on Spencer Davis, visit www.spencer-davis.net or follow him on Twitter at @SpencerDavis_29.
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com