For the second year in a row, the teams of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will head to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) not only to race, but to also turn back the clock and honor NASCAR history with the return of the Busch North Throwback Night.
The majority of the throwback paint schemes will take on the legacy of the former NASCAR Busch North Series, which transitioned into the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in the mid-2000’s. But one team that has gone above and beyond is that of the Danny Watts-owned squad and driver Spencer Davis, who will be honoring one of the sport’s true legends who we lost way too soon last September.
Instead of the bright orange No. 82, Davis will be dressed in black with the famous No. 13 on the side of the car, the same which belonged to Ted Christopher for many races over his career. It is a tribute that Davis has been itching to run since last winter.
“I’m really pumped up for this weekend. We were going to do a scheme like this one at the Snowball Derby last year, but it just didn’t work out. I figured the Throwback race at Thompson was perfect to do it, especially after Chris Wright called us and asked us about running the 13 instead of the 82,” Davis told Speed51.com.
The scheme is a truly bold look from the “TC” history books, though one not as familiar to a lot of racing fans in the Northeast. But it is one that immediately caught Davis’ attention upon first seeing it.
“I own my design and decal company, Design 29. Danny and I were looking at old cars of Ted’s trying to find what suited what we wanted to do,” Davis explained. “The Mystique car just fit. We saw it online and made sure he actually raced it, got one or two different pictures from different fans and people that we knew had different pictures of it. Anytime you see the Mystique logo I always think of Ted Christopher. This is an old Watkins Glen road course car scheme; the black, gray, and red looks intimidating and I think that fits him best.”
Christopher, being known mostly for his Modified prowess, also made great strides in full-bodied cars during his career, including the Busch North Series where he won 10 times from 1996 to 2005.
“Busch North used to be K&N East, to me it made a little more sense than doing a Modified scheme. If you’re going to do a throwback race for Busch North, you got to do a Busch North car,” Davis stated. “At Thompson, there’s no better fit than a Ted Christopher car, whether it’d be there, at Stafford, or Loudon. You’re crazy if you think something is going to be better looking.”
Born and raised in Dawsonville, Georgia, far from the tracks of Connecticut where Christopher raced the most, Davis may not seem the most likely to become a TC superfan. But it was the common passion for Modified racing, which Davis caught as a young boy, that drew him to the Christopher crowd.
“I was always watching as many Modified races as I could on TV whenever they’d have them or online,” Davis explained. “He became one of my heroes just by watching him, but especially when I started to race against him on the Modified Tour, when I’d race up North and when he’d come down and race the Southern Tour against us.
“Ted was a real hard racer, someone like I wanted to be, especially after I got to talk to him. I feel we got to become really good friends with him because of knowing Danny and him racing for Danny, even a year or two prior, just getting to talk to him through mutual friends. I looked up to him and his driving style, his work ethic; he’s going to do whatever he’s going to do to win. He’s an old school racer, even if he broke his hand or wasn’t feeling the best, he always chose to go racing.”
Davis is ready to take that same desire to the “Big T” this weekend, a track where Christopher won 99 times over his incredible career. He believes he has a car capable of winning the race and putting a Ted Christopher scheme in victory lane for the 100th time.
“I’m excited. We have a bunch of momentum with this team with myself and Brandon Setzer crewing on it during the week, just wrenching on it. Getting some satellite support from Mark Rette and Rette-Jones Racing, we’ve made strides. It showed at Memphis where we had a car to beat and had a wiring issue that took us out of the race after leading 72 laps. It’s great, like back when I got to race my own family stuff, working on the car every day and trying to find speed to run good. I think we have something to prove this weekend.”
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Spencer Davis