Prior to this past weekend, 15-year-old Spencer Davis had never tested himself on a track bigger than a half-mile in length. On Friday afternoon, Davis strapped into the No. 79 Coors Light 21 Means 21 Modified at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to tackle a track twice as big as anything he had ever previously raced on.
After qualifying in the top half of the field in the 11th position, Davis made contact with the wall during the early stages of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco 100 on Saturday afternoon. The Hill Racing Enterprises team worked hard to repair the damages and got Davis back out onto the track to register a 28th-place finish at the one-mile track coined “The Magic Mile.”
“I was drafting with a couple cars and came into turn three and just made a rookie mistake and looped it,” said Davis. “The guys got me back out there in the second half of the race. I learned a lot out there in the race about how the tires wear and stuff. I’ll be ready to go back next year.”
Right out of that gate during the opening practice session on Friday afternoon, Davis didn’t seem to be intimated by the one-mile track as he posted respectable lap times during practice compared to the other 30 drivers in competition. In the second practice Davis showed even more speed and cracked the top-10 on the speed chart before drifting too high in turn two and making contact with the outside wall.
The practice crash would force Davis to a backup car for qualifying. With no practice at all in the backup car, Davis went out during qualifying on Saturday morning and registered the 11th fastest time out of 31 cars.
“We were up at 4:30 in the morning to get to the track and we were just double-checking everything to make sure everything was still good on the backup car,” said Davis. “We went out and qualified 11th, which I was really happy with that. To qualify towards the front during my first time at Loudon was a testament to how good these guys on the Hillbilly (Racing) Team are.”
Following the spin, Davis ran a clean race and logged laps to gain valuable experience for when he visits the track again next year. The Dawsonville, Georgia driver couldn’t thank his crew enough for working hard to get him back out on the track in the later stages of the race to gain that experience.
“It was a real learning experience just going that fast and knowing that I’ll be racing tracks like that more often,” said Davis. “It was definitely fun racing there and I can’t wait to go back.
“I thanked the crew non-stop for getting me back out there and their determination to get the car fixed. It meant a lot to get back out there and play in the draft a little bit. Knowing how the car reacts as the race goes on will help a lot when we come back.”
Next up for Davis and the Hillbilly Racing Team will be twin 25-lap Modified features at Bowman Gray Stadium (NC) on Saturday, July 19.
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com