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News

Penalty to Johnny Sauter makes a Talladega winner of Spencer Boyd

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Johnny Sauter did a celebratory burnout. He collected the checkered flag from the flag stand at Talladega Superspeedway.

But Sauter didn’t win Saturday’s Sugarland Shine 250 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff race at the 2.66-mile track. A penalty for blocking Riley Herbst below the yellow line in the final 200 yards of the event cost Sauter the victory and made an unlikely winner of Spencer Boyd.

“It’s Talladega,” the driver of the No. 20 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet exulted in Victory Lane. “Man, I don’t drink beer, but it may happen tonight.”

Boyd, whose previous best finish in the series was a fourth in the 2019 season opener at Daytona, crossed the finish line .132 seconds behind Sauter, who started his celebration. But NASCAR informed the teams that the finish was under review and subsequently awarded the victory to Boyd.

“I was sitting there, and I’m like, man, second is amazing for us,” Boyd said. “We’re happy. We finished fourth at Daytona in this truck, and then one of my crew guys was like, ‘You just won!’ I can’t believe this. Two weeks ago I wasn’t running this race.

“We put this together late with Alabama Roofing Professionals… You dream of winning a NASCAR race. Four years ago, I was selling cars with my dad at Hendrick Automotive Group. A lot of people believed in me to get me to this point.”

Gus Dean’s hard crash into the inside wall off Turn 2 sent the race to overtime, and Sauter led the field to green on Lap 97. Sauter lost and regained the top spot in traffic and moved below the yellow line approaching the checkered flag as Herbst made a move to the inside.

After the review, NASCAR placed Sauter 14th at the finish as the last driver on the lead lap.

“I went down to put a little block on him,” Sauter said, “but then when I did, I got hooked sideways, but that’s just plate racing. You know, I didn’t block his advance or anything like that… I just hate it for my guys. They deserve better than that.”

Todd Gilliland finished second, with Herbst coming home third. Brett Moffitt in fourth and Stewart Friesen in fifth were the highest finishing Playoff drivers in the first race of the Round of 6. Fellow Playoff drivers Austin Hill, Tyler Ankrum and Matt Crafton (the pole winner) followed in sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

Playoff driver Ross Chastain was leading with six laps left, but a late attempt to block Sheldon Creed ignited a 10-car crash that ended with Chastain out of the race and in the infield care center. Chastain dropped to sixth in the Playoff standings, 46 points behind Moffitt, the series leader, but only two behind Crafton in fourth place.

The Playoff field will be cut from six drivers to four after the Nov. 8 event at ISM Raceway at Phoenix.

Categories
Trucks

ASHLEY ASKS…… Spencer Boyd

Moving over to Young’s Motorsports during the off-season, Spencer Boyd was able to kick-off the year with his new team with a fourth-place finish in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

As the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series get set to tackle Atlanta Motor Speedway, Boyd shared his thoughts with POPULAR SPEED.

PS: What are your thoughts as you look back at Daytona?

SPENCER BOYD: For us, it was a great weekend. All of the guys worked hard putting that truck together, and we showed a lot of speed in qualifying and in the race, my spotter did a great job. We were up front most of the race, stayed out of trouble, and got a solid finish. So we’re excited for a good start to the year, and a good start with Young’s Motorsports.

PS: How much did it mean for you and the team to get off on a good note together?

SPENCER: It’s really important to get a good finish with the first race with Young’s Motorsports and the guys worked really hard. Just getting started, getting good points – things like that. So I was really excited – got some stage points, so that was a big deal as the stage points are something you need to be thinking about at all times. So to collect those on a speedway, we were definitely happy about it.

Rusty Jarrett | NKP

PS: Now as we head to Atlanta, what are your thoughts going into the weekend?

SPENCER: For me, going to Atlanta, I feel like we have a good truck and a good chance. I really just want to go out there and get a good finish in the top-10, and work on our mile-and-a-half program. I think Young’s Motorsports did really well last year with a couple top-fives in the mile-and-a-halves, so if we could go out there and pick up where they left off, that’d be really good, and then just build from there through the rest of the season.

PS: What’s the biggest challenge of Atlanta?

SPENCER: Tire management is everything at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The surface is just a cheese grater. So you want to get out there and get as much out of the truck you can the first few laps to separate yourself from the other guys, and then just manage your tires, hold off your tires. Realize that maybe you can get them go for a couple laps if they’re going to just run off their tires real quick. So just recognizing the race pace, and not steering from that plan.

PS: Looking ahead on the season as a whole, what are your goals and expectations for this year?

SPENCER: For me, my goal is to go out there and run all of the laps and be in the top-10 on a regular basis and make the Chase. Through that, just strategically get more and more aggressive and get up front to battle it out with those guys.

PS: What track are you most looking forward to beyond Atlanta?

SPENCER: I love short track racing. So I’m looking forward to Martinsville. Gateway and Iowa are definitely circled, but Martinsville is definitely a special place. I made my debut there and ran in the top-five that day, so really looking forward to going back.

PS: Now, what track do you wish was on the schedule that currently isn’t?

SPENCER: Well, for me, my favorite track in Xfinity last year was Richmond, so I’d love for Richmond to be on the truck schedule. But not sure if we’ll see that anytime soon.

NKP

PS: If you were in charge of NASCAR for one day, what is one change that you would make to improve the sport?

SPENCER: That’s tricky. There’s so many moving parts. For me, I feel like NASCAR made the right decision to go to the Ilmor (Engine) in trucks, and I feel like doing the body change that they did in Xfinity would be good in trucks. Just all those cost management things help the smaller teams, and the bridge the gap from the middle to the front of the pack.

PS: Now, we’ve seen a lot of drivers try a bunch of different series and cars. So what’s out there on the bucket list for you?

SPENCER: I would love to run a Global Rallycross Race. That looks like a lot of fun. You see a lot of drivers from different motorsports do that, so that looks fun. They have a really cool young fan base and I think that’d be cool to tap into.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: @ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
XFINITY

Four XFINITY and Truck Series Crew Chiefs Suspended

Following the events at Bristol Motor Speedway this past weekend, four NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series crew chiefs have been suspended.

The No. 12 Ford of Austin Cindric and the No. 76 Chevrolet of Spencer Boyd were found in violation of section 10.9.10.4 of the NASCAR rulebook, meaning the lug nut(s) were not properly installed. As a result, crew chiefs Matt Swiderski and Jason Miller were fined $20,000, and suspended from the next three NASCAR XFINITY Series events. Additionally, they lost 35 regular season driver and owner points.

Additionally, the No. 22 Ford of Joey Logano was found in violation of the same rule, resulting in crew chief Brian Wilson being fined $10,000, and suspended from the next XFINITY Series event.

In the Truck Series, the No. 86 of Clay Greenfield was found in violation of section 20.3.4 of the NASCAR rulebook, which is titled “Ballast Containers Note: Loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle,” per the penalty report. As a result, crew chief Danny Gill, truck chief Melvin Burns Jr., and mechanic William Guinade have been suspended from the next three truck events. 

Lastly, the No. 88 Toyota of Matt Crafton was found in violation of section 10.9.10.4, resulting in a $2,500 fine for crew chief Carl Joiner Jr.

Prior to these penalties, only three XFINITY Series had been suspended this year from at least one event, with no truck series suspensions. The previous XFINITY infractions were due to post-race height infractions.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Categories
XFINITY

ASHLEY ASKS…… Spencer Boyd

Last week, Spencer Boyd announced he will be running the full NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule for SS Green Light Racing with sponsorship from Gunt Style.

The 22-year-old spoke about the opportunity recently with Popular Speed’s Ashley McCubbin.

POPULAR SPEED: What does it mean to you to get the opportunity?

SPENCER BOYD: Really excited to get to run full-time. It’s been a long time coming, so there’s a lot of excitement built up. For quite a few years, I’ve wanted to make it to NASCAR’s top three series, and make it to the XFINITY Series, and to finally do that last year and get my feet wet, and now have a full season….Really excited to get to race every week and be one of the guys they consider to be in the mix.

PS: You’ve put a lot of effort in behind the scenes to make this happen. Does it make it extra special?

SB: There’s so much to it. It’s a lot different than it was in the past. Now you definitely need to either have mom and dad pay for it, or find sponsors. I’ve been really fortunate to have a lot of partners throughout the years to race with in go-karts, all the way to late models, and run my first Camping World Truck Series race. My parents have helped me along the way, but it’s always taken sponsors to make things happen, and you’re always looking for that big sponsor. You appreciate all the ones that you can find, and then you try and find that big one that wants to build with you and create a brand. You hear about Jeff Gordon and Dupont being together a long time, or Jimmie Johnson and Lowe’s. As a young guy, you’re always hopeful of finding that large co-operate sponsor that suits your image that you can represent well, and obviously just excited to partner as you are.

So meeting with Grunt Style a little over a year ago, I was like, “Wow, this is something that I can stand behind.” It’s a great brand. You talk about sponsors as being brands, and it’s pretty easy to talk about Grunt Style in being an apparel brand, and veteran owned. I was like, “Wow, this is awesome. Hopefully it can grow into more and we can do more cool things with the fans.” We’re doing a lot of giveaways – even going back to the first race that we partnered together for, back in 2016 in Miami.

So progressing forward, to have Grunt Style as my primary sponsor for 33 XFINITY races, it’s going to be cool. I’m going to be recognized on the track as the Grunt Style driver, and have that same paint scheme that everybody recognizes and talked about; everybody loves the camo car. It’ll also be cool in taking veterans to the track and letting them experience NASCAR. A lot of them know NASCAR and have been before, so It’s cool to give them behind the scenes tour and get to hang out. Really excited to have a sponsor that’s recognized all over the country.

PS: When you were searching for that right opportunity, did you ever get to a point to where you didn’t think it’d come together?

SB: Racing is definitely an addiction. You never really want to give up. There’s plenty of times that issues come up, or there’s not enough money to run a particular race, or run at the level you want to. There’s also it never seems to be moving along quick enough and you question your age watching some of these young kids get good opportunities. A lot of people have kept me excited and upbeat. I never wanted to give up, but there were a couple times that I’d be like, “I really need something to happen” with money, or just looking for a better opportunity and ready to move up a series. You do all you can on the track.

My biggest thing is to treat every race like it’s your last. You never know… Racing late models, it was always, “We’re racing this week but if we wreck the car, we won’t be back next week.” So that was always in the back of my mind each week. I had a lot of luck in late model. I won a couple races, and really didn’t tear anything up, which allowed me to keep coming to the race track to build my name and my brand, and become recognized in late models so I could move up to trucks.

The biggest thing is to just surround yourself a lot of motivated and optimistic people. I’m very realistic, so a lot of times I can get in my mood where I want to win, be fast, run every weekend – but you have to be realistic and know this is what you can afford to do and your situation. So definitely kept pushing through and it seemed every time that we got down, worked hard and another opportunity came up. I was just really fortunate.

PS: Now you have some experience with the team already. How much is that going to be a benefit for you?

SB: So really lucky to have a what you would call a trial period. Definitely this year I’ve ran a few races with Jason Miller, my crew chief, and Bobby Dotter at SS Green Light just to kind of break the ice and hang out at the race track. I’ve been to the track quite a few times even when I wasn’t driving. Bobby helped me out as far as letting me come hang out and experience these different tracks, and see them, as far as the line and how the race plays out. You don’t really know until you get to go experience that. So it’s been great.

As far as running my races, Jason and I have gotten to hang out and talk and really work on our communication as far as what I am looking for in the car, and what I don’t know. When it comes to racing at this level, there’s so many different little things that you need to know. These cars are really aero dependent, and there’s really no place to go run a mile and a half race track until you do it. We’ve ran a few of those – it’s been good, and we’re just building our package for next year. So grateful to have the opportunity to run for him this year, and I think it’s only going to make us better for next.

PS: What are your goals for the season?

SB: One of the biggest things is in my whole career is I set realistic expectations and go out and crush those goals. I want to go out there and finish races, learn the race tracks, and be there at the end. You’re not going to get to learn and do your best by not finishing races, so that’s going to be our goal – to go out there and run all the laps, and make sure each week to build on it. Hopefully when we go to places for a second time, our starting and finishing positions will improve throughout the year. 

PS: What track are you most excited to get to?

SB: I think the most exciting track will be…..I love superspeedways – just ran Talladega in the trucks, and finished 13th so really excited to get 2018 started down in Daytona. It’s a superspeedway, it’s really fast, it’s so much fun, and there’s so much history at Daytona. It’s just great to kick off the year, hang out with the guys, and know we are going to be together for the whole season. It’s a great place to kick it off and I’m excited for February.

PS: To drivers out there in similar situations like yourself, what advice would give you them?

SB: The biggest piece of advice is you have to talk to anybody that will listen – whether a team owner and you’re trying to get an opportunity, or someone else. You just want to talk to someone that will listen. As far as finding a ride and then sponsors, you want to talk to as many different companies and businesses as you can to try and find the right fit for you. It’s tough. You hear so many people say no, but just try and work through your network and find people that want to sponsor you.

But there’s so much more to it than just a logo on the car. A lot of people don’t know that or think about it; they just want the money to go racing, and really, it’s about building a relationship with a company or brand to where it’s mutually beneficial for everybody. So I would say the biggest thing is to talk to anybody that will listen. There’s nothing wrong with that.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement

Categories
News

Spencer Boyd To Run Full XFINITY Schedule in 2018

After putting in the hard work through the past couple of years, the pieces have all come together for Spencer Boyd to run the full NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule in 2018.

The 22-year-old will drive the No. 76 Chevrolet Camaro for SS Green Light in all 34 events with sponsorship backing from Grunt Style.

“It’s definitely a dream come true to be able to run full-time,” Boyd told POPULAR SPEED. “As someone whose ran part-time stuff in XFINITY in 2016, you go to a different track every time. It’ll be nice to go back to some of these tracks for a second or third time next time, and also a lot of new places. Going back to some of those places for the second time, it’ll be about improving from where we left off.

“To also be able to work with the same team and crew chief throughout the whole year, that means a lot, too.”

Over the past two years, Boyd has run six XFINITY Series events and six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races while looking to put together the right opportunity.

“He (Spencer) is one of the hardest working drivers I’ve seen,” SS Green Light Racing team owner Bobby Dotter said. “He is at the shop every day helping with the cars and making the guys laugh. Our organization is better because the team believes it when he says this is a team sport. We are looking forward to a great 2018 season.”

Grunt Style is a veteran-owned apparel company, focused on instilling patriotic pride behind each item.

“Spencer is part of our family. Over the past year, he has proven he has what it takes on and off the track to represent our brand. When he comes to our headquarters, it is like a big family reunion, except we do put him to work,” Grunt Style CEO, Daniel Alarik said. “Our affiliation with NASCAR had been instrumental in the growth of our brand. It has opened many doors for us, and we are reaching a huge audience.”

Beyond grateful for the company’s support, Boyd already put out a unique offer to fans in attendance each week at the races.

“I would like to put out there right now that if you are a veteran of our Armed Forces or actively serving, you are welcome to sign your name on my car anytime,” he said. “The same goes for anyone wearing Grunt Style apparel. You are the reason I race, and I am grateful.”

The new venture comes with familiarity for Boyd, as he will have Jason Miller calling the shots atop the pit box. Miller has worked with Boyd in each of his last four series starts.

“One of the biggest things is in my whole career is I set realistic expectations and go out and crush those goals,” Boyd said. “I want to go out there and finish races, learn the race tracks, and be there at the end. You’re not going to get to learn and do your best by not finishing races, so that’s going to be our goal – to go out there and run all the laps and make sure each week to build on it.

“Hopefully, when we go to places for the second time, our starting and finishing positions will improve throughout the year.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement

Categories
Trucks

Rick Ware Going Trucking with Spencer Boyd

After spending the last five years focused on the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Rick Ware Racing has announced a shift in their focus for 2017. The organization is set to focus primarily on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The Truck Series is nothing new for RWR, though, with 244 starts to their credit over the past 16 years. They’ve had limited success along the way, scoring six top-10s with the last coming in 2013 with Timmy Hill finishing sixth at Talladega Superspeedway.

The team is starting to put the pieces together, announcing on Friday that Spencer Boyd will run at least half of the Truck Series schedule in 2017.

“Participating in Speed Weeks is a dream come true,” says Boyd.  “I’m looking forward to working with a crew chief and team week after week so we build on our experiences at the shop and on the track.  Our goals and values are aligned.  Our sponsorship roster is coming together.  We will be going to the race track to race!”

Boyd made his XFINITY Series debut with RWR this year at Iowa Speedway, finishing 29th. He went on to to make another XFINITY Series start, as well as three Truck Series starts. His best truck series finish was 19th at Gateway Motor Speedway.

“Our effort in 2016 was about getting approved for all tracks and feeling comfortable at this level of racing,” reflects Boyd.  “We worked with many great partners to achieve a successful debut season.  I am thankful for the opportunities I was given in 2016, now look forward to going fast and competing with Rick Ware in 2017.”

Boyd and Ware have known each other for a long time, including Boyd and Rick’s son Cody spending time as roommates through the 2012 Legend Car Series season.

“I have followed Spencer’s career for many years now,” comments Ware.  “He has impressed me at every level.  Our organization is excited to have this young talent on our team and personally it’s rewarding to see our dreams of years ago come to life.”

Over the past seven years, plenty of drivers have stepped behind the wheel of an XFINITY Series car for Rick Ware, scoring four top-10s including a top-five which came in 2014 courtesy of Kevin O’Connell at Road America.

Rick Ware Racing stated the truck number, sponsors, and anticipated race schedule will be released at a later date.

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

FOLLOW ON TWITTER:@ladybug388

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.