March 7, 2014 — Audio and story by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Photo courtesy race22.com — DAWSONVILLE, GA — Talk about an adrenaline rush.
Late model star Spencer Davis is still riding the high of his performance from just over a week ago at the 2014 World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. The 15-year-old from Dawsonville, Georgia impressed fans and foes alike during Florida Speedweeks when he rolled to two wins and the overall Pro Late Model division championship for the Smyrna World Series while competing in a total of 20 races across three divisions over the nine night motorsports marathon.
“We had a crazy Speedweeks this year,” Davis said emphatically following his return from Florida. “It was a lot of laps, a lot of going back and forth between setups and car feels, but wow, to have the kind of showing we did, really across all three classes, it was special for me and this team and really proved I felt that people should be keeping an eye on us this year.”
“There are a bunch of great racers like David Rogers, Dick Trickle, Mark Martin and many others who have won New Smyrna World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing championships. To be right up there with them as the 2014 Pro Late Model champion is a real cool deal.”
When asked about the challenges of running three different divisions and nearly two dozen races in nine nights, Davis chuckled before responding.
“Racing in three divisions can take a lot out of you each night, both mentally and physically. Especially when you are constantly sweating going from one car to another. It’s a hard deal, but it is something I have to get used to because I hope to run at least 500 miles every Sunday. ”
Davis, who started his career at six years old and progressed rapidly through the go-kart and Late Model Truck ranks, has been a rising talent in the Southeast over the last two years. The young Georgian grabbed his first Pro Late Model triumph in 2012 at Gresham Motorsports Park, his home track, and scored the track championship in a tight battle at the end of the 2012 season. Davis has competed in some of the biggest Pro and Super Late Model races in the country over the past couple of years, including the All-American 400, where he finished 11th in his rookie appearance, the World Crown 300 and the Snowball Derby.
Davis picked up three Pro Late Model wins in 2013, triumphing at San Antonio (TX) Speedway, Fairgrounds Speedway (Nashville, TN) and Southern National (NC) Motorsports Park, showcasing his skills at a variety of different short tracks nationwide.
“We had a solid 2013 season,” the Georgia native said in a recent interview to Race Chaser Online. “Nothing spectacular, got to victory lane a couple times. All in all it was a good year for us, and certainly gives us a solid platform to build on for this year.”
Davis has already had a breakout start to his 2014 season. In addition to his PLM title at the World Series of Stock Car Racing, Davis also has another PLM victory at New Smyrna to his name and a runner-up finish in the PLM portion of SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Georgia. He finished 9th in Super Late Model points at the World Series and sixth in the Tour Modified division points in his modified debut, racing the Hill Enterprises #79 for the first time.
“Man, running the Modified for the first time was crazy. It was like nothing else I had ever driven before,” Davis said of his drives for team manager David Hill. “It was so different than the late models and it was really a big learning experience for me.”
“The biggest differences for me were the braking points, motors and tires,” Davis added. “You have so much tire that you drive the car in a different way. “I struggled with that the first two nights in switching back and forth from cars.”
“But, overall, the experience was good. We could hang right there with Ryan Preece, Matt Hirschman, Ron Silk and others. I couldn’t figure out the passing stuff real well because we were all so close. At the end, it was great experience and I was so proud of how well the team ran in Florida and felt like we made a good first impression.”
Good first impression indeed. Davis had such an impressive rookie showing that Hill Enterprises called him up for a second chance. The young talent will make his NASCAR WHELEN Southern Modified Tour debut on Sunday afternoon for the team at Caraway Speedway in the WHELEN Season Opener 150, as well as drive for the team in the KOMA Unwind Modified Series season opener at Hickory Motor Speedway on March 22nd.
“I’m thankful and honored that David Hill and the guys at Hill Racing called me back up for another shot at racing the modified,” Davis expressed following the announcement. “It’s gonna be a really cool deal for me, especially racing the Southern Modified Tour for the first time. I’m gonna be focused on finishing all the laps, getting more experience in the modified car and staying out of trouble, just trying to learn all I can.”
As for the rest of his 2014 season, Davis will race the Southern Super Series in hopes of finally capturing the first career Super Late Model win that has eluded him for the past two seasons, as well as other races throughout the Southeast and abroad.
“We’ve been so close to grabbing that first Super win a bunch of times, and it just seems the breaks have never quite fallen our way. I’m really hoping we can change that this year, it’s something I want to cross off the to-do list really badly.”
“Hey, the door opened for me to run a modified, and I never thought that would happen, so who knows? Maybe this year is the year that door opens for us to finally sit in victory lane with the Super Late Model.”
For more on 15-year-old Spencer Davis, visit www.spencer-davis.net, follow him on Twitter, @SpencerDavis_29, or “Like” Spencer Davis Motorsports on Facebook.
Listen in as we talked with Spencer about his outlook on his 2014 season in the Pro and Super Late Model ranks and his rise up the motorsports ladder: