For Spillers, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte student is hoping the North-South Shootout will also put an end to the bad luck that has plagued the second half of his 2016 season.
Following a win in the pro late model finale at the now-defunct Columbus Motor Speedway, leading every lap of the race from the pole, Spillers’ last three outings – similar to Jarrell’s – have ended with bad luck and a DNF in the results column.
Outings at Southern National Motorsports Park, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis and Central Texas Speedway resulted in two crashes (SNMP and LOR) and an electrical issue (CTS) that knocked the driver of the No. 76 POW-MIA/MyComputerCareer.edu/Team Johnson Racing super late model out of contention to add to his season wins total.
Now, Spillers is hoping to utilize a strategy similar to Jarrell’s en route to scoring a solid result in his final race of the season.
“We’ve got a motor that’s not quite a crate package … it’s got a little more power … but it’s close,” Spillers explained on Friday during open practice. “I’ve basically been flat-footing it on the dogleg end like Trey has been, and that’s where we really stay with the rest of the field.”
Spillers circled his Columbus win on Aug. 27 as a major confidence builder for both he and his team through the second half of the season, and hopes to use it as momentum for the weekend at Concord.
“That (win) was a huge moment for all of us,” Spillers said with a smile. “To go out the way we did, start on the pole and lead every lap … you just can’t script it like that, especially since that was the last race for that track to operate. I loved racing there and I hate to see such a historic facility close its doors. I’m happy to say that I was able to pick up a win there before that happened.”
“From a sponsorship perspective, too, it was a humbling experience to talk to the veterans at the track – ones who have raced there for decades – and to listen to some of their stories. I believe it put a smile on everyone’s face to see the speedway going out on a high note and that’s been a huge bright spot of my season … is to be able to support the POW-MIA initiative and to meet so many of the service members that have served our country.”
While Saturday will be Spillers’ first PASS South start of the season, he’s not worried about the unknowns that come with racing with a new set of drivers – he’s simply focused on managing the challenges of the tricky Concord half-mile and surviving the day.
“We know this race often sees a lot of crashes and my goal is to get this car to the end in one piece so that we can have a solid finish. We know where we’re lacking against some of the guys and we know where we can take it to them a little bit, but this race and this track is about survival. I learned that last year here when I ran the pro late models.”
“I’m excited to see what we’ve got though. It may be the last race, but we’re still focused on going out on a high.”
Race Chaser Online will carry live coverage of both Friday qualifying and Saturday’s feature races through the website’s new ‘Race Chaser Live’ update feed, found by clicking here.
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 22-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as both the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series and the co-track announcer at Millbridge Speedway.
Email Jacob at: email@example.com
Email Race Chaser Online: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews