Jimmy Spencer reflects on 2002 season.
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 14, 2002) - Somewhere in North Carolina a porch swing beckons. And Jimmy Spencer - a man who makes a living by going fast - will find a deep appreciation in the slow, relaxing strides that only it can offer.
For now, Spencer has his mind on the taking the #1 Yellow Chevrolet to the front in the season finale Busch Series race here at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Saturday's Ford 300 is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. (EST) and will be televised live on NBC.
Despite this 300-mile event the only thing separating Spencer from a three-month vacation, the Berwick, Pa. native gets a jump on rehashing the 2002 season. The questions are simple, and so are the answers. As you will see, it was one heck of a ride.
Driver Jimmy Spencer's thoughts -
Proudest moment with the #1 Yellow Racing team:
"Definitely winning at Bristol. We were long overdue, and it was nice to get back into Victory Lane."
Most difficult time driving the #1 Yellow Chevrolet:
"Wherever it was when it was so freaking hot. Chicago, I think. Yeah, it was Chicago (6th-place finish on July 13). I was about to pass out."
Best pit-work of the season:
"There's so many I don't even know where to begin. I recall the Michigan race (9th-place finish on Aug. 17) being one where the guys had to completely change everything on the car, and we still ended up finishing in the top 10. The car was evil - so tight in the corners it wouldn't turn. It took the entire race to make all the changes, and we still ended with a pretty decent finish. That was a Yes We Can attitude if I've ever saw one. Of course, you've got to throw in Bristol, because good pit stops helped us win that race."
Wildest ride in the #1 Yellow Chevrolet:
"Fortunately we haven't had any wild rides this year - knock on wood. I know the Talladega wreck was one of the wildest ones I've ever seen, and we got collected in it but not bad enough to where I couldn't drive it back to the garage. That was a crazy wreck - 29 or 30 cars I think."
Driver you were most impressed with this year:
"Scott Riggs. The guy can drive a race car. I'd also have to say Scott Wimmer."
Best crowd at a Yellow distribution center:
"You know what, they were all pretty good. That's one of the best parts about driving a race car for Yellow. I love making those visits, and I'll tell you why:
There's not a more honest group of people than the guys and gals at Yellow Transportation, and that's the way I am also. They're not shy. They'll ask you honest questions, and I give them honest answers. I've got a sincere appreciation for people like that. We made quite a few visits at different Yellow terminals, and I had a good time at every one - Chicago, Dallas, California, Charlotte, Kansas City. It's a lot of fun."
One thing you would do differently if you had it to do over again:
"Not miss driver introductions at Daytona."
What about California?
"Yeah, that one too."
Mistake you made at any point this season that sticks out in your mind:
"I can think of several. Hitting the wall at Charlotte is one of them. I was pretty much all by myself. That was a situation where I went to the guys and apologized for tearing up their race car."
A race where you felt you were among friends:
"Daytona in February. I had some pretty good drafting help, mainly from Jason Keller."
A race where you felt you were not among friends:
"Daytona in July. Nobody would break out of line. They were just content to finish in the top 10. That made me mad. I also think back to when I got wrecked at Dover. I didn't think that was very friendly."
The most fun you had away from the track:
"I was able to do a lot of fun stuff this year. I love going to Vegas. I love playing golf, and I was able to squeeze in a few rounds at different places this year. I was able to go to a Pennzoil World of Outlaws sprint car race a few weeks ago, and that was fun."
The most unfortunate circumstance of 2002:
"We lost a fellow competitor in Andy Kirby this year, so that's definitely the first thing that comes to mind. Also, not having my buddy Jeff Purvis around is very unfortunate. He was hurt pretty bad in a wreck early in the season. I saw Purvis the other day at the track, and it was really good seeing him. He's a good friend of mine, and a really good friend of James Finch's. I hope he's able to get back in the car soon."
Predictions for Miami this weekend:
"The same as always. We're confident we can get a good finish and possibly even a win. We always have strong cars. We finished sixth last week at Phoenix, so we're looking to do even better this weekend."
Do you plan to do any fishing on that big lake in the Homestead-Miami
"No, I don't fish a whole lot. I leave that to Johnny Allen (Team Yellow car chief). He's the man when it comes to fishing.
Why? Do you not like to bait the hook?
"That doesn't bother me. In fact, that's one of my favorite parts."
Yellow Transportation is the sponsor of the #1 Yellow Racing entry. Yellow says Yes We Can to more shipping needs than any other transportation provider. The Yellow portfolio of services includes: Exact Express, Definite Delivery, and Standard Ground. For more information on Yellow Racing and on the Yellow portfolio of services, visit the company's state-of-the-art website at www.myyellow.com.