Sears Point: Jimmy Spencer preview

Jimmy Spencer not your Mr. "Right" MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 19, 2003) -- Let's be honest here. Jimmy Spencer would rather race on a track full of thumbtacks or drive a car with block wheels if it meant he didn't have to turn right. Spencer...

Jimmy Spencer not your Mr. "Right"

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 19, 2003) -- Let's be honest here. Jimmy Spencer would rather race on a track full of thumbtacks or drive a car with block wheels if it meant he didn't have to turn right. Spencer hates turning right, so much that he's figured out a way to take his kids to school using only lefts. It takes an extra half-hour, but he sees it as quality time -- quality time with no right turns.

So as you can imagine, Spencer has looked forward to this weekend like he would a visit to the proctologist. He insists NASCAR Winston Cup stock cars were never meant to race on road courses, and he promises you he wasn't. Regardless, the series visits road courses twice a year, and this weekend's Dodge/Save Mart 350k at Infineon Raceway (formerly known as Sears Point) is a crucial a points race in the 36-week NASCAR Winston Cup schedule.

With many right turns in his future this weekend, Spencer discusses his thoughts on road courses. He also asks the question we've all been wondering: Why did Jeff Gordon get to drive Juan Montoya's Formula One car last week and not Jimmy Spencer?

Team SIRIUS driver Jimmy Spencer's thoughts:

Have you been practicing your right turns this week?

"My son suggested I play his racing video games, because Jeff Gordon told him it helps you become familiar with the course. I don't know, I might try it. We tested at VIR (Virginia International Raceway) a few weeks ago and learned a lot. I think Tommy has built a pretty good road course car for us, so it's my job to get up on the wheel and drive it."

You don't typically care for road courses, do you?

"I don't think our cars are designed to drive on road courses, but we go to them twice a year so there's nothing we can really do about it other than figure out how to go fast. You've got guys who are really good on road courses, like Jeff Gordon and Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart. They know how to get around a road course. Then you've got other teams who bring in road course specialists to drive their cars for the weekend, and you know they're going to be good. So the SIRIUS team has its work cut out. We're still trying to find some consistency, and whether we like it or not, this weekend is a big race in helping us achieve that goal."

It seems nobody wants to acknowledge it, but you've had some pretty good finishes on road courses in the past.

"Yeah, I think I finished fourth or fifth here a few years ago. I've had some good runs on road courses, so it's not like I'm completely oblivious to it. At the same time, I don't think Juan Montoya is going to be knocking on my door to run his Formula One car like Jeff Gordon did at Indy a few weeks ago (Tradin' Paint on SPEED Channel). I watched that and got a big kick out of it. That was cool to watch Jeff drive the F1 car and Juan drive the stock car. Neither one had driven the other car before. That's hard to believe, because they're both such great drivers. I enjoyed watching that."

If you do well this weekend, maybe they'll consider you a road course expert and let you drive an F1 car next year.

"Yeah, that's true. But I don't think I could be on a show called "Tradin' Paint" and not do a little rubbing (term used for bumping another car.) And that's why I won't be staying up at nights waiting on that phone call."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Jimmy Spencer , Robby Gordon