Spencer Likes Thunderbirds at Daytona

Spencer likes chances in Thunderbird at Daytona By Shawn A. Akers DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 12, 1998) Jimmy Spencer knows the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's an edict that Spencer and the No. 23 Team...

Spencer likes chances in Thunderbird at Daytona By Shawn A. Akers

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 12, 1998) Jimmy Spencer knows the old adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's an edict that Spencer and the No. 23 Team Winston/No Bull Ford team intend to live by this week heading to Daytona International Speedway for Saturday night's Pepsi 400.

Bucking the norm, Spencer and his team ran a Thunderbird instead of its usual Taurus on Sunday in the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The strategy resulted in a fourth-place finish, Spencer's best since a second-place run in the DieHard 500 at Talladega in April.

Team Winston will take the same Thunderbird it ran at Talladega on Sunday to Daytona for this Saturday's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

"We'll run the Thunderbird," Spencer said. "It performed really well at Talladega and we have a pretty good idea of what we ran for shocks and springs and everything, so why wouldn't you run the same car? We ran really good. I would think it would be smart to bring the same car back. I'm sure that's what the top-10 cars will probably do."

Other teams, such as the No. 77 Jasper Engines team, the No. 97 John Deere team and the No. 47 Team fanscanrace.com team, also brought Thunderbirds to Talladega this past weekend. Spencer still dotes on the Thunderbird, despite the fact that a Taurus, with Dale Jarrett behind the wheel, won the Winston 500.

The reason for that is that Spencer won the Bud Shootout Qualifying race with a Thunderbird back in February at Daytona. "I think it's got a really good body (the Thunderbird)," Spencer said. "This is the car we ran really well with before. I think the guys that put the body on our Taurus didn't do quite as good a job as they did on this Thunderbird. They know it and that's what we're gonna do this winter. We're gonna build two new Tauruses for Daytona, and we're gonna learn a lot from it."

Spencer finished 12th in the Daytona 500 in February, in a Taurus.

Spencer has tasted victory twice during his NASCAR Winston Cup career. Both of those came on restrictor plate tracks in 1994. He won at Talladega in the summer that year, but prior to that, he took his first checkered flag in the Pepsi 400, driving a car owned by Junior Johnson, in a classic battle with Ernie Irvan.

The driver of the No. 23 Winston No Bull Ford is a bit leery about driving under the lights for the first time at Daytona on this historic Saturday, but believes his team can bring home another strong finish.

"I'm a little skeptical about under the lights. I just hope we can see really good," Spencer said. "I'm sure that we can. I think we'll have a good night. We've run really well at Daytona in the past and I had a good car there for the 500, so I don't see why it would be any different (on Saturday night.)"

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Dale Jarrett , Jimmy Spencer , Junior Johnson