Loudon: Jimmy Spencer race report

Spencer manhandles magic mile Team ASE/Carquest Dodge driver posts first NCTS win in only second outing LOUDON, NH- (September 14, 2003) -Jimmy Spencer won the New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday, holding off ...

Spencer manhandles magic mile
Team ASE/Carquest Dodge driver posts first NCTS win in only second outing

LOUDON, NH- (September 14, 2003) -Jimmy Spencer won the New Hampshire 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway on Saturday, holding off a furious late race challenge by rookie Carl Edwards. Spencer and Edwards waged a fierce battle for the top spot after a restart with 15 laps to go, trading paint coming off turn four, with Spencer ultimately emerging with his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win in only his second series start.

"I didn't mean to get into Carl (Edwards)," Spencer said after the race. "He had a good run at me, and he got right into the right-rear quarter panel. I got together with him, and I sure didn't want that to happen. My Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge was really good after three or four laps after the restart. I knew I was a tenth and a half faster than he was, but that's life. I did not want to bump Carl. I sure didn't mean it. But he came over, and he knows. He said he would have done the same thing - we're racing to win. I'm glad he got second, though. We'll race again this year. Hopefully we'll have a good finish, and he can beat us one time."

Spencer's weekend started out in grand fashion on Friday when the Berwick, PA native captured the Bud Pole by lapping the "Magic Mile" in 29.90 seconds (127.346 mph). Spencer's first NCTS pole was the third of the season for the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge.

"We were actually a little loose in qualifying," Spencer said. "But it was still good enough. Anytime you sit on a pole or qualify really well, you'd always like to have a lap back because you know you could've done better. It doesn't matter if you're second, fifth, 10th or 25th, it just never fails that as a good, competitive person you want to do the best you can for your race team, because they always give everything that they can. I really thought that our time was going to get bumped off. I just couldn't get it into the corner like I wanted to. I had to get back on the brake a little bit, and it cost me about two-tenths or so. But, all in all it was a good run for us."

While Spencer's qualifying run provided much needed track position at the start of the event, it was a decision made by crew chief Dennis Connor and Spencer after qualifying that proved pivotal in the team's win. The duo elected to utilize a carburetor that maximized fuel mileage while sacrificing horsepower.

"We came up here knowing this was going to be a fuel mileage race," Connor said. "We did a lot of things that were going to help this Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge get a lot better fuel mileage than what we've been doing in the past 10 races. We gave up some horsepower, but Junior Johnson used to say that horsepower doesn't win races anyway. He was right today. Jimmy Spencer did a heck of a job, and the whole team did a heck of a job today."

"I was four laps short on fuel," Spencer said. "Ol' Darrell Waltrip used to say, 'Start breathing early.' So I was breathing as early as I could. Early in the race I wasn't worrying about the fuel mileage. I was about a tenth and a half to two seconds better than any truck. But Dennis told me to worry about my fuel and to start to conserve. I started slowing down and he gave me my lap times, and I knew I could run two-tenths quicker if I had to. But I gave two-tenths a lap to save me three or four laps, and it worked out for us."

Spencer led three times for 124 laps and pocketed $49,300 for his day's work. His Ultra Motorsports team collected $10,000 for winning the Craftsman "Win from the Pole Award." He becomes the sixth driver to win in each of NASCAR's top three divisions (Winston Cup, Busch, and NCTS), joining Kevin Harvick, Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader, Bobby Hamilton and Mark Martin.

The next race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is Saturday September 20th at California Speedway in Fontana, CA. The race is scheduled to take the green flag at 4:00 pm ET and will be broadcast live nationally by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Darrell Waltrip , Terry Labonte , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Kevin Harvick , Carl Edwards , Mark Martin