BUSCH: Darlington II: Jimmy Spencer preview

From here on out, Spencer taking no prisoners 1-800-pit-shop.com 200. CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 21, 2002) -- Fresh off his win at Bristol last weekend, Jimmy Spencer is approaching the remainder of this season in a new light -- no ...

From here on out, Spencer taking no prisoners 1-800-pit-shop.com 200.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 21, 2002) -- Fresh off his win at Bristol last weekend, Jimmy Spencer is approaching the remainder of this season in a new light -- no prisoners!

Claiming that "patience" has cost him two wins this year, Spencer drove the #1 Yellow Chevrolet like a man on a mission last Friday night at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Essentially, it helped him lead 132 of the 250 laps to earn his 12th career Busch Series win, but even when pacing the field he didn't shy away from taking his car three-wide into the turns against lapped traffic.

"I'm not slowing down anymore," he said afterward.  "From here on
out, it's no prisoners.  If the engine blows, it blows.  If I wreck, I
wreck.  I'm going as fast as the car will take me."

That said, Spencer and the #1 Yellow Racing team will take to the tricky oval of Darlington Raceway for the 1-800-PIT-SHOP.com 200 (1 p.m. EDT on TNT). With four straight top-10s and a win now in the books, Spencer's approach on life has become even more simplified -- go hard or go home. Last weekend's win in the Busch race and eighth-place finish in the Winston Cup race proved there's still a lot of fight left in the cagey veteran. And one thing is for sure -- he has no plans of stopping!

Jimmy Spencer's thoughts --

After winning the Food City 250 last weekend, you said that you were taking "no prisoners" from here on out. What did you mean by that?

"I feel that sitting back and being patient has cost me two wins in Winston Cup this year. There are times when you need to be patient, like when you're in the middle of a pack, or when you're racing close with other cars. But if I'm leading the race, I'm going to try to leave everyone else behind -- pure and simple. I'll go as far as the car will take me. If something breaks, so be it. I'll race another day."

As you go to Darlington this weekend, you'll be going there on the heels of a win. How nice is that?

"Anytime you win it raises spirits. You look forward to getting in the race car again, because you want more. Winning makes you greedy. You win once, you want a second. You win twice, you want a third. I've won 12 times now in the Busch Series, and I want more. I think we can get more, too. James Finch (Phoenix Racing owner) gives me great cars, and we had a good car last time at Darlington. And I'll tell you another thing: that win in the Busch race last Friday night gave me more confidence in the (Winston) Cup race. Winning changes everything."

You haven't been terribly happy with the way your Busch Series or Cup Series seasons have gone. Do you feel that's changing?

"We need to win in the Target Dodge. We're knocking on the door there, and the Bristol race was another step in the right direction. We had a great car, some really good pit stops, and it was fun. As for Team Yellow, we knew what we were capable of. We won three times last year, so it was frustrating not having a win yet this season. I hope the Bristol win changes things. You'd be amazed how confidence and momentum plays a big part in this sport."

What is your relationship with Darlington Raceway like?

"Of all the tracks I go to, I respect Ol' Lady Darlington the most. She can be your worst nightmare, and she hands out those Darlington stripes on a regular basis. That's why they call her The Lady In Black. It's just a treacherous place to race. The fans get their money's worth, no question about it. It's a race track the drivers either come out saying 'I'm really, really happy' or saying 'Boy I just had a terrible day. I'm glad we're out of here.'"

Is Darlington the kind of track that will creep up and bite you when you least expect it?

"Absolutely. Of all the race tracks, Darlington is the one that you can get in trouble the quickest. When I say trouble, you run three inches from the wall all around the race track, and the moment you take your mind off of the wall, that's when you run into it. The track just wasn't designed for our type of racing. But on the other side of it, when you watch a race at Darlington, you'll see better races there than at any other race track."


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Drivers Jimmy Spencer
Teams Phoenix Racing