Jimmy Spencer never forgets. TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 16, 2002) -- The phrase has been branded to Spencer ever since he emphatically uttered the words into a television camera one year ago this week in response to a final-lap incident with Mike ...
Jimmy Spencer never forgets.
TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 16, 2002) -- The phrase has been branded to Spencer ever since he emphatically uttered the words into a television camera one year ago this week in response to a final-lap incident with Mike McLaughlin that cost him a win at NASCAR's largest track, the Talladega Superspeedway.
Fenders bumped in a heated dash to the checkered flag, with McLaughlin crossing the line first. Spencer was not happy with his runner-up finish, especially with how the final lap played out. He guaranteed to a national television audience that the ploys used to get around the #1 Yellow Pontiac that day would never escape his memory. He would not forget.
That said, Spencer and the Yellow Racing Team will return to Talladega with high hopes of winning the Aaron's 312 Busch Grand National event Saturday. The race, which will air live on FOX at 2 p.m. (EST), has been a point of emphasis for Team Yellow ever since its strong run at Daytona to start the season.
With his bags packed and his Yellow Pontiac ready to hit the Talladega asphalt after a successful test session last week, Spencer talks about the track, drafting partners and, of course, the story behind his famous catch phrase.
Driver Jimmy Spencer's thoughts:
Obviously, the big story as you head back to Talladega will be last year's race and how you emphasized for the first time, "Jimmy Spencer Never Forgets." Is that saying now permanently branded to you?
"I hear it a lot, especially from the fans. It's a good saying, because I don't forget. They cost me the win there last year, and I was upset about that. Talladega is a place I love to drive at, and I wanted to win that race. When I didn't, I just said something in the heat of the moment, and it stuck. It wasn't meant to be derogatory toward anybody. I just meant that whoever wants help some time, I'll remember who helped and who didn't help."
So you don't forget the good or the bad, right?
"That's exactly right. Look at Jason Keller at Daytona. He helped me a lot at Daytona, and somewhere down the line, he'll get the favor returned. I don't forget about that either. I don't forget about the good things or the bad things. You give and take in this sport. You don't just take, take, take, take all the time. There may be a chance this weekend at Talladega where Keller needs help in the draft. If I'm in position to give him help, I'll do it."
That saying has become quite marketable, hasn't it?
"It has. People have fun with it, and it's helped sell a lot of T-Shirts. It's just one of those things that has stuck around, and if it sells, then that's good for Yellow."
Talladega is a track where you won one of your two Winston Cup races (1994). How excited are you about returning?
"We've always been good at Daytona and Talladega. And with this team, James Finch and the boys put together really good superspeedway cars. I'm excited about getting the Yellow Pontiac back out on the track, because I feel we would have won Daytona this year had the tire not cut down at the end. I've been to Talladega several times in a Busch car, and two times I finished second. I like Talladega. It's just like Daytona, there are so many circumstances that play into the outcome of the race -- fuel mileage, getting help in the draft. If you have to make an unscheduled pit stop, you lose the draft and you're no longer a factor in the race. Stuff like that makes Talladega a special place."
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