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Fender to Fender: An Exclusive Interview with Spencer Boyd

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Spencer Boyd driver of the No. 20 Chevrolet for Young’s Motorsports in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series, opened up to our Sarah Handy at Charlotte Motor Speedway on his season, his love of Richmond Raceway and his socks, yes, his Patriotic socks and more.

Sarah Handy: 17th at Kansas some good momentum to carry over to tomorrow?

Spencer Boyd: Yeah, you know coming off of Dover, running a backup truck, that was stressful, so Kansas just getting through the race, having a solid run. Just got to clean up a few things on my end and the pit crew and looking forward to Charlotte and getting everything fired on all eight cylinders and having a good day, but 17th isn’t bad. We’re still 12th in the points.

SH: There’s always a lot of talk about the short tracks in each of the three series. Do you think there should be more short tracks when it comes to any of the series?

SB: For me growing up short track racing just like everyone else, you’ve got a lot of experience on short tracks. I think the driver can shine a little bit more and it’s not just equipment based. Short tracks, equipment is still important, set up, but you can make up a little bit as a driver, so that’s cool. I’d love for there to be more short tracks. I’d love to race every weekend, you know 22 races is a decent amount but coming from Xfinity where I’ve been running 33, it’s a little crazy.

SH: With one of your Facebook lives you did; you mentioned your love of Richmond. You must be excited the Trucks are going to race there next season.

SB: Yeah, so for me, I’ve ran three Xfinity races at Richmond. First time there, racing really hard with Dale Jr, that was pretty cool. That’s probably led to me being a fan of Richmond because I did have a good run. The last two races there were pretty solid as well. It’s just cool that the tracks right there in the city, there’s a lot of people there, it’s got a cool grandstand, it’s always packed, it’s night racing and I love night racing. It’s got that mile and a half speed it feels like, but you can lean on each other, you can knock fenders, and leave doughnuts on each other. It’s a cool race, I’m stoked that the trucks are going back.

SH: In the same Facebook live session you also mentioned you’d like to make your Cup debut at Richmond, but if Richmond wasn’t possible what’s another track you think you would choose if you could?

SB: Yeah. Well, if Cup decided to go to Iowa, I would definitely say I’d love to be in the first Cup race at Iowa. That’s another track that I think its kind of similar to Richmond. I do enjoy the short tracks, and for me, if it wasn’t Richmond for Cup debut, and it couldn’t be a Speedway, I’d say probably New Hampshire. I like New Hampshire.

SH: Triple duty (Trucks, Xfinity and Cup in one weekend) do you ever think you’d want to do it?

SB: I think every driver would love to do that and it’s one thing to do it and it’s another thing to be Kyle Busch and go do it successfully. You know when he sweeps the weekend that’s huge but seeing Ross Chastain, he’s done triple duty a lot this year and I think it’s made him a better race car driver all around. I know those opportunities are few and far between, but it is awesome, and I think as a driver you want to race as much and in anything you can.

SH: This season, do you guys feel that you’re headed in the right direction? You did finish 4th at Daytona and I feel like a lot of people sometimes forget that, it goes over there head now and they don’t really think about it because it was at the beginning of the season.

SB: 4th for us set us up for sure and that was a good break out race for me in the truck series and being with a new team. Speedway racing is a lot of survival, and a lot of making the right moves and we made a lot of the right moves. Missing wrecks is key to success. It worked out in our favor. I’ve had Speedway races not go my way before, so that was great, it got us off on the right foot with points.

For us, working on our mile and a half program is the biggest thing and I don’t want to blame that on Young’s and their equipment getting better. I’m really blessed to be driving the 20 Truck for Young’s and having the opportunity to be affiliated with Chevrolet. Personally, mile and a half’s have always been my Achilles heel, so working with Panda, my spotter and Tyler Young getting better at mile and a half’s. We’ve shown good at the mile and a half’s and not so good days. I think Charlotte is going to be a better track for me, Texas was great, so I’m excited to go back there, we finished 12th. Kansas was okay, we still finished 17th but it’s a flat mile and a half, it has a lot different feel then a Charlotte, a Texas or a Kentucky. I think we’re headed in the right direction; I don’t want to lose sight of what we’ve accomplished but there’s a lot more out there on the horizon.

SH: Last year you ran Xfinity for a smaller team, this year some people may refer to Young’s as a smaller team, but you do run three trucks. Do you feel this year having the teammates that you do helps make a difference, do you share information with one another?

SB: It’s tough, you know. We’re three rookies. I’ve got the most NASCAR experience, for sure but I’m a rookie in the Truck Series. My two teammates, you know, we all drive totally different. We’ve all got a lot going on outside of the race trucks. Tyler and everyone on the team, crew chiefs work hard together. I think there’s a lot more behind the scenes as far as the crew chiefs working together. Having three trucks is really good, as far as drivers we drive so different it’s tough to compare notes, but you can tell some drivers, Gus is better at one track and I’m better at the other it’s just how it works out sometimes.

It is great to have that much data coming in, this is Young’s first season having three teams so it’s a good thing but it’s also a lot of work. I know Tyler and everyone at the shop are up for it and their putting in a lot of hours to make it happen but as a driver, you know sometimes teammates are your worst enemy. They set the precedent for the equipment and you as well so you’re constantly competing against them to be better and we’ve had our days and not our days. Looking forward too it, we’re a third of the way through the season and it’s hard to believe that we’re basically a third of the way. Moving forward we know the direction we need to go in and I think we can stay up there in the top-12 in points if we keep making the right decisions.

SH: Some drivers do, and some don’t, but do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?

SB: For me, I do the same thing every time as far as putting your left glove on first verse your right and the way you put your belts on. It’s just like you’re comfortable and you can tell, like I can have a conversation with someone through the window while I’m doing it but if I mess up, it’s like unplug everything, restart because it’s just one of those things. It’s cool, I think a lot of athletes are that way, the NASCAR drivers are definitely that way. That’s your office, that’s your cocoon, you’re in there for two, three hours, so you’ve got to be comfortable. You don’t want any outside distractions.

SH: I have to shift to the Patriotic stuff because you guys are probably one of the top teams with the American Flag and that sort of thing. Would you like to run a Patriotic scheme if you could?

SB: I’d run a Patriotic scheme every week if I could. Paint schemes have a lot to do with partners and brands. My brand as far as Spencer Boyd, my logo is the Eagle. I partner with a lot of made in the USA companies, Veteran owned companies. To me the flag means a lot and I try to promote that. Being a 23-year-old, just letting people know, the younger fan base and folks my age, that you need to stand for the flag, you need to appreciate what those guys and gals have done. That’s definitely my brand, people love it or hate it, but I think a lot more people love it then hate it, so that’s good. I have a lot of fun just being myself on social media about the Patriotism and doing what I can for veterans. You know we’re really busy there’s only so much time in the day and we travel a lot, but I have a lot of fun, I enjoy it and I’m proud to have that brand. People recognize it as being Patriotic.

SH: You have the Podcast too, that sticks out there.

SB: Yeah, The Eagles Nest.

SH: Who’s idea was it, was it you or Josh?

SB: It’s definitely a combination. You know, Josh, he’s been with me building the brand for a while here and there’s a lot of things on social media that have been his idea. You know, one my logo, we all talked about the Eagle, you know my parents, Josh, my buddies and I, like hey the Eagle would be cool. Then with the design of the logo, I started leaning on everybody for that and it turned out really cool. The Eagles Nest, I can’t say for sure, but I think Josh may have come up with The Eagles Nest, but it was probably a conversation of seven people in a group chat going “We’re going to do a podcast, what do you guys think.” The name I think just came from a bunch of us talking. It’s pretty cool, the podcast is a lot of fun, it’s a cool way to reach people, good way to get our sponsors out there and then let people know that I’m a huge race fan, I love it. I grew up watching racing, things like that and it’s cool to have my buddy Josh on the podcast, you can’t do a podcast alone.

(Josh (The PR Guys) did say Tim Dispain regarding the Podcast idea, because he wanted Spencer to have a segment on the show and it turned into Spencer’s own show).

SH: Speaking of the Patriotic theme, your socks, do you have at least a hundred pairs?

SB: Yeah, I got a lot. I don’t know, I’ve probably thrown away more pairs then I have and that’s a weird feeling. Being Patriotic, I don’t want to throw these socks away, but I’ve got so many cheap American Flag socks and I’ll tell you it’s hard to find American Flag socks. The main time to buy them is around Christmas or Fourth of July. All my friends, and family are buying me socks and I’m like well that’s cool, it’s part of growing up, but at least I’m getting cool socks.

People have really caught on, that was definitely my idea. One day I posted an Instagram story of my socks because they were American Flag and then people loved it. Then I realized I was wearing these American Flag socks five out of seven days. Then I just kind of made the decision I’m going to wear American Flag socks every day and I’m going to wear them in the race car and people expect it. It’s cool, we’ll be out and about and “Hey you got your socks on” or during an Autograph session I always got them, different styles but it’s definitely stuck with me.

SH: You are only 23, but if you could go back and tell a younger Spencer anything, what would you tell yourself?

SB: Oh man, you know it’s tough. There’s so many highs and lows in racing, so I think you go back, and you tell Spencer that, you know it’s important to start your brand early and differentiate yourself from the competition outside of the racing. You’ve got to go perform well on the racetrack, but you need to have your own deal on social media and things that people will talk about outside of just you finishing 17th or 4th. That’s a wide range of finishes and not every week is going to be your week. You’ve just got to be resilient, that’s definitely how you’re going to make it in this sport. I’ve been a part of this sport for four years now, and I’m 23, it seems like I’ve been here a long time. I’m really fortunate and looking forward to being here you know another ten years would be the goal.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah is going into her third year covering NASCAR for Rubbings Racing as well as helping run their Social Media platforms. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah is an avid racing fan as well as a fan of the major New England sports teams. She is currently studying Public Relations and Marketing at SNHU with plans to move to North Carolina after graduation. Sarah also enjoys visiting her home track of NHMS each year, reading, running and photography.

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