Three races into the 11-event super truck season at Hickory Motor Speedway, 18-year-old Spencer Boyd is undefeated and leading the series point standings.
Piloting a super truck owned by Scott Whitaker, Boyd made it known early in his first full season in the series that he would be tough to beat.
“Spencer always runs in the top three,” said Whitaker. “He has the talent, the ability and the personality to make me look good on the race track. I knew I could bring him to the race track, and he wouldn’t get me in trouble with his driving.”
Boyd made his super truck and limited late model debuts last year for Whitaker, who became familiar with the teenager’s driving ability during the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where both compete in Legend cars. Boyd competed in Semi-Pro, while Whitaker drove in the Masters division. On Boyd’s 18th birthday, Whitaker told the young man to come to his shop with his dad so they could talk.
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That was in June 2013. Before the season ended, Boyd had competed in four super truck races at Hickory. He produced four top-three finishes and one pole. Whitaker then asked Boyd about racing a limited late model in Hickory’s Fall Brawl. Boyd qualified sixth in that 27-car field and finished second in his limited late model debut.
“That was another really good stat for us.” Boyd said. “It just propelled us into this season. Scott Whitaker and all of the guys at the shop have done an amazing job for us. My family and I can’t be any more blessed.”
Boyd and his parents moved to Concord four years ago from St. Louis, where his grandfathers, Max Spencer and Paul Boyd, were familiar names in the southern Missouri racing scene.
“My dad always wanted to race, but being a child in a five-person family, they didn’t have the money. So that was kind of his goal, to introduce his son into racing and see if he liked it,” Boyd said. “My dad raced go-karts before I was born. He was actually racing go-karts while my mom was pregnant. She said, ‘As soon as Spencer’s born, no more go-karts.’ He was definitely eager to get me racing.”
At 4, Boyd received a dirt bike, and the family followed that route for two years. He was introduced to go-karts at age 6 and remained in that form of racing for seven years. Boyd then switched to Bandolero and Legend cars, competing in Bandoleros for about six months before moving to Legends.
His best season in a Semi-Pro Legend car was 2012, when he won 23 of 43 races and finished second in the national point standings.
“That was definitely my breakout year, and it got us more well-known in this area,” Boyd said.
After moving to Cabarrus County, Boyd attended Jay M. Robinson High School. However, the days he missed due to racing didn’t sit well with school administrators.
So he withdrew from the Concord school and completed his education at Abbington Hill School, a New Jersey-based institution that provides home schooling and distance learning. Boyd finished a year early, graduating at age 17. He enrolled immediately at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, where he began working on an associate degree in business/marketing. Once he graduates from RCCC, he plans to enroll at UNC Charlotte to study marketing.
In addition to attending school and racing on the weekends, Boyd works during the week for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Jennifer Jo Cobb.
“I’m trying to gain some knowledge, connect with people,” said Boyd, who previously detailed cars at Hendrick Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep in Concord, where his father is a salesman. “In racing, it’s all about who you know, so you definitely have to put yourself in the best opportunity to meet people.
“You have to hit every angle you can. You have to be the best race car driver you can, be in the best shape you can, and you definitely have to have a backup plan and be able to sell yourself. That’s the big thing in motorsports nowadays,” he said.
Boyd’s next 35-lap super truck race at Hickory is scheduled for May 24.
Stricklin battling for track title
Taylor Stricklin, from Mount Ulla, is third in the limited late model standings at Hickory Motor Speedway. The grandson of retired NASCAR driver Donnie Allison and the son of former NASCAR competitor Hut Stricklin is only eight points behind Travis Byrd of Sherrills Ford and Trent Barnes of Whiteford, Md., who are tied for the lead.
Summer Shootout Series begins June 9
Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Summer Shootout Series is scheduled to begin June 9 and continue through July 29. During the summer, Bandolero and Legend races are held every Tuesday night.