After coming up just shy of visiting Sunset Speedway’s elusive victory lane over the past couple of years, Rick Spencer-Walt made it happen on Saturday night by leading flag-to-flag en route to victory.
From the beginning of the night, the Spencer-Walt Motorsports driver showed speed as he posted a lap of 15.170 seconds in time trials to qualify sixth for the first 35-lap feature. Spencer-Walt remained sixth till the first caution at Lap 10, though began to make his move after the restart getting alongside Gord Shepherd for third, and completing the pass at Lap 14.
Though as the race carried on, he had a right-front going away, resulting in him dropping back to sixth over the next 10 laps. He’d then fall one more spot to seventh a couple laps later, ultimately falling back to eighth with five laps to go. To go along with a third from opening night, it marked his second top-10 of 2017 so far.
“Kind of my doing, but I didn’t push the car,” Spencer-Walt said on Race Time Radio. “I got Jr (Hanley) and he told me what I needed to do. I didn’t push the car. I had an eighth place car, and was falling back, and you just got to hang the outside and finish eighth. If you push it any harder, you’re going to wreck it and destroy your stuff.”
The invert draw worked in Spencer-Walt’s favor as he was able to draw the pole position for the second feature. Off the drop of the green flag, he put the No. 31 Gohydrovac.ca, Jim Wilson Chevrolet, Frame Shop Huntsville, Auto Trim Design, Heidis RV, HOTC, Greensteelroof.ca, Crowe Bros, RCP Dyno and Tuning, Speedy Auto Machine, Bent by Kent, SportsClip, Pizzaville Alcona, Speedy Glass Orilla, and Orser Technical Services Late Model out front ahead of the Holdaway teammates.
Despite four restarts over the course of the feature, Spencer-Walt was able to remain out front all feature long, holding off challenges from last year’s track champion Gord Shepherd and past feature winner Nick Goetz en route to scoring the victory.
With his first trip to the winner’s circle in 2017, he made Sunset Speedway history, becoming the first driver to win a race in each of the track’s three divisions – Limited Late Models, Super Stocks and Mini Stocks. The win means a lot with the track’s reputation of having one of the best Late Model divisions in the province.
“The skill level and talent there now is ridiculous, especially when you got somebody taking the pole at a 15.0,” he said on RTR. “I mean, I qualified sixth at a 15.170. The field is crazy. You wiggle that wheel once in turn one or turn four, and you’re sixth in qualifying. It’s crazy.”
The success to kick off this season is no surprise after scoring a top-five in last year’s Velocity 250 at Sunset Speedway, along with the Peterborough Speedway Championship.
“I would’ve liked to run here, but circumstances didn’t allow us to run here,” he said in victory lane. “So we went to Peterborough and won the championship. We built things up as a team, learned a lot about the car. The championship was great, but we’re here to do something and it is night two and we’re doing it. So we’ll be here all year.”
In addition to thanks to the sponsors and team for their hard work, Spencer-Walt dropped a big shout-out to the boss, Eldon Wallis.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without Eldon behind me. He pays all the bills,” Spencer-Walt said on RTR. “He’s just unbelievable in what he’s done the last couple of years. Everybody knows what it costs, and I can comfortably says he’s hundreds of thousands into this deal with cars, the shop he built, the truck, and the tools. It’s an unbelievable thing to come out of nowhere and do that for you after I started at the bottom doing it on my own with my wife. No money and struggling, and then somebody comes along and picks you up – it’s pretty cool.”
Spencer-Walt will be back at Sunset Speedway on May 20 and 21 in hopes of scoring another victory in the track’s Spring Velocity invitational. He will partake in qualifying on the Saturday, followed by the 75-lap feature on Sunday.
“There’s a lot of good things ahead,” he said. “When you can crack off a win in the first couple of weeks and run as strong as I feel our team is running right now, I think we can be there every week.”
Walt Motorsports is proud to be supported by Gohydrovac.ca, Jim Wilson Chevrolet, Frame Shop Huntsville, Auto Trim Design, Heidis RV, HOTC, Greensteelroof.ca, Crowe Bros, RCP Dyno and Tuning, Speedy Auto Machine, Bent by Kent, SportsClip, Pizzaville Alcona, Speedy Glass Orilla, and Orser Technical Services.
Keep up with Rick Spencer-Walt and Spencer-Walt Motorsports by liking their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Walt-Motorsports/524817640964689?fref=ts and following Rick Spencer-Walt on twitter at https://twitter.com/Rwalt31.
Press Release by Ashley McCubbin/AM Marketing – firstname.lastname@example.org