Saunders sails into turn one at Carteret County Speedway during a practice session ahead of the INEX Legends $2,500 to-win Short Track Shoot Out. (📸 Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)
Carrollton, VA– For the second time in a row Spencer Saunders is leaving Carteret County Speedway with a second-place finish. Two weeks ago the team called it sheer luck and being in the right place at the right time citing they had a top-five car but certainly not one to compete for the win. Fast forward two weeks and Saunders Motorsports would once again leave the Emerald Coast with a second place finish. However, this podium finish was more than just luck, it was in front of a much better field of cars, and created a pretty stout notebook for fall nationals.
Saunders was one of twenty-four INEX Legend cars to make the trip down to the 4/10-mile flat track searching for speed. Luckily for the No. 7 machine, they were able to unload out of the box with a pretty fast piece. This allowed him and his father, the crew chief on the Smoke BBQ, Taylor Waste Services, Crush Con Aggregates machine, to make only minor adjustments throughout the weekend to find the speed they needed to stay up front.
“I didn’t have to put it [the car] back in the box in pieces so that was like a win for us,” Saunders went on to say. “Our goal was to unload Friday and run somewhere in the threes. When we ended up hitting a one on the stopwatch during practice I knew we had something.”
Not only did they make the trip with the hopes of bringing $2,500 big ones back to the Hampton Roads Area, but it was also a way for the team to get a feel for the asphalt nationals at the end of the year. Saunders, who currently sits ninth in the national points for the Pro division, is expected to go into that event come October sitting pretty well in the points standings with more than thirty races on this schedule. After this weekends events, they feel like they might have an even better shot at a win when it really counts.
“This one feels pretty good,” Saunders said following his second-place finish Saturday night. “We had a good night tonight. Second place is a good run for us. This means a lot more than a couple weeks ago the first time we ran here. I felt like we had a car to win, we just got to beating and banging there on those restarts. That’s just how it goes. When you are stuck on the outside you are pretty much done.”
Crew Chief, Car Owner, and Father David Saunders follows his driver out of turn four looking to see where he can find just a little more speed as practice was finishing up Friday night. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)
Saturday Saunders backed that up again by posting the third and second fastest times during final practice. That speed ultimately transferred over to qualifying when he clocked the fifth fastest time of the afternoon. When it was time to go racing Saunders didn’t really have plans to stay that far back and shot up to the second position almost as quick as the green flag was displayed. The 29-year old driver from Carrolton, Virginia was able to keep that track position for most of the night, falling only as far back as the seventh position on a mid-race restart.
“This weekend was really good for us,” Saunders commented. “We did come away as the highest finishing pro driver so that essentially is a win for us and 100 points towards our national total. It really a testament to the work just my dad and I do on the car coming down here with all these big teams. Plus we are leaving here with a really solid notebook for October.”
Saunders, who entered the weekend ninth in Pro national points standings, finished ahead of Caleb Heady so he will make ground up there. The runner-up spot was also the highest finish for all Virginia drivers who made the trip – a region that we cover quite the most based on our location.
Saunders will return to his home track of Langley Speedway – the same speedway he has multiple wins and a track championship – to compete for the win next week, Saturday, May 18th. The Weekly Racer will have LIVE updates on Twitter of that 25-lap feature. To keep up with everything that is Spencer Saunders make sure to follow his racing page ‘Spencer Saunders’ on Facebook as well as on Instagram.