Tag Archives: Spencer Saunders

Spencer Saunders Finds Victory Lane at Langley Speedway after Strong INEX Finishes in North Carolina

Hampton, VA – After going down to Carteret County Speedway in North Carolina, a track very similar to Langley Speedway, Spencer Saunders found the boost he needed. Finishing second the first time seeing the track, and then finishing second out of 38 cars last week in a $2,500 to win race. Saunders looked to keep that momentum up this weekend at Langley.

Ryan Matthews grabbed the pole for the Cycle City Corp Legends 25 lap feature earlier in the afternoon. Spencer Saunders, Matt Dail, Ryan Center, David Steele, Bradley Wilson, and Chris Hayes rounded out the field. When it came time for the green flag to wave Matthews got a little pedal happy and started the race before flagman Shane Snider could drop the rag. Take two was much better and the field went two-by-two into turns one and two. By turn three, Matthews would take the initial lead with Saunders and Dail taking second and third. Ryan Center and Wilson took fourth and fifth. Multiple laps of Saunders haunting Matthews back bumper would cause them two to pull away from the field a bit.

Saunders continued to give nudge after nudge to Matthews in every spot of the track that he could but Matthews just would not budge. Halfway and it was Matthews, Saunders, Dail, Center and Wilson your top five. Lap 15 up in lights and Saunders would give Matthews the nudge he needed heading into turn one but, Matthews slammed the door on him and held onto the lead. Lap 20 came up on the board and the lap traffic appeared in the leaders windshield. Lap 21 and Saunders took advantage of lap traffic and took the lead from Matthews. Lap traffic wasn’t kind to Matthews as they held him up from getting back to Saunders back bumper. The checkered flag flew and Spencer Saunders picked up his first win of the season. Ryan Matthews, Matt Dail, Ryan Center, and Bradley Wilson were your top five finishers.

After coming up short on the pole position two weeks ago, Jacob Derrick grabbed the pole for the 15 lap Cycle City Corp Bandoleros division. Ryley Music, Logan Clark, Aaliyah Paynter, and Wyatt Philyaw rounded out your field.

The green flag flew and the field went two by two into turns one and two. Jacob Derrick and Ryley Music battled side by side for the lead for 5 laps with Logan Clark, Wyatt Philyaw, and Aaliyah Paynter going single file. Music had a fast car on the outside but with Clark giving a bump to Derrick, it allowed for Derrick to get an edge on Music for the lead.

As Clark looked to make a move on Music for second, the first and only caution of the night would come out as Aaliyah Paynter spun around in turn one. The green flag would fly again and Derrick took off and never looked back. With the white flag in the air, Paynter looked to make a move on the outside of Philyaw for the fourth position. With no one around to challenge for the lead, Jacob Derrick would pick up his second win on the season. Ryley Music second, Logan Clark third, Aaliyah Paynter made the last turn pass to take fourth and Wyatt Philyaw finished fifth.

Cycle City Corp Legends OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #7 Spencer Saunders; 25
  2. #51 Ryan Matthews; 25
  3. #07 Matt Dail; 25
  4. #88 Ryan Center; 25
  5. #51w Bradley Wilson; 24
  6. #4 Chris Hayes; 24
  7. #27 David Steele; 24

 

Cycle City Corp Bando OFFICIAL Results;

  1. #8 Jacob Derrick; 15
  2. #47 Ryley Music; 15
  3. #15 Logan Clark; 15
  4. #14 Aaliyah Paynter;15
  5. #22 Wyatt Philyaw; 15

Spencer Saunders Scored Impressive Second Place Finish in Carteret County Speedway Short Track Shoot Out; Builds Strong Notebook for Fall Nationals

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.

 

Saunders Fourth Place Finish Good Enough for Second INEX Legends Title at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway.

Hampton, VA – Spencer Saunders, of Carrollton, Virginia, entered the final night of the season at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway as the Cycle City Corp Legends points leader by just three points over Newport News native, Brian May. Cody Carlton, Zach Lightfoot, and Colby Flowers found themselves in the top five but just too far out of reach with just one race to go. Every position in the final 25-lap feature of the year was going to be critical for both.

Tommy Jackson Jr., who started the 2017 campaign on the wrong side of the bad luck bar, turned things around mid-summer as he collected the win in the INEX National Qualifier during the 9th Annual Hampton Heat sat on the pole with a sub eighteen-second lap. Carlton would qualify second followed by Brian May and Spencer Saunders. Carlton would take the lead away from Jackson for a few laps but Jackson was not going to be denied on this night. He would go on to pick up the win. Running a conservative race and crossing the line in fourth was enough for Saunders to clinch his second division championship.

We caught up with Spencer this past week to talk with him about his season and his second championship of his Legends career. 2017 was no cakewalk by any means either. With the speedway opening back up the Legends field saw a massive increase in competitors from previous years, making the win that much sweeter for Saunders.

“I think we average all the races out and the average car count was about fourteen cars,” Saunders told The Weekly Racer. “It means a lot to me because I didn’t just beat one or two other cars for the title. I mean we had four or five guys who could easily win week in and week and out. It means a lot to us to say that this year, we were the cream of the crop.”

The success this season, however, did not come easy for Saunders and his family. In fact, the last race they ran at Langley before the season opened this year was back in 2014 – a race he won as a matter of fact. With car counts dwindling in the Legend series, Saunders was faced with the tough decision to run at other tracks.

“We traveled a bunch to places like Shenandoah and Kenly in 2015,” Saunders explained. “Langley just didn’t have the car we were looking to run against. In 2016 we ran at Shenandoah and went to Nationals in Connecticut and got wrecked up there but nothing full time by any means. After that, we bought a brand new car and brand new everything. I told everyone at the start of the year, everything about this car is brand new besides the seat and the driver. I was hoping to myself that we didn’t need a new one of those.”

Saunders went on to tell The Weekly Racer that taking that time off last year really took the pressure off of him and team. They came into 2017 completely stress-free and not even planning to run for points, just glad to be back home. That all changed when he picked up his first win of the season.

“Things changed when we got that win,” Saunders went on to say. “I think that win put us in a tie with Brian May for the lead. After that happened Dad and I basically agreed that somebody was going to have to take it from us if they wanted it more than we did.”

With the 2017 season coming to a close Saunders might look towards Kenly, North Carolina for one final race this season at the annual Thanksgiving Classic with a couple of random races in-between as long as things plan out, however, nothing is set in stone just yet for them.

 

2017 Final INEX Legends Points:

1 Spencer Saunders 7 242
2 Brian May 22 240
3 Cody Carlton 94 222
4 Zach Lightfoot (R) 7L 204
5 Tommy Jackson, Jr. 87 187
6 Colby Flowers 33 182
7 Jaime Price 8 179
8 Ryan Center 88 170
9 Devon Courtney 17 153
10 David Brandt 31 153
11 Chris Hayes 4 147
12 Lane McKee 21 133
13 Ryan Matthews 51 76
14 Matt Dail 07 68
15 Woody Howard 14 67
16 Whitt Seay 5 64
17 Matt Kurz 2 56
18 Dillon Spain 72 37
19 Carter Wood 31w 33
20 Brandon Johnson 76 31
21 Clayton Parrish 19 29
22 Sparky West 99 26
23 Mason Diaz 24 25
24 Daniel Sylvestri 97 21
25 Pat Squillante 65 16
26 Josh Kirks 63 14
27 Zack Wells 66 12

Tommy Jackson Jr and Bradley Kilby Pick up INEX Wins

Hampton, VA – Tommy Jackson Jr. has returned to his winning ways after a rough start to the season, wrecking two cars on two different opening nights. He qualified on the pole for the 25 lap feature running a 18.134 to beat out Spencer Saunders. Through the race the two battled nose to tail the entire 25 laps with Saunders able to apply some nudges to Jackson in the closing laps but not able to get by the fast 87 car. The win is his second in a row at Langley Speedway. Down in victory lane Tommy talked about the tight racing with Saunders, “Me and Spencer were team mates a couple years ago so its a lot of fun running really competitive with him like that, he’s had great cars. I was a little loose during the race but it was good enough and it was really good in the long runs.”

Bradley Kilby in Victory Lane – Credit: John Long

In the Bandoleros, Autumn Weaver ran fastest time in group qualifying with a 21.696 to beat out the other seven cars in the session. After taking the green she went three wide with Bradley Kilby going down low and Cole Bruce on her high side. Kilby and Weaver win out on the exchange and Bruce falls back to Jacob Putnam. The top-6 from this point ran side by side for the opening three laps with Kilby edging Weaver to the line and after fifth and sixth sorted their positions the top-4 ran side by side for another five laps. Bradley defended the bottom line well with Weaver closing in with just a few laps left and is able to hold on to the win.

Spencer Saunders Finally Parks It in Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway Victory Lane; Bradley Kilby Ties Putman in Points with Win

Hampton, VA – Spencer Saunders finally closes the deal in the Cycle City Corp Legends divisions to pick up his first victory in over three years at Langley Speedway. Tommy Jackson Jr., who has had a not so great start to the 2017 season, bounced back this weekend to lay down the fastest time of afternoon to earn him the pole for the 25-lap feature. Saunders lap was just slower than his and he would line up second.

It got pretty hairy early when the field came off turn two three wide battling for third. Jackson and Saunders had cleared the field and the racing was on behind them. Somehow the drivers found a way to get things under control and in a straight line. The field clicked out ten circuits around the .395-mile oval before trouble plagued the middle of the pack.

The lead almost changed hands as the field worked lap number ten, however, things would be put on pause just after Saunders passed Tommy Jackson down the backstretch coming to lap eleven from the spinning Zach Lightfoot. Because the caution was displayed for the car facing the wrong way in turn two and the field was not able to complete the lap, Jackson was awarded the lead as officials revert to the last completed green flag lap.

Once Lightfoot was able to get going back in the right direction the Krispy Kreme cone was set on the front stretch. Giving drivers the chance to give up their position in line to restart on the outside, Cody Carlton and Woody Howard elect to try their luck. When the green was displayed we ran into big problems on the backstretch. The outside line looked to stall and Jamie Price made contact off turn two with Carlton that sent him into the outside wall. Woody Howard, Devon Courtney, Colby Flowers, and Zach Lightfoot all got a piece of the action in some form or fashion.

Once all the drivers were checked and okay, clean up was complete, it was time to go back racing. Saunders kept tight to Jackson once again setting up the right time to make his move. That time looked to be lap nineteen when the number seven of Saunders forced his way under Jackson out of two and took the lead. Fighting right back Jackson, Jr. regained the lead with his very own power move exiting two. With one last effort to seal the deal, Spencer took an aggressive line coming off of turn four and to the white flag to drive past Jackson into turn one and collect his first win of the season.

“Yes it’s been a long time coming, I think the last time in Victory Lane was in 2014 so what, three years ago”, Saunders mentioned in Victory Lane. “Just a lot of second, thirds and a lot of hard work has gone into this car”. I just want to thank all the fans who come out and support me every week”.

 

Bradley Kilby picked up his fourth pole and third win of the 2017 campaign this past weekend at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway in the Cycle City Corp INEX Bando division. Autumn Weaver, who has also picked up a victory this year, looked poised to give the young man a very honest run for his money until she would go for a spin to bring out the races first and the only caution. Once back green, Kilby had some challenge from Cole Bruce but was able to hang onto the lead. Kilby’s third win ties him with Jacob Putman, who finished third, for the points lead with 173.

 

Legends Results;

  1. #7 Spencer Saunders; 25
  2. #87 Tommy Jackson Jr; 25
  3. #22 Brian May; 25
  4. #33 Coby Flowers; 25
  5. #7l Zach Lightfoot; 25
  6. #88 Ryan Center; 25
  7. #17 Devon Courtney; 25
  8. #31 David Brandt; 23
  9. #4 Chris Hayes; 23
  10. #08 Jamie Price; 10
  11. #94 Cody Carlton; 10
  12. #14 Woody Howard; 10

 

Bando Results;

  1. #5 Bradley Kilby; 15
  2. #31 Cole Bruce; 15
  3. #3 Jacob Putman; 15
  4. #18 Autumn Weaver; 15
  5. #48 Wesley Newell; 15
  6. #22 Wyatt Philyaw; 15
  7. #87 Kenton Case; 12
  8. #8 Jacob Derrick; 11
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