I know the seeds for sponsorships and endorsements are planted well before any deal is announced, but in the case of Spencer Boyd and Wheelhouse Bicycle, his sponsor for this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway, the relationship goes all the way back to Kindergarten.
Boyd struck a friendship with Nathan Leventhal, the now owner of the St. Louis, Missouri Bicycle shop. Roughly 22-years later, the two are doing business together in NASCAR.
“Nathan and I met in Kindergarten at Willow Brook Elementary in 2001,” reflected the 26-year-old professional race car driver. “We shared our dreams together as kids like most kids do, but it’s pretty surreal to be here so many years later actually achieving them. We’re both pretty giddy about this race.”
According to Leventhal, he and Boyd were best friends and were basically joined at the hip until Boyd moved to North Carolina to chase his dream of being a big-league NASCAR driver.
“We raced everything as kids,” smirked Leventhal. “We were competitive, but I would beat him on the bike. I have always been in the family business, started by my parents Hal and Jeanne Leventhal in the early 80’s. I gained experience in sales, repairs, and customer service, which inspired me to open my own store. We are a local shop that takes care of our community, but when Spencer told me about this race, we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to show the world what a couple of kids from St. Louis can do.”
Boyd will run the No. 52 car for Jimmy Means Racing in Friday’s night’s race. The best finish of the season for the No. 52 team was a 17th-place effort by Gray Gaulding back at Mid-Ohio. Perhaps Boyd can carry his best friend’s company’s logo to victory lane in what will be Jimmy Means Racing’s 500th NASCAR Xfinity Series start.