With three races left on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, all eyes are on the championship contenders. However, one non-playoff driver hopes to steal the show this weekend at Talladega.
Spencer Boyd grew up in a family that was passionate about motorsports. At the age of four, Boyd started his career in dirt bikes before competing in karts, following in his father’s footsteps.
When the Boyd’s were not at the track, they were watching NASCAR races.
“My dad was a huge Earnhardt fan,” Boyd shared. “His side of the family, [my] grandparents, were huge Rusty Wallace fans, so it was like this battle. And then obviously my age group watched Dale jr. With my last name being Boyd, I had the Budweiser ‘B’ on the back of my fire suit when I was like five or six years old. So, it’s pretty crazy looking back now.”
His career path led him to legend cars where he captured titles at Rockingham in 2011 and 2012. He then climbed the late model ladder before jumping straight to trucks in 2016, racing wherever he could.
“It was just a different time, I felt like opportunities popped up and you were able to just kind of go-between Trucks and Xfinity as if there wasn’t a big difference,” Boyd said. “My first full-time NASCAR season was with Bobby Dotter in Xfinity. And when I look back at that year, I was going to all these mile-and-a-halfs, going to racetracks that I’d never seen before. So it was a huge learning curve.”
After spending 2018 with SS GreenLight Racing, Boyd would link up with Tyler Young at Young’s Motorsports. Fast forward to now, and the 28-year-old is closing out his fifth year with the team.
“Tyler has given me an amazing opportunity to race full time, kind of build my brand within his. His mom and dad, Becky and Randy put a lot of money, a lot of resources into the team and trying to build it,” Boyd shared. “He’s never restricted me. So that’s been really cool. I feel like a lot of people don’t have that opportunity.”
This weekend, the team returns to Talladega Superspeedway, where they captured their first victory in 2019. Boyd originally finished that race in the second position, but a ‘yellow line’ penalty on race leader Johnny Sauter, saw the then 24-year-old in victory lane.
“Obviously, being the guy to get their first win was huge and kind of like solidified my spot, which has been great,” Boyd shared. “I’ve been on the wrong side of so many calls. At that time, coming up through late model racing and things like that. I’m like, nothing ever goes my way. So when it went my way, it was unbelievable.”
With the unpredictable racing this track produces, the driver of the No. 12 Chevrolet Silverado believes his chances are as good as any heading into this weekend.
“It’s a great opportunity to go get a good run. It’s a good opportunity for the smaller teams. I get excited. I’ve had the highest of highs at this place,” Boyd said reflecting on his victory in 2019. “And I ran the cup race the next day and qualified last and ran terrible. So it’s one of those places where I’ve had the highest highs and lowest of lows, for sure. But it’s still a special place to come to.”
Not only is this track special to him and Young’s Motorsports, but it’s also memorable for Boyd’s primary partners, Alabama Roofing Professionals, who will return as primary sponsor of his truck this weekend.
“If you watch that interview from winning in 2019, I mean, I didn’t have a sponsor nine days before the race and we put that together last minute. And it was perfect. So they had the best-case scenario happened and go win the race,” Boyd said about his 2019 victory.
That ‘best-case scenario’ has a great chance of repeating itself when looking at how these playoff races on have unfolded. Since the implementation of the NASCAR Truck Series Playoffs, a championship-eligible driver has never won the fall Talladega race. So, Boyd, along with his Young’s Motorsports teammates Garrett Smithley and Greg Van Alst will look to continue this stat while being mindful of the playoff field.
“Trucks are pretty small when it comes to how many people are in the playoffs. So, I try to treat those guys with respect all the time in the playoffs,” he explains. “Probably not gonna try and hurt anyone’s day, but they’re not on top of my list to help them by any means.”
With the number of opportunities to score another victory dwindling for this year, Boyd and his Young’s Motorsports team will head into Talladega focused, and hopeful to make lighting strike twice again, in victory lane.
The Love’s RV Stop 250 at Talladega Superspeedway begins Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET on FS1.