Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Cody Spencer banking on his ‘A’ game

By
From page A8 | April 01, 2013 | 1 Comment

Cameron Park racer set to tackle Placerville Speedway rookie title in 2013

CAMERON PARK — With the local racing season upon us, Cameron Park’s Cody Spencer is like many drivers — busy each and every day getting prepared for his effort towards a title run at Placerville Speedway. For Spencer, the title won’t only be solely the championship, the 18 year-old hopes to earn the coveted Rookie of the Year title as well.

This will mark Spencer’s first full season behind the wheel of a full-sized sprint car. The Ponderosa High senior made his debut at Placerville Speedway last year but only ran a limited number of races due to family commitments and limited sponsorships. This year, he’s ready to give it everything he has in hopes of bringing the rookie title back home to El Dorado County.

“Last year was kind of bittersweet for me,” Spencer said. “I ran a limited schedule to get some laps in the car so I could go all out this year with high hopes of grabbing the Rookie of the Year and possibly even a track championship. I’m very confident in our team this year and I know we can get the job done. We have great support behind us.”

Spencer’s race team is made up of family members. He has one advantage that some lack in a family-owned team: his crew chief is his father, Rick, who has a great deal of experience on the mechanical side of racing. Rick has been wrenching on sprint cars for decades and has been a mechanic for world champion sprint car driver Donnie Shatz as well as successful NASCAR Team owner and multiple champion Bill McAnally.

Spending many years on the road with such professional teams, Rick gained the knowledge he uses today to assist and mentor Cody as he follows his dream. Cody is also assisted by family friend Paul Vandenberg who has a vested interest in the orange and white No. 34 sprint car and is a vital member of the crew. Vandenberg is a former kart racer and crew member who spent five years competing in New Zealand before joining the team two years ago.

“Our racing team is a whole family affair. I couldn’t take these steps to accomplish my dreams without my family, especially my parents,” Cody said. “My Dad has been wrenching on sprint cars since he was 14 and really knows how to set up a car. I’ve learned almost everything I know from him. My mom is a huge supporter. She is there every race and cheers me on and I truly love her for that.”

Cody first noticed his love of speed and competition when he was just seven years old when he’d watch the races where his father worked as a crew chief. For Cody, the interest went deeper than watching fast cars do thrills and spills. Following each race he would frequently walk around the track, looking for stray parts left from mishaps during the night. Cody would inspect the parts, often asking his father numerous questions about them, what their purpose was and why they may have failed the driver. In racing, a driver that knows the working of their car is well-suited and confident during competition.

“I remember dreaming about racing one day,” Cody said. “When I got to meet the drivers after the races I thought they were rock stars. Drivers like Andy Forsberg and CJ Humphreys were basically my racing heroes. I remember coming up to them years ago telling them that I was going to be just like them one day, and here I am racing wheel-to-wheel with some of the best in the business.”

When he was 10, Cody began racing Outlaw Karts. In his very first season behind the wheel he posted numerous top five finishes and even earned a second-place in one event, a real accomplishment in a youngster’s debut year. The following year he advanced to the larger Micro Sprint Class where he earned second and third place finishes. One year later he earned his first victory and finished in the top five in more than half of the season events.

After attending the well-known Cory Kruseman’s Driving School, Cody advanced once again in 2009. He began racing with a group known as the Capital City Midgets, a traveling campaign that races at seven different race tracks. In his first season he earned his first victory and placed 5th in the overall standings despite missing a number of events.

After working his way up the competitive ladder, Cody is ready to compete with some of California’s best drivers in the weekly championship series at Placerville Speedway. His team has acquired added equipment and sponsorship for the year and they are still seeking additional sponsorship to help fund their effort in a sport where even a minor collision can cost thousands to repair.

As a Bruin senior involved in many school activities, including four years of Bruin football, Cody is expected to have a strong fan following has he pursues the much respected rookie title and makes a run at the track title. Cody will go up against veteran drivers including those childhood heroes like Forsberg and Humphreys along with Sean Becker, Andy Gregg, Scott Russell, James Sweeney and more in his pursuit. Cody knows what he is up against and looks to learn from the best of the west.

“I plan on bringing my A-game every week and never rest a minute. I eat, sleep and breath racing all year long. I want to be smooth, fast and do everything to perfection. Being able to capture the Rookie of the Year would be amazing and nothing would feel better than winning a track championship at my local track with the support of all my friends and family.”

While his current goals are locally bases, Cody hopes a successful stint at Placerville Speedway will one day lead to racing professionally.

“I would love to be a World of Outlaws driver one day. Traveling around the country and racing almost every night of the week for a living, that sounds like the life to me.”

With youth on his side, determination and talent combined with knowledge, Cody’s dream of one day advancing from the likes of Placerville Speedway’s red clay are not unrealistic. Placerville Speedway has been a training ground for several of today’s top national drivers including Elk Grove’s Kyle Larson and Brad Sweet of Grass Valley who now race with the NASCAR Nationwide Series as well as select events with the World of Outlaws, the United States Auto Club (USAC) and more.

Cody will be joined by some of Northern California’s best drivers this Saturday as Placerville Speedway waves the green flag on the highly anticipated racing season at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. For further information visit the track website at placervillespeedway.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

  • Sue SpencerApril 01, 2013 - 10:28 am

    Cody is my grandson and I am very proud of him in everything he has done and accomplished. I don't get to see him race all the time but I am there with him all the way!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 7 Comments

 
Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 35 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments