As part of a season-long celebration of 60 years of Modified
champions, two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour titlist Jimmy
Spencer will be honored at the New England 100 on June 28 at New
Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Spencer, who currently works for SPEED TV as a co-host for “NASCAR
Raceday” and “ NASCAR Victory Lane ,” became the first driver to
earn back-to-back NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships in 1986
and 1987. He is one of just three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
drivers to capture consecutive titles.
Although Berwick , Pa. , native competed on the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour for just four years, Spencer left an indelible mark on
the division, and the success was immediate. The Modifieds had been
part of NASCAR since the very first sanctioned race in 1948, running
in countless events up and down the East Coast, and 1985 marked the
formation of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Spencer finished third
in the inaugural NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Martinsville (
Va. ) Speedway and reached Victory Lane in the fifth event of the
He wound up with four wins and finished eighth in the season
standings. The table was then set for a dominant two year run.
“I owe a lot to the Modified Series because it’s what gave me
notoriety and exposure,” Spencer said. “Because of my Modified
career, people recognized me the minute I moved south to race. They
knew who Jimmy Spencer, ‘Mr. Excitement,’ was because of what I’d
done up there.”
Following his success in the Modifieds, Spencer he went on to
become one of the few drivers to earn a victory in each of NASCAR’s
national series. He had two victories and 80 top 10s in 478 NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series starts, 12 wins and 93 top 10s in 212 NASCAR
Nationwide Series starts and one win with 11 top 10s in 31 NASCAR
Craftsman Truck Series starts.
Spencer registered four wins during his first NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour championship season in 1986, but it was his
consistency down the stretch that proved to be the difference. He
finished third or better in 11 of the season’s final 13 races and
beat runner-up Jamie Tomaino by 211 points to earn the title.
While Spencer’s first title run was characterized by a strong
finish, his second championship was earned early in the season.
Spencer had four wins in the first eight races and never looked back
as he compiled six victories, 16 top fives and 21 top 10s in 28
outings and finished 99 points ahead of Reggie Ruggiero.
All told, Spencer compiled 15 victories during his four seasons on
the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, a total that still ranks 12th
NASCAR plans to honor each of its 31 all-time Modified champions
throughout the season. The celebration began with the recognition of
Frankie Schneider, Donny Lia and Richie Evans at Thompson on April
6. Since the season-opener Red Byron, Jeff Fuller, Ernie Gahan and
Mike Stefanik have also been recognized.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will hold its fifth race of the
season at New Hampshire on Saturday, June 28. The NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour race will be immediately followed by the NASCAR
Nationwide Series which will run the Camping World RV Sales 200. For
ticket information, please visit New Hampshire ’s official Web site