Davis Wins Southern Mod Rookie Honors

Georgia Native Is 2014 Sunoco Rookie Of The Year Award Winner

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When a driver makes a switch from a full-bodied stock car to a modified car, one of the best things he can do is partner up with an established team to help him with his learning curve of competing in a drastically different car.

Dawsonville, Georgia, native Spencer Davis made the wise decision to team up with Hillbilly Racing and veteran car owner/crew chief David Hill and it paid immediate dividends in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour as Davis won the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

“One of the best things we did was compete with David and his Hillbilly Racing team,” he added. “I might have been a new driver, but the team has years and years of experience, and have won races and championships and they know how to get it done. They were able to use notes from previous races at tracks to set the cars up to help me each week and that is a big advantage versus me being a new driver with a new team and we all are learning for the first time together. They gave me a car ready to go each week. That was big in helping me with my transition.” 

While Davis was adjusting to the car, he relied heavily on the expertise of Hill and the established team to ease Davis into racing the ‘ground pounders’ full-time.

“This past season was definitely a learning curve for me,” said Davis. “Coming from a late model background you have to adjust to racing cars that have no fenders, bumpers and nerf bars that you can use when racing and also wider tires These cars have a lot of power and the tires are so different than a late model.”

Hill previously mentored late model driver Daniel Hemric when he made 12 starts for the team between 2010-2012 and Davis thinks that made his transition smoother than anticipated.

“David has coached a late model driver before with Daniel and I think that made my first year with him that much easier,” Davis said. “We really hit it off this year and I look forward to racing with him and the team again next year.”

Davis finished the season with seven top-10 finishes in 14 races on the southern tour and ended up ninth in the final standings which made the 15-year old driver happy. Davis also made four starts in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and finished with back-to-back top-10s, highlighted by a season-best seventh-place showing at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this past Sunday in the season finale.

“When we started the season I struggled a little bit, especially in qualifying,” Davis added. “I got better at that as the season went along and that really helped us as we had a little bit of a dip midway through the year.”

It came down to the season finale at Charlotte Motor Speedway for Davis to outdistance fellow Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders Joe Ryan Osborne and Bobby Measmer Jr..

“We had a decent lead but I didn’t really feel good about being able to win it until we got to Charlotte and realized Joe wasn’t going to be able to race that night, then we knew we had it locked up,” Davis said.

Osborne suffered a wrist injury at Caraway Speedway the week before and was unable to compete in the final race of the season.

Davis finished the year with five Sunoco Rookie of the Race Awards and outdistanced Measmer by 10 points in the final rookie standings (127-117).

Davis is ready to celebrate his 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year for the Whelen Southern Modified Tour at the NASCAR Touring Series Awards on Dec. 13 in the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

He is also ready to get back on the track with Hill and the Hillbilly Racing team in 2015.

“We don’t know exactly which tour we will race with full-time, but we do know we will be racing together next year and I am really excited about that because I feel like we are only going to get better,” said Davis.

Sources: Tim Southers, NASCAR PR


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