Saturday, December 11, 2010

Remembering Spencer Clark

Spencer Clark Driven Foundation

2006 recipient Mike Duncan presents the
2007 Spencer Clark Memorial Award to Eric Hardin

After years of involvement in open-wheel racing, I followed my son, Moses Smith, into the world known as NASCAR in 2006. While the differences between the two modes of motorsports were somewhat overwhelming at times; the sense of family among the competitors bridged the disciplines.

By 2006, Spencer Clark, age nineteen (19) had proved to be an immensely talented young race car driver. His passion and desire was evident to everyone who came in contact with him.

After fourteen (14) years, progressing from the Mickey Thompson’s PeeWee Motorcycles Series; to the Junior and Junior Sportsman Go-Kart Classes; the INEX Legend car series; the NASCAR Super Late Model series, and the ASA Speed Truck Challenge, Clark was preparing to race the entire K&N Pro Series West.

Sadly Spencer’s career and life were cut short on May 21, 2006 when he was a passenger in a fatal car accident outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both Spencer and teammate Andy Phillips were killed when their vehicle rolled.

With hope for the future, the Spencer Clark Driven Foundation was established in the young racer’s memory and is fueled by his family and friends. The foundation is dedicated to helping young drivers, with the same passion and desire Spencer possessed, to achieve their goals in racing.

Past recipients of the award include Mike Duncan (2005 K&N Pro Series West Champion, Eric Hardin (a K&N Pro Series West driver who lost part of one leg to cancer as a youngster), and Bob and Kathy Butcher (MROA Chaplain/Pastor to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West).

While the Foundation has not done anything in 2010, NASCAR Race Mom has heard that they are getting ready to make a press release about 2011 very soon.

Although I did not have the honor of meeting Spencer Clark, I have had several conversations with his mom Debbie. Her strength and resolve has me wonder where Spencer Clark’s passion and desire would have taken him in his quest for a NASCAR career.

Spencer Clark is survived by his parents T.J. and Debbie Clark, his sister Candice, his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as well as his Allegiant Air race team, race fans and friends. Spencer will truly be missed on and off the track.

*****Congratulations to team owner, Bill McAnally, recipient of the 2010 Spencer Clark Award (K&N Pro Series West)

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