Getting Up To Speed With…Zack Spaulding
By Ben Deatherage
In today’s edition we get to know one of the up and comers at Cottage Grove Speedway. Zack Spaulding of Springfield, Oregon is a seventeen-year-old senior at Springfield High School. In 2013 he will pilot the STM Racing #21T 360 Sprint Car.
Driver: Zack Spaulding
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Springfield, OR
Occupation: Student (Springfield High School)
Years Racing: 12
Classification: 360 Sprint/Non-Wing Sprint
Car Number: 21T (Winged)/21S (Non-Wing)
Chassis: XXX Race Co. (Winged)/Kent Performance Chassis (Non-Winged)
Sponsors: Myers Logging, Armstrong Contract Cutting, Peterson CAT
Special Thanks: Myers Family, Ron Spaulding (Dad)
Well Zack last year you guys moved into the 360 Sprint ranks full time. How did you think that went from your point of view? I was excited but nervous at the same time because with the guys you race against at this level you have to go all out every lap. I was excited to step up but I also was nervous about performing and keeping the car together. We had a couple of crashes last year but they were pretty minimal in damage.
You had quite a career in Kage Karts and won the 2011 Limited Sprint championship. Looking back now how has that experience helped you get to this point? I would say just getting a feel for how other drivers react and getting comfortable with speeds on the track. In Kage Karts, especially the Opens (500cc), you’re so close to the ground it feels like your flying and everything happens so quick you have little reaction time to a spin. Where as in a Limited Sprint you’re seated higher up and go much faster but at the same time keep it under control while also carrying a lot of speed.
Sam Meyers is your car owner with STM Racing. How did that deal come about? Sam has been friends with one of my dad’s co-workers for several years and he would always come into the shop and ask how we were doing. Then around 2011 he offered to sponsor us and came in with a check and what he could do to help. He started out as a parts and fuel sponsor and then ended up buying motors and chassis for us.
You must feel pretty lucky to be one of only a handful of drivers that is a hired gun in the area? Yes very much. This is the biggest blessing I’ve ever had in my racing career. I wouldn’t be here right now without Sam and his family’s support.
What is it like seeing all the new tracks that you have been to in last couple of years? You learn a lot. You’re very cautious at first for me different tracks have different marks like where to enter, exit, etc. It makes you a better driver when you go back to your home track. In 2011 we ran a three race deal with the Interstate Sprint Car Series with Yreka, California on Friday, Medford on Saturday, and Cottage Grove Sunday. By the time I was at Grove I thought I was a much better driver because I got some experience at those other places.
As you eye the 2013 season what are some of the goals that you have came up with for yourself? We are planning on running several ASCS-Northwest races. For Speedweek my goal is I would really like to run in the top ten. I mean it would be great if we could be top five. I think it will be a good year with the experience that I had last year and apply it to this year. On weekends when there are no Winged races around we’ll try and hit a Non-Winged show but our main focus will be running at Cottage Grove. We’re probably going to run Elma a few times and travel a little bit. We’ll just see what happens I’m excited.
The Cottage Grove Speedway will host a Test and Tune practice on Saturday April 6th while the racing season will open up on the 13th. The venue has over thirty events on the schedule featuring 360 Sprints, IMCA Modifieds, NW Extreme Winged Sprint Cars, Late Models, Street Stocks, and Hornets as regular classes. To keep up to speed with the Cottage Grove Speedway log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com for the latest news and stories.