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Young driver making name for himself

By James G. Wolfe Jr.

POSTED: August 24, 2011 4:00 a.m.
For the Dawson Community News/

Spencer Davis prepares for a race earlier this year. A go-kart champion, the 12-year-old is now racing late-model trucks.

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With more than 500 feature go-cart victories and more than 40 championships, 12-year-old Spencer Davis has established himself as a winning driver before he's old enough to get a license.

This season, the Dawsonville resident moved up to late-model trucks, where his winning ways haven't missed a beat.

Davis has claimed seven races in the truck division, including a 50-lap triumph earlier this summer at Daytona's Speedweeks.

"He's really something else," local racing historian Gordon Pirkle said. "He's a good boy and already a heck of a driver."

Davis said racing is in his blood.

"I've always loved racing," Davis said. "I grew up watching my dad [Scott Davis] race and I've always liked it."

Scott Davis said his son liked watching races, but fell in love with driving when he was 6.

"He watched me race one day and saw a go-kart track beside the track I was racing on," Scott Davis said. "After the race, we went over and he ran some laps and he's been hooked ever since."

For the next five years, the Davises traveled the country as he chased his dream.

"I gave up driving so that I could focus on his racing," Scott Davis said. "I really enjoyed watching him drive and I probably enjoy the sport more now than I did before."

Spencer Davis tore through the karting world, winning nearly every race he wanted, according to his father.

"When we realized that there wasn't much left for him to accomplish in carts, we decided to move up," the elder Davis said.

Spencer Davis practices every day. His father said the child ran at least 2,000 practice laps in a truck before he felt comfortable enough to let him enter a race.

"And it wasn't just my decision," Scott Davis said. "It was a team decision. He's only 12 and there was no use sticking him in something before he was ready. There was no use rushing."

So far, his son shows every sign of being able to win as prolifically at the late-model truck level as the kart level.

He drove his No. 29 truck at Gresham Motorsports Park on Aug. 13, when he led 33 of 35 laps en route to the win.

The number 29 is significant to the younger Davis: His birthday is Nov. 29 and that's also the number of his favorite NASCAR driver, Kevin Harvick.

"If I had to pick a driver, it'd be Harvick," he said.

Because of the rigors associated with pursuing a race career, Spencer Davis is home schooled.

He said he plans to graduate high school and go to college, where he hopes to earn a degree that will complement his racing career, possibly engineering.

"I want to do this for the rest of my life," he said. "So I want to earn a degree that goes along with it."

If he goes after an engineering degree with the same passion as racing, there is little doubt in his father's mind he will succeed.

"He might do it early, too," Scott Davis said. "He's already racing a truck faster than I thought he would, so he'll probably do that early too."

 

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