In the Race With Spencer Boyd

On and off the track, Spencer Boyd promotes his partners in nearly unparalleled fashion. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images.)

This week, I was able to chat with Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driver, Spencer Boyd. Boyd pilots the No. 20 Chevrolet for Young’s Motorsports. We discussed his superb marketing skills and use of social media. Additionally, we talked about the uniqueness this season has brought, as well as goals for this season and the future.

 

Marketing Maven

Terra Jones: You do an incredible job of promoting your partners and utilizing various social media platforms. I heard through the grapevine you studied Marketing. However, I feel it all comes pretty naturally for you. Did you pursue Marketing because it was an interest of yours? Or was it more to help you in your NASCAR career?

Spencer Boyd: I wish I could say it was out of interest. I grew up wanting to be a race car driver. As I got to be 15, 16 years old, I realized that Marketing was where the sport is and definitely the future of the sport. That was right about the time I needed to figure out college…and I realized, “If I want to make this racing thing work, marketing is definitely going to be important.” I really fell in love with it from the get-go. Social media was really ramping up around that same time – we were transitioning away from MySpace to other platforms, and it’s just been lights out ever since.

 

Jones: I won’t pretend to act like I understand the entire process of securing sponsorship, and I’m sure it varies from one end of the garage to the other. However, can you share a little of what the process is like for you and your team?

Boyd: As soon as I got into the sport, I got linked up with somebody and we started building the Spencer Boyd brand and that has been super important. You don’t want to just random, cold-call companies and say, “Let’s get on a race car.” That may have been what people have done in the past, and that might be what some people think you need to do.

But, really, you have to build a good foundation. For me, the military runs deep in my family. So, waving the flag and looking for brands that fit that outdoor…fishing and farming sort of lifestyle. Through that, I was able to create my logo with the eagle, and I really chase after those companies.

Boyd wanted a logo that represented his love for the military and the outdoors to allow him to attract partners with the same passions. (Image: Spencer Boyd Racing.)

Also, when you get this platform, you want to start looking at things you can do to give back. We all want to be Dale Jr., but that’s not the case! So, for me, it’s doing veteran charity work. Through a great partner of mine, Record Rack Deer Feed, it’s really exploded – we’ve been taking veterans hunting. We’ve been able to bring other partners of mine into it and it’s just really been this good, even flow.

With the help of Record Rack, Boyd is able to give back to veterans of the United States military. (Photo Credit: Spencer Boyd Racing.)

COVID Changes Circumstances

Jones: What are some ways you’ve been able to show new partners a “day at the track” without them actually being there due to COVID restrictions?

Boyd: We’ve brought on a lot of new partners and really feel blessed to have done that! The COVID situation has allowed some unique scenarios. It used to be bringing sponsors to the race track was the most important thing, and for me, I thought that was the biggest selling point. When that got taken away…I knew that we needed to get back racing, but to keep partners involved and excited about the endeavor, we had to think outside the box! So, it’s been a lot of Zoom calls, a lot of going to their place of business and doing meet-and-greets. And social media – interacting with the fans, doing Zoom call giveaways, different things like that to keep the fans excited. 

NASCAR is a very exciting sport that happens Thursday through Sunday, every single weekend. And now you don’t have practices. You don’t have qualifying. So basically, for me, I want to capture those fans while other people are sitting on their hands! And we’ve been able to grow social media quite a bit. My Instagram has ramped up, doing a lot more lives. So yeah, I’m just trying to think outside the box and enjoy the ‘new normal’ while we can.

 

Jones: You mentioned the lack of practice. What difficulties have you faced with that and have there been any advantages for your team?

Boyd: On the positive side, it’s been nice, kind of like a level playing field. When you normally have practice, some guys run 10 laps, some run 50. Obviously, the more laps you get, you stand a better shot in the race. You work on your stuff and you get more comfortable as a driver. This [lack of practice] is something from the guy that wins the race to the guy that brings up the rear, it’s consistent throughout. So, I haven’t hated not having practice. 

But, it caught us off guard at Kentucky. We had an oil line fall off on lap one of the race – on the caution, you never wanna be that guy! That was a bummer for our partner, Crowe Equipment. It was our first race with them and that wouldn’t have happened if we’d had practice. We would have figured that out. So, there’s positives and negatives with it! 

After a sponsorship extension with Freedom Warranty, Boyd was ready to dance with The Lady in Black in his No. 20. (Photo Credit: Spencer Boyd Racing.)

 

Jones: Twice this season, the Truck Series has visited tracks where the series hasn’t raced in many years. How did you prepare for Darlington and Richmond without any current data and recent experience to go off of?

Boyd: For Darlington, we did the Freedom Warranty throwback paint scheme to Todd Bodine. Todd has given me a lot of advice over the years. And I’ve definitely leaned on him more lately than in the past! He was obviously really good in the Truck Series and won Darlington in 2010. Words only mean so much, so jumping on the simulator and doing iRacing to familiarize yourself with the track.

Richmond’s my favorite track on the circuit, so I was really excited to get to go there. And Darlington just means so much. So it was cool to be a part of that.

 

Goals: On & Off Track

Jones: Now, I know every driver wants to go out and win every single race, but season-long goals can vary from team to team. Coming into 2020, what were some goals you and Young’s Motorsports had in place, and where do you feel you’re lining up with those?

Boyd: (laughing) Well, our goal had a lot to do with qualifying! At the beginning of the year, we looked at where my qualifying was from the previous year.  You don’t want to qualify outside the top 22 or 23 because you’re just in a mess. So, qualifying in the top 17, every weekend, was kind of our goal. 

We were going to focus on practice and running qualifying runs. You know, you’re at this level, everyone knows how to race, but if you can just improve qualifying…it’s so hard to pass at a lot of these tracks, it’s going to come in key. 

So, (laughing) that didn’t really work out in our favor! But we’ve been able to adjust and say, “Hey, our goal is to be in the top 25 at the end of stage 1. By the end of stage 2, let’s be right at 20th. And from that point, you’re just going to move forward.” So, just taking the race bite-sized has been beneficial.

The first couple of races back from the COVID break were a little tough. But, we’ve been getting more consistent and making better decisions. I have a new crew chief this year (Joe Lax), so basically, we’ve had this COVID deal ever since our second race of the year. We’re just trying to learn each other and get better every week. And, I think we’re kind of hitting our stride.

 

Spencer Boyd’s 2019 Talladega win was monumental – personally and professionally. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Jones: Finally, looking at the next couple of years, what are some goals you have career-wise? Additionally, I saw a press release prior to Darlington noting that Freedom Warranty had extended their partnership with you through 2021. I know things move at a different pace in the Truck Series. However, is that an unofficial announcement that you’ll be back at Young’s Motorsports next year? Or is that more of a “Where Spencer goes, we go” deal?

Boyd: A lot of my deals are “where I go, they go.” But, I have such a happy home. I’ve kind of team-hopped every year in NASCAR up until now. This is my second year with Young’s and we picked up that win that was pretty important to myself, and the team, and that’s kind of locked me into wanting to be a part of Young’s Motorsports and be a part of the growth for a long time. 

You never know where things are going to take you, so I’m not going to officially say I’m going to one place or another, but I’m at a team I’m really happy with. I feel like we have good direction and picking up that win meant a lot. 

My two or three year goal, I’m 25, so I’m not the youngest guy in the Truck Series. But realistically, I just want to get more competitive every week, be more competitive on a regular basis. If we can take the 20 team to racing in the top 10, top 15 every week, I think that would be really cool to be a part of. And that’s what we set out to do in 2019 when I linked up with Young’s was, “What can we do to get us in the top 15 every week?” And obviously, we’re still building on that – and the Truck Series keeps getting tougher and tougher! 

Boyd names each of his trucks prior to raceday. He is ready to tackle the high banks of Bristol in “Twister.” (Photo Credit: Spencer Boyd Racing.)

I want to extend a huge thank you to Spencer Boyd for taking the time to talk and share a little insight into NASCAR sponsorship. I also appreciate the candid discussion on goals and what a unique season it has been throughout the touring series. Make sure to like and follow into his Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. You’ll find Lives, giveaways, up-to-date race information, and more.

Additionally, tune into FS1 tonight at 7:30 pm ET for the UNOH 200. 

 

Terra Jones

As a life-long NASCAR fan and lover of words, I'm fortunate enough to put the two together here at The Podium Finish to bring our readers and motorsports fans news, features, and interviews from the world of wheels. Originally from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, I moved westward to graduate from Middle Tennessee State University. I now reside in central North Carolina with my husband, our three boys, and our dog, Charlotte. While my heart is at the race track, I also enjoy watching baseball, as well as college football and basketball. 

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