It could almost be compared with a criminal coming back to the scene of the crime. The return of the Thunder Car division to Peterborough Speedway brought Matt Spence home to the site of his early racing success stories. Some of the Bailieboro, Ontario racer’s best laps were turned on the layout known as Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Oval. Although he won the year’s final main event – 1 of 4 trips he’d make to victory lane during the year – the 26 year-old speedster finished second in the championship chase. When the final points were tallied, he was only 5 markers away from the title.
“It was a good year for the team and our sponsors www.sellmunity.com, in partnership with NAPA Pineridge Auto Supply, Durham Furnace and Clarke Motorsports Communications,” said Spence. “Just coming close to 2 crowns in 2 years at 2 different tracks is quite an accomplishment. I hope I’ll be able to take what we learned this year and earn a seat at the championship table in 2014 and celebrate with new sponsor Sound-Off Signal Emergency Lighting, who’ll join the team next season.”
While Matt Spence is already looking at his program for next year, there is some unfinished business on the current schedule that needs to be taken care of. Peterborough Speedway’s biggest event of the season, the 21st Annual Autumn Colours Classic – presented by Lucas Oil Products – is less than a month away and Spence is hoping his revamped race team can take a step toward the winner’s circle.
“We made some changes in our program toward the end of the year and winning Autumn Colours would be an excellent start to the next generation of Spence Racing,” said the driver. “This is once again a family run operation, just like it was when I started running at Peterborough almost a decade ago. It was time to do something different with how the team was running and when the opportunity came along; all the pieces came together very quickly.”
Spence says he understands he’ll be up against some tough competition during Autumn Colours, but with the biggest race event in the province being staged at a track less than an hour from his front door, there was no way he’d be able to leave his equipment parked in the garage. The team – comprised of Matt’s wife Samantha and his son Hayden, along with his parents Tom and Debbie Spence and right-hand man Tyler Mills – has been working day and night to get things prepared for the late season extravaganza on Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Oval.
“If I could look at one issue to improve from the regular season, it would be consistency,” admitted Spence. “The wins are nice and look great on your resume, but when we weren’t in victory lane, there were times that we weren’t even in the game. Running in the middle of the pack or loading the car on the trailer before the main event can really get you down. We’ll bring our ‘A’ game to the Autumn Colours Classic and I won’t be satisfied with anything but a main event win.”
The 21st Annual Autumn Colours Classic – presented by Lucas Oil Products – at Peterborough Speedway takes its first green flag Friday, October 11th at 6:00 and continues throughout the Thanksgiving Weekend.