SPOTLIGHT ON SPEED: GAIL SPENCER
Topekan Gail Spencer is a full-fledged drag racing veteran, and proud of it.
"I've been doing this 28 to 30 years,'' said the 55-year-old Spencer, who competes in the Sportsman class. "I'm an oldster. I'll go for the oldest woman racing at Heartland Park.
"I originally got into it by someone asking me to come out and watch a race (at Lawrence). I had a big block Ford truck and I thought, "You know, my Ford truck could probably run with these guys.' The next week I was out there pulling the mufflers off the truck racing.
And Spencer plans to keep racing as long as she's able and having fun.
"I'm going to keep on until I get so crippled up they have to winch me in and out of the car,'' Spencer joked. "Then I''ll probably stop.
"It's a family affair. I have both of my sons out there racing with me and the grandkids are out there. We pack food and sodas and just have a good time.''
Another thing that keeps Spencer racing is the fact that she continues to be successful.
In fact, Spencer is one for one in 2011, winning the season-opening event in the E.T. Bracket Racing Series on April 9th.
"I was cutting some real good lights,'' she said. "I had the front end (of her 1966 Chevrolet Nova) rebuilt over the winter and I think that made a difference and I was keeping my lights real good and consistent.
"Once I went a few rounds I knew I could keep the lights good and I knew I had a good chance because I knew I could dial the car.''
Like always, Spencer’s partner in the win was her Nova, her car throughout the bulk of her racing career.
"I've been racing it for about 25 years,'' she said. "I take real good care of it.''