Story By: BRIAN WALKER / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – CONCORD, NC – After a standout debut season with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, Spencer Bayston is back in the CJB Motorsports, TrueTimber #5 full-time with more improvement, more wins, and more experience on his mind.
The 24-year-old native of Lebanon, IN enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2022 and hopes to further that success in 2023. His inaugural year on the road resulted in two wins (Bristol Motor Speedway and Huset’s Speedway), five podium finishes, 16 top-five efforts, 40 top-10 runs, 70 laps led, four QuickTimes, eight Heat Race wins, and 32 Dash appearances.
In the 45th season of World of Outlaws history, Bayston became the seventh driver to score multiple Feature wins in his maiden attempt with The Greatest Show on Dirt and locked up the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with an eighth-place finish in the championship standings.
“The experience itself exceeded all of my expectations,” Bayston said looking back on 2022. “The environment at the track and being on the road for the first time was all awesome and something I had dreamed of since I was a little kid. In terms of our performance, I feel like we were there most nights and competed at the front, but I think I personally lacked a little bit and I’m excited to get the chance to work on that and continue developing as a full-time Outlaw this year.”
After leading six shows and averaging a 10.66 finish, Bayston is excited to remove the rookie stripes and feels like a “real Outlaw” entering 2023. However, being on the road isn’t the goal; being the best is, and Bayston knows that takes time.
“I feel like I’m part of the group now, but I know there’s a whole new level to reach if I want to be a top dog,” Bayston continued. “I think that is achievable with this team, but I just have to put it all together. There are several little things that kept us from more wins and we have a short list of things to clean up. The good news is we have 90 races to work on that this year.”
Along with the 62nd Knoxville Nationals at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway (Aug. 9-12), the 40th Kings Royal at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway (July 14-15), and the 61st National Open at Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway (Sept. 29-30), Bayston is excited to get back to Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, SD for the second High Bank Nationals – offering a $250,000 payday on June 21-24.
“Huset’s was a big week for us last year with the release of TrueTimber and then winning right out of the gate,” Bayston said. “I think that might be one of my most anticipated weeks of the year. I think we left plenty on the table come showtime last year, so we’re eager for a chance at redemption this year. Plus, how can you not be excited racing for a quarter of a million dollars? I think that will be an epic week.”
Veteran crew chief Barry Jackson will return to lead the #5 Team, along with crew members Aydin Lloyd and Erik Coyle. Based out of Carlisle, PA, the CJB Motorsports camp will enjoy 14 World of Outlaws races in their home state this year – a slight advantage they hope to take capitalize on.
For Bayston, the Lebanon, IN resident will get two nights in “The Hoosier State” with World of Outlaws races at Haubstadt’s Tri-State Speedway on Saturday, April 29, and Lawrenceburg Speedway on Monday, May 29.
His second year on the World of Outlaws tour officially begins with the season-opening Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park on February 9-11. Through a short seven appearances at The World’s Fastest Half-Mile, the former NOS Energy Drink USAC National Midget Series champion has admittedly struggled at the Barberville, FL 1/2-mile with a career-best of 16th – a stat he’s determined to improve in two weeks.