One of Canada’s most dynamic young gun star racers eyes the future….

Spencer Hyde (Stratford ON) raised a few eyebrows recently when the skilled Pro Mod racer ventured for the first time in the unforgiving waters for — Top Fuel.

After reportingly sitting in the Paton Racing Top Fuel dragster last year in Grand Bend during the Canadian Nationals last August — he took the next step just recently immediately following the 2022 edition Canadian Nitro Nationals held at Toronto Motorsports Park.

Spencer Hyde launches his first ever Top Fuel car experience at Cayuga Dragway – Toronto Motorports Park

“I’ve always wanted to drive one -(a Top Fuel car) – so last winter I told myself I was going to do it in 2022,” he revealed. “Mark Morris (Paton Crew Chief) and I had been chatting back and fourth a bit about it, and then at the PDRA race in Norwalk he told me to come by the shop with my gear and see how I feel all strapped in. Team co-owner Todd Paton then contacted me and said I could make a moderate lap at Cayuga on the Sunday to start my licencing process.”

Spencer Hyde

Todd and his team co-driver Cameron Ferre had been the Canadian Nitro Nationals featured match the previous night.

“I went down to TMP Saturday morning so I could hangout with the Paton team all day,” Spencer continued. “Right away I was impressed at their professionalism and just the overall vibe of the team. You could really tell they gelled together. Coming from Pro Modified — I know how important it is to have the right team.”

“Everything I have ever driven — I had worked on it before I hopped in the seat. I don’t like to be strapped into something that I don’t have a good understanding of the mechanical side of it first. So I asked Mark right away if I could help crew on the cars Saturday. He didn’t hesitate and gave me a few tasks. I also wanted to shadow Cameron and watch his routine, warm up procedure, backing up, staging, the whole deal. Both Todd and Cameron were very helpful when I had questions about driving.”

“My Mom, Dad and Fiancée, along with my whole Pro Mod team came down on Sunday to watch and support me,” Spencer added. “My uncle Ron helped me put on my helmet and Hans device, and after I was strapped in he gave me a “fist bump” just like he does before every lap I make in the Pro Mod. This gave me some extra comfort and confidence before the run.”

The experience that followed was pretty much what he had imagined and anticipated.

“Once the car fired up behind the water box I just kind of let my instincts take over. The pre-run routine was all new to me, much different than the pro mod car, but once you’re in the zone you just kind of figure it out.”
“It didn’t really feel real until I was pre-staged, put it on the high side, and dropped my helmet visor, then it was like — holy shit — I’m about to hit the gas on the fastest thing on the planet!”

The car made a decent run — but put a couple cylinders out early because it was detuned for Spencer’s first ever test lap. But it still went 3.43 @ 233 mph to the 1/8 mile where Spencer had been instructed to click it off (at 600 feet).

“That was 2 tenths and 25 mph faster than I’ve ever gone in the Pro Mod,” he beamed.

As to what the future holds for Spencer Hyde within the Top Fuel class (?) that’s probably an upper case level “TBA” at this point.

“I can’t wait to finish my licence and we’ll just see what happens from there,” he winked.

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos courtesy of Blake Farnan