One of Eastern Canada’s “bright light” young drivers is graduating this racing season…..

Spencer Hyde, despite being only 25 years old, has already built himself up a pretty impressive racing resume. This Stratford, Ontario based racer has been dabbling in the sport since first jumping behind the wheel of Junior Dragster at age 15. Since that time he has paid he dues by racing faster and faster machines in progression and all that experience has led up to an exciting threshold for 2017 for him – he is turning Pro.

Spencer, who has been a pretty regular racer at Southern Ontario area drag strips is this season taking the plunge into the Napa Ultimate Showdowns Series Pennzoil-presented Pro Mod category for the first time. He will wheel his family’s supercharged Chevy Camaro, a car which although having been around in various configurations for 4-5 years, did over the past off season receive a number of upgrades.

Spencer made his very first laps in that redesigned and now Pro Mod class legal car during the recent weather plagued Victoria Day Weekend race held at Cayuga Dragway.

“This car was built 5 years ago and we ran it initially in Top Sportsman with a 762 CID nitrous injected motor,” Spencer explained. “Then we went with a supercharged BB Chevy motor and tried that for one season in the class. Last year we reconfigured the car to go Outlaw 10.5 racing — because we wanted to try some heads-up racing.”

That move was a strategic one. It proved to be the stepping stone for the Hyde Racing team into Pro Modified which arguably was the next logical step for Spencer’s racing career.

“Our team has been together for 10 years and over that time we’ve grown a lot and learned a lot,” Spencer continued. “We did some heads up racing last year in Outlaw 10.5 and we loved that – we had a blast. That allowed us to build more knowledge and experience. We actually did pretty good too — we finished second in the (Napa Ultimate Showdowns Series) final points – just two behind Tony Presto. I think that give us some extra confidence that we could take forward.”

For the Camaro race car itself — there was some major changes made to go Pro Mod racing — the biggest involving a driveline transition from a power glide to a Bruno Lenco transmission. The team also upgraded their Atchison Machine built Chevy motor program with the addition of some new supercharger tech from Troy Critchey.

Eastern Canada’s newest Pro Mod car recently hit the drag strip.

“The Bruno Lenco does take a little bit of getting used to,” Hyde added. “But it’s not the first time I’ve driven a car with that type of transmission. During the offseason we also found a lot of horsepower. There’s some perception out there that because we run a Chevy we might be a bit light on power. But our motor is pretty similar to what Robbie Atchsion runs — and as you know he does alright in this class!”

For sure this young racer is pumped about the season possibilities and making a name for himself in this higher echelon class category. He did confirm that his team’s top season priority will be chasing the entire Napa Ultimate Showdowns circuit in Canada, but he didn’t rule out a later season trip to Norwalk’s Shakedown race in Ohio or possibly even the PDRA World Finals in Virginia. “We’ll see how were are running and if we are doing well — we’ll go,” he affirmed.

Spencer’s machine is also now clad with a terrific new and very corporate looking Napa Auto Parts paint scheme (ala NASCAR and Ron Capps fuel FC).

A great new corporate look for 2017!

The race team, which is overseen by Spencer’s father Peter and mother Lisa is solidly backed by a great group of associate partners headed by Ideal Supply (a major Napa outlet) located in Stratford. “Tim McDonald at Ideal Supply has been wonderful to our team for many seasons,” Spencer affirmed. “We can’t say enough about the whole Ideal Supply group”.

The valued support list also includes Hyde Construction and Hyde Electric, Pennzoil, KSA, Ramseyer Earthworks, Wilhelm Concrete, Mathieson & Associates, Remex Express, Coors Light, Sutton Group (Paul Graham), Monteith-Ritsma-Phillips, Readon Excavating, Wettlaufer Home Improvements, Schultz Plumbing, Orr Insurance, Tavi Transit, Sommers Generator Systems, Ronnoco Sales Ltd, iLookabout and Dordan Mechanical.

Spencer drove a Chevy Cobalt (top) for three years prior to driving the team’s Chevy Camaro

The family oriented crew includes Ron Hyde (crew chief), Jack Hyde, Neil Harrison, Rod Brubacher, Bob Sackrider and Luke Bannon. Special thanks go to sister Sydnie Hyde (also an avid drag racer) as well as Ang and Rylee Canning.

When not at the race track Spencer is deeply involved as a site supervisor with his dad’s Hyde Construction business which is a general contacting business that Peter first established in 1988.

Spencer Hyde

Post by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bruce Biegler & Brennan Shortall