INVERNESS, FL : Emily Day and Tucker Jones were at Citrus County Speedway on Saturday, but they didn’t get the opportunity to practice because their cars were stuck in Jacksonville.
Day and Jones are driving for Dillon Spain Motorsports. On Friday, Dillon Spain’s trailer, which was carrying both their cars, broke in Jacksonville during the long drive down from Clayton, North Carolina, and he was unable to make it down until the early morning hours on Sunday after his dad, Barry, drove down from Clayton with another trailer.
“We were running down the road, it was probably about 12 o’clock, going through Jacksonville and the right front hub on the trailer just completely broke off,” Spain told LegendsNation. “The bearing failed. When it came off, it pretty much ripped the other wheel off. The trailer went down. It didn’t flip over but the whole right side was down on the ground. We spent a day in Jacksonville sourcing parts to fix it and ended up putting an emergency spindle for boat trailers on my trailer and limped it here at 30 mph and got here at 4am.”
Those issues have created something of a setback for the DSM team. Because the cars were stuck in Jacksonville, both drivers missed practice on Saturday. Now, on Sunday, the rain is falling down on Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida, and it is no guarantee they will get a decent amount of track time before feature racing gets underway on Monday afternoon.
Despite that, Spain is confident in the cars and his drivers, and his drivers are equally as optimistic.
“I’m confident in the cars and the equipment but you can’t make up for an entire lost day of practice,” Spain explained. “I’m really hoping that it does clear up. It looks like it will. I hope the track gives people the chance that want to practice that need it. Either way, they offer three hours after every race so hopefully we can make up some ground there. I’m confident in my drivers, they can get it done.”
Emily Day, 18, from Garner, North Carolina, is making her first appearance in the INEX Winter Nationals at Citrus County Speedway. While she was not able to practice on Saturday, she was able to watch and take notes.
“This is my first time here,” Day said. “I was able to come out and watch practice yesterday. I’m confident in the car that Dillon’s got for me. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some practice in. I’m looking forward to racing this week. I think it will be good.”
Last year, Day ran at three very different North Carolina tracks – scoring a win at Wake County Speedway, winning the championship at Southern National Motorsports Park, and recording strong performances at Carteret County Speedway. That experience at a variety of different tracks gives her confidence that she can figure the Citrus County Speedway oval out in her first career Winter Nationals attempt.
“It will be something different,” Day commented. “I’m looking forward to it. I think I’ll be able to figure it out.”
Tucker Jones, 15, from Smithfield, Virginia, also hopes to get on track for practice but feels his track time at Wake County Speedway will help out if Sunday’s practice session is washed out.
“Hopefully we get some practice in today and practice tomorrow a little bit before the race,” Jones remarked. “We practiced at Wake County the past two weeks to get ready to come down here.”
Practice is tentatively scheduled to run from 4pm-8pm EST on Sunday, weather permitting. Feature racing will get underway around 12pm EST on Monday. The races will be broadcast live on the LegendsNation.TV website and app.