September 24, 2008


Before we dive into another megadollar Formula 1 extravaganza under the light of Singapore, I wanted to remind our readers that Axis is not all about F1 (though I will admit a serious addiction) it's about passion for the sport.

Of all of our friends, Spencer Anderson is one that for me really defines this passion. If the soul of motorsport the world over is grassroots racing, I think you'll agree Spencer fits the bill.

We all met Spencer at local New York area autocross events. He always had the same mostly white Honda Civic and usually got out of work duty by grabbing the announcer microphone and sarcastically commenting every driver's run, much to the delight of those actually working. Over the years you started noticing that he became one of the best drivers in the area and started winning not because he had the latest, coolest better car but because he was...better.

Actually you can't really miss Spencer, there simply are not that many 6'8" drivers with a mohawk around. I attribute part of his success to his very own "Unfair Advantage". Spencer is so tall that he essentially sits in the back seat of the Civic. The effect is very loBuck DTM. His steering colums has three large spacers, a quick release hub and a dished wheel, the pedals though are in the stock position. No, Spencer does not need an alarm in his car, no thief could ever drive away in it.

Eventually the track bug bit and he went on to track days and now NASA H2 racing. Spencer is the one you quote when your friends tell you racing requires a large budget and a tow vehicle. Not only does he do all his mechanical work but he driver the car to the track, he races it and when the checkered flag falls parties in it.

Axis interviewed Spencer after his first win in a NASA race at Pocono Raceway recently.

Axis: You recently won your first race, tell us about it
Spencer Anderson: oh man. that was the Pocono race with NASA-North East. With the South course being a short at mid 50sec laps and a pretty good field of cars both faster and slower, it all played out in traffic managementfrom qualifying strategy to using slower (and faster) cars to your advantage in the race

Axis: You race in what class?
S.A.: H2 class in the Honda Challenge series.<

Axis: How did it feel to win?
S.A.: I actually took a minute before I realized I had won. when it sunk in I, of course, went nuts. cheering and clapping in the car for it was a hard fought battle.

Axis: later you got pole for the next race but...
S.A. Day two I understood what its like to feel the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
Qualified on pole in h2 and was again leading when in 4th gear entering the bowl something went wrong and the engine was down on power and developed a bad misfire.

Axis: And that was the end of your engine...

S.A.: I hugged the wall and parked the car outside in a safe spot and watched the rest of the race.

Axis: Let's go long have you owned lobuck for?
S.A.: This particular edition I have owned for about 4 years. 'lo-buk' the name started out as a couple guys racing on the worlds smallest budget

Axis: and lobuck is a...?
S.A.: 1990 honda civic si mostly white in color
Axis: which had how many miles when you bought it?
S.A.: we're not exactly sure. estimated around 140,000, it has over 170k on it now I think.

Axis: let's go back to the beginning...
S.A.: I started autocrossing in 2000 and from the first run i knew i was hooked.
Axis: always with a civic...
S.A.: no, those days i was driving the coolass (1990 Olds CutlassSupreme 5 speed manual and the HO quad 4). Basically, I drove that car all of 2000-2001 just to learn.
Then in late 01 I bought my first Civic. the 1991 civic standard. That car had 130k on it when i bought it. it has close to 300k now. Having only 70hp, that car thought me how to carry speed.
Axis: Yes and you do that well as we can see from the Summit point in car video.
S.A.: yea. once i transitioned to a car with a little more power i found i could run some quick laps.
Axis: now your present Civic weighs about as much as a large toaster oven...
S.A.: eh, a large toaster WITH bread its coming across the scales at 2470 with me in it, about mid 2100 without driver.

Axis: how much of an unfair advantage do you attribute to the fact that you essentially sit in the back seat and alter the weight distribution?
S.A.: well, the car does scale up nice when I'm sitting in it. I don't have much choice tho. as I am.....taller than most drivers.

Axis: Tell us a bit about the modifications to your car.
S.A.: Well, suspension wise, the car has a set of buddyclub race shocks (rsd's) and my own spring rates. extended front shock mount for added travel.
OEM Honda front swaybar, 22mm rear bar set on full stiff. some adjustable rear upper control arms to tune the camber up. Brakes are upgraded with 11" front rotors (stock is 9.5") and rear disc. Hawk ht-10s stop the car very well.
Engine currently is a stock b18b1 from an Acura Integra LS (no vtec) and the transmission is from a 1999 civic si with an upgraded lsd and final drive.
Spec tires for Honda challenge are the Toyo ra-1s, we may be switching to r888s sooner or later.

Axis: Now, do you find your suspension setup better suited for a bumpy track like Summit Point or carrying a keg in your trunk?
S.A.: lol, it was 'ok' on the bumps at summit point the last time i was there. but with the keg in the hatch and the shocks on soft, it felt great through the paddock.

Axis: That is one of the all time great motorsports to sum up the moment?
S.A.: one word. PARTY.

Axis: Plans for the future?
S.A.: Hopefully hone my racecraft and fine tune my vehicle set up and run up front.
Axis: you're sticking with Honda?
S.A. I'm sticking with Honda. Honda is a fantastic car which has allowed me to win races
and NASA is the best club around.

Axis: Who do you like in F1 this year?
S.A. : Sadly, i have not been following F1 this year. BAR has been doing absolutely horrible.
Axis: ahem.....BAR went out of business two seasons ago.
S.A.: That shows the last time I watched an F1 race. I'm more into Australian v8 supercars, Grand Am cars and things of that nature.
Axis: a tin top man. What's your favorite car message board?
S.A.: my fav forum is a toss up between the NASA drivers forum, and
Axis: ...and your favorite car web site???

pictures by The Dough.

Get off me SON! from The Dough on Vimeo.


  1. This is passion for racing!
    what a great driver ,,, wow ,,, those poor Miatas got nothing for this guy!

  2. This is why I love small racing street car classes(even though NASA isnt small). Its just awesome, great racing, even better people in the pits.
    This is why I want to sped my college money on it, but..the parents said no and I dont think the bank will give me a loan these days...

    Great article, need more of these.

    (PS. I saw those Axis of Oversteer stickers on there ;)

  3. You know how much it hurts track day Porsche drivers to be passed by a Civic? :o)

  4. Usually i hate your Hamilton hating articles but good job on this guy, I actually know him from our local events/meets and he is something special in his honda's.

    Pure skill- Great driver, Great personality and mechanic.

    Go spence !

  5. Stopped reading Oversteer because the Ham bashing/Kimi ball-licking went over the top. I had to check in after today's result though, and saw this so I'm kinda late.

    I Always admired Spencer and his efforts - amazing driver - great to see him getting some notice and nice to see him get his first (road race) win.

    Watching that video sure makes me wish I could pedal like that!


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