CONCORD, N.C. — Spencer Bayston will begin a new chapter in his racing career next season, graduating to the 410 winged sprint car division on a full-time basis.
Bayston confirmed the switch to SPEED SPORT following the conclusion of the World of Outlaws World Finals presented by Can-Am at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, where he impressed many by finishing fourth and sixth in the last two races of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series season.
The 20-year-old driver won the USAC P1 Insurance National Midget Series championship in 2017 and has spent the last two seasons splitting his time between the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports midget operation and Kevin Swindell’s Swindell Speed Labs No. 39 winged sprint car.
Bayston noted that after five years of midget racing, the timing is right for him to advance into deeper waters and make a move that he feels will better his career for the long haul.
“I feel like the opportunities that are there for drivers and the roads you can take in a winged car are much broader and more readily available than in midget racing,” said Bayston. “There are a lot more teams out there in the winged sprint car world, as well as a lot more series and races that you can run, than there are midget teams and series.
“I knew that I wasn’t going to be running USAC midgets for my entire career, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” Bayston continued. “I ran five years in a midget and had great success, with winning the championship in 2017 and taking home a lot of big race wins. … I feel like this is the logical next step and the way to go for me, and that this was the right time to make the jump.”
A native of Lebanon, Ind., Bayston has been surrounded by some of the most-talented names in the sport throughout his short-track racing career.
“I first raced for Bryan Clauson when I was 15 and that was my first midget season. I ran two seasons there and learned so much from Bryan before I made the switch to Toyota and Keith Kunz Motorsports,” Bayston recalled. “I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from Keith (Kunz), Pete (Willoughby) and everyone who makes that team what it is.
“Then the deal with Kevin fell into place during my second year running the midget stuff and I felt that it was only right to go after that just to get more experience in a winged car,” he added. “It’s all been a process and one that I’m extremely grateful for.”
His move isn’t necessarily from a frustration with midget racing, either, especially considering he won the POWRi and USAC Rookie of the Year Awards in back-to-back seasons before capturing the USAC championship.
“I don’t want people to misunderstand … I love midget racing and it’s been a blast getting to do that,” Bayston said. “Without those opportunities, I wouldn’t be at the point that I’m at now. I have seen a lot of passion in winged sprint car racing and there’s so much fire and love from the fan base for what all that entails. That’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to soaking in next season.”