MORIARTY, N.M. -- Up-and-coming NASCAR driver Spencer Clark
was on his way home to Nevada when he and a crew member died in a
single-vehicle crash on Interstate 40 in New Mexico, authorities
Clark, 19, and Andrew Phillips, 28, were killed when their truck
and trailer were hit by a gust of wind as they passed through the
mountains just east of Albuquerque on Sunday night. The vehicle lost
control and both men were ejected, state police spokesman Lt. Jimmy
"Spencer was a good kid with a heart of gold that was as fierce
of a competitor as anyone on a racetrack," Cary JC Agajanian,
whose Motorsports Management International agency represented
Clark, said Monday in a statement. "His sheer talent and
determination alone were enough to propel him into the NASCAR Busch
Series and we expected many great achievements from him in the
Clark, who started racing at a young age, had always dreamed of
becoming a professional driver. Over the past few years, he had
collected a room full of trophies and last March, he made his Busch
He finished 35th that day and went on to record three top-five
finishes and a pole at Phoenix in January. In 2003, he was named
rookie of the year in the Super Late Model division.
"Spencer was a very passionate driver. He was very talented,"
Debbie Clark, his mother, said from the family's home in Las Vegas,
Phillips, a former all-Western Athletic Conference offensive
lineman for the University of Hawaii, was a member of Clark's
Allegiant Air Racing Team.
The two were returning from North Carolina, where Clark had been
preparing a car for this weekend's West Series race at the
Irwindale Speedway in California.
Clark's mother said her son wasn't wearing a seat belt when the
"The accident occurred and he got ejected," she said, trying
to hold back tears. "So all I can say is that I know how easy it
is to get in and out of your vehicle, but you know it [a seat belt]
just saves your life."
In addition to his mother, Clark is survived by his father, T.J.
Clark, who drove in the Craftsman Truck Series and in Winston West
events; and his sister, Candice.
Funeral arrangements were pending.