Day Motor Sports Driver Profile: Cutter Spalding off to strong start in two divisions

ABILENE, Texas — If you take more than a passing glance to the west, you’ll see a prime example of beneath-the-radar talent. For 19-year-old Abilene-based racer Cutter Spalding, winning races outside his own region is getting to be a habit. 

If you haven’t heard of him just yet, give it a little time. He’s going to be in the headlines.   

After a strong 2023 with three wins and 16 top-fives, he’s picking up where he left off. Spalding, who specializes in SportMods yet is now driving a Stock Car, as well, already has two victories and six top-five finishes in 14 starts. You can hear it in his voice; that feeling when things are going smoothly. 

“It’s a combination of my crew and car owner that’s responsible for this strong start,” Spalding said. “Those guys help me keep my stuff running good; and my car owner does whatever it takes to keep me rolling in the right direction. 

“Another factor in our early success is the guidance we get from Jeffrey Abbey at CRS Suspension. He built the Stock Car I’m driving, and is without argument the leading authority on how to go fast in that division. He can speed up the learning curve and save a lot of trial and error work. He’s been very key.”

Now in his eighth year of racing, Spalding is a third-generation racer who fell in love at an early age. 

“I grew up watching my Dad, my Grandpa and my uncles race all the time,” he explained. “So I was always at the race track as a kid. I used to count down every one of my birthdays until I got old enough to get a car of my own. One day I was caught off guard; my Dad showed up with a race car on a trailer. 

“So I started tinkering with it, and learning the basics. I got my first Mini Stock when I was 10 years old, a Ford Pinto. In my first year, I only lost one race because I broke a right real axle. I won all of the other features at Cardinal Motor Speedway in Eunice, New Mexico. It sure was a lot of fun.” 

These days, the former Pinto wheel-man pilots cars in two highly-competitive classes, all over Texas. 

“The Stock Car deal is new to me; we’re just kind of learning the ropes with it right now,” he explained. “My Dad raced Stock Cars in his day, so I have him to help me out. I’d say I’m more of a SportMod guy at the moment; I have more experience with them. Like anything, the Stock Cars take time to master.”

You may not know much about the level of talent in the Abilene area, but Spalding can set you straight. 

“When it comes to SportMods around here, it’s super tough,” he said. “You have guys like Bradley Poor, who is one of the best there is out there. He is hard to beat, he’s got all kinds of talent and can definitely wheel a race car. 

“As far as the Stock Cars go, you have guys like Tommy Fane, and a bunch of other good local guys to contend with every week. It’s never a cakewalk in this part of the state to snag a win in either class.” 

When this mega-talented and kind young man gets ready to race, he climbs into top-notch equipment. 

“My SportMod is a brand new 2024 IRP by Crabtree,” he explained. “Robbie and those guys are easily the sharpest minds in this business. It’s a beautiful machine, and is powered by a motor from Fletcher Custom Engines. Our Stock Car is a Sniper Speed chassis that Jeffrey Abbey assembled over at CRS.

“In fact, it’s Jeffrey who has got us going in the right direction with the IMCA Stock Car program. Between this IRP by Crabtree SportMod and the Sniper Speed Stock Car, I’m blessed to drive two killer race cars. I owe it to my car owner to get the most of of them possible every time I go out on the oval.” 

Along with his two top-notch race cars and immense natural talent, Spalding has several supporters. 

“I have a ton of good people to thank, including my car owner, Kerry Fryar; my crew, made up of my Dad, Gerald Spalding Jr., Koda Delacruz, Casey Steelman, Reagan Martin and Madi P. They all work hard for my race program, and having good, reliable help in the shop and at the track is huge to me. 

“I also want to thank our great sponsors, including Kerry Fryar Motorsports, Triple A Cutting and Edge; Abilene Race Rads; Touch of Vegas; S&S Fishing and Rental; JDs Rentals, CRS Suspension, Sniper Speed, Dark Horse Racing Shocks, IRP by Crabtree, Fletcher Custom Engines, Generation 54. Wulfpak and CRS Racing. I really appreciate all they do for me, and couldn’t do this without them.”

As Spring turns to summer and weekly racing action heats up all across the state, Spalding knows what he’d like to accomplish before all is said and done. 

“As of now, our goal is to secure the National Rookie-of-the-Year honors in the Stock Car,” he said. “I won it last year in the SportMod. As far as the SportMod effort this year, we’ll just keep going after wins and see how the points stack up. 

“If the points starting looking good for us in that class, we’ll definitely go after them. But right now, we’re sitting in high cotton and wearing wide smiles. This is when racing is big fun, now it’s up to me to keep this momentum rolling. We’ll give it our best show with both cars and see what we can do.”  

By Phil Whipple, RaceON Staff Writer
Photo by Stacy Kolar, Southern SASS