Drag Illustrated Issue 182, May / June 2023 | Page 102

with his . 037 . The two screw-blown Camaros were locked together as they traveled down the 660-foot track , then Hyde ’ s win light clicked on as he passed through the finish line . His 3.643 at 205.51 beat Steding ’ s 3.652 at 207.15 by mere inches .
“[ Savage ] told me it ’ s going to go a low . 64 and that ’ s exactly what it went ,” Hyde remembers . “ Thankfully , I was close enough to him on the tree that we outran them by ninth thousandths and got them by five at the stripe .
“ The whole thing was just kind of a blur after that ,” Hyde adds . “ It was pretty wild , pretty emotional , just the amount of calls and texts and support on Facebook from not only friends and family , but the whole country of Canada was following along .”
While Hyde ’ s supporters from afar were lighting up his phone , a massive celebration was happening in the winner ’ s circle . Over a dozen bottles of champagne were sprayed all over Hyde and his team , and handfuls of hundred-dollar bills – direct from Hollywood – were thrown into the air , with even more cash stacked on top of the car . “ I think we waxed the car five times to get all the champagne off of it , and my fire suit was pretty disgusting after that ,” Hyde laughs .
Like the three WSOPM winners who came before him – Mike Bowman , Carl Stevens Jr ., and the late Scott Oksas – Hyde wasn ’ t an odds-on favorite to win . That made the win that much more satisfying .
“ It was very overwhelming , just the amount of support , especially people that I didn ’ t know , everybody coming up and congratulating us ,” Hyde says . “ People seemed to be pretty genuinely happy that we won . We ’ re not necessarily an underdog but probably underestimated . We ’ d never really won anything big before other than in Canada , which doesn ’ t get as much recognition .”
Along with the recognition and the $ 100,000 prize – which works out to over $ 130,000 in Canadian dollars , for anyone wondering – Hyde ’ s victory came with several other rewards and perks . He was awarded the Scott Oksas Trophy , crafted by Tom Patsis of Cold Hard Art , and named in memory of the 2019 WSOPM champion , who passed away in March of 2022 . Keith Howard , Oksas ’ car chief and longtime friend , flew in from Oklahoma to be a part of the event and to present the trophy to the winner .
Several companies have offered up free or heavily discounted products since Hyde won . Precision Racing Suspension provided $ 10,000 worth of Penske products . Goodyear set him up with free slicks and front runners . Hyde ’ s haul also included a Star Racer blower belt , Neal Chance Racing Converters converter parts , and a Precision Shaft Technologies driveshaft . “ Everywhere I ’ ve called now , when I say it ’ s Spencer
Hyde calling , I get a little different response than I used to , which is pretty neat ,” Hyde says .
Perhaps the most unique prize associated with winning the WSOPM is a digital one . Hyde ’ s “ Jack & the Green Stock ” ’ 69 Camaro – a tribute to a Stocker his uncle Jack raced in the 1960s – will be immortalized in No Limit Drag Racing , a racing simulator game for mobile devices . One of the game ’ s developers , Paul Dunlop , was on hand to congratulate Hyde and start the process of adding his car to the hugely popular game .
“ I ’ m not a big video game guy myself ,” Hyde admits , “ but my cousin Quinn , who helps us on the crew here , he ’ s 15 and he ’ s into it . He ’ s built this car as close as he can on the game a hundred times . It sounds like it ’ s pretty big , and all the Street Outlaws guys are in it and it does pretty well . They reached out to me when I got home and asked for about 10 shots of the car all around it . They ’ re going to start creating it and get it in the game , which I ’ m looking forward to . I ’ ve downloaded the game on my phone and messed around with it a bit . I think that ’ s going to be pretty cool .”
The best part of winning the World Series , though , was celebrating with the people who ’ ve been by Hyde ’ s side since the beginning of his racing career . That includes his volunteer crew made up of family , high school buddies , and fellow racers from the Stratford , Ontario , area .
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