PORT ELGIN, ON – After a trying 2017 campaign split between the APC United Late Model Series and Sauble Speedway weekly Ltd. Late Model division, popular veteran Jason Parker is not yet ready to commit to a plan for his 2018 racing season.
“2017 was probably the toughest season we’ve had in a long time,” admits Parker. “But this sport is never going to be just about the wins and the podiums. You have to take the good with the bad.”
“It’s all about shaking off the bad nights and finding a way to work through them. If it was easy then everyone would do it.”
Parker excelled at Sauble in Ltd. Late Model action but struggled all season long in his family-owned Pro Late Model during APC United Late Model Series competition. However, despite his rash of disappointments and mechanical failures, Parker insists his team is not yet ready to walk away from Pro Late Model racing.
“I haven’t come close to putting together a schedule for us yet but I can almost promise you it’s going to include some Pro Late [Model] races,” says ‘The New Age Punisher’. “I believe in the Pro Late Model package and I think that the APC Series is the most organized racing out there right now.”
“No matter what decision we end up making – it has to be something that makes sense for our team and our families,” continues Parker. “My business is growing every year and so are my kids, so a lighter schedule is something I’m always looking for.”
With a bevy of track championships and feature triumphs to his name, Parker has long been considered one of the province’s proverbial heavy hitters. However, as the depth of talent continues to intensify, Parker admits it has become more and more demanding to remain on the cutting edge of the rapidly evolving short track industry.
“The level of competition just keeps going up every year and that means we have to keep working to stay with these guys,” notes the veteran. “You can’t do any of this stuff half-heartedly. Either you’re in or you’re not.”
“It’s a lot of work and a lot of commitment to try and come out here and be competitive these days,” continues Parker. “This is a 12-month per year deal nowadays. Because you’re researching and working on your stuff all Winter to make sure that you can come back and make some gains in the Spring.”
“We’ll be ready for opening night, though,” nods the Port Elgin, ON racer with a smile. “I’m not sure what we’ll be racing or where – but we’ll be ready to race for the win.”