‘The New Age Punisher’ has spent the past three seasons focusing primarily on his APC United Late Model Series efforts, but will be back at Sauble in 2017 as the speedway transitions into a new era under first-year owner Paul Gresel and promoter Mark Dilley.
“Sauble has always been home and it always will be home,” smiles Parker. “We haven’t raced there much in the last two years, but it’s always been our favourite track. It’s an amazing feeling to have the opportunity to head back there in a Limited Late [Model] to support this new reincarnation of ‘the Beach”.
Parker, a longtime friend of Dilley, was a longtime supporter of Dilley’s events at Sunset Speedway – having won Sunset’s crown jewel Velocity 250 event in 2014.
“I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I think Mark Dilley is the best promoter in the province,” offers the multi-time Sauble Speedway champion.
“Our team used to drive three hours one-way to support his shows when he was still at Sunset. He’s a racer’s promoter and, as far as I’m concerned, supporting him and [Paul] Gresel now that they’re working in our backyard is a no-brainer”.
And although Sauble has receded from the forefront of the provincial scene in recent seasons under former administrations, Parker is confident the Gresel/Dilley tandem has the right direction and planning to return the speedway to its former glory.
“It’s unfortunate that Sauble’s been in a slump for the last three seasons or so,” shrugs Parker, “but it feels like [Mark] Dilley and [Paul] Gresel are building something that is absolutely going to put the speedway back where it needs to be”.
“The right people are definitely in charge now,” continues the veteran. “You can feel the passion when you speak to either one of these guys about what they’re hoping to do moving forward. Knowing that you’re racing for a promoter that has the same love of the sport as you do is a great feeling”.
“I’m looking forward to helping rebuild this roster back to where it was when Sauble had one of the best weekly shows in the province. We’re going to do it from the ground up – brick by brick”.
Entering Saturday’s 2017 season opener, the Port Elgin, ON native can’t help but wonder just how many proverbial heavy hitters will be in attendance to earn victory in the first event held under the new regime.
“I think people are going to be surprised at who’s in the field on Saturday,” suggests Parker. “I’ve heard all kind of rumors about who’s coming out. I think it’s going to be a tough feature to win. This is the kind of race people remember. Everyone’s going to want to stake their claim at the first race of the new generation.”.
“This deal is made possible by, Nick and Great Lakes Concrete, I will be Running 5 Races and Nick will be hide the wheel for 2,” We hope to get off to a Great Start this Saturday and “Parker” in Victory lane”.