PORT ELGIN, ON- Multi-time Sauble Speedway weekly champion Jason Parker will enter Round 5 of the APC United Late Model Series at Peterborough Speedway third in championship points. With a chance to close the 12-point gap on first place at his fingertips, it’s clear ‘The New Age Punisher’ is ready for a July 18th event that could define his entire season.
“As good as this team is I have no reason to think we can’t go to Peterborough and win,” says Parker matter-of-factly. “We’ve been great there in the past, and we intend to go in on Saturday night and put together an even better performance”
“Every race on this tour has been won by a home track driver – I want to be the first person to break that streak,” continues the Port Elgin, ON driver with a smile.
“The competition out here is so tight. I think there are 15 teams that will unload at Peterborough with a solid chance of winning. There aren’t a lot of guys on this roster that aren’t taking their program completely seriously”
In 4 tour appearances this season, Parker has three top-5 finishes – with an 11th place outing at Delaware Speedway on June 26th serving as the veteran’s lone blemish thus far.
“Of course we’re happy with three top-5s, but that doesn’t mean the nights in the shop get any shorter,” explains the blue-collar star. “We can’t coast for a single race. You can’t stop working if you want to remain relevant on this roster. Because we know the guys that we’re racing with aren’t going to stop. If you get lazy, you’ll get left behind”
When asked about strategy for the upcoming 100-lap affair at Peterborough, the fan favourite made sure not to mince words.
“There’s no guaranteed way to stay out of trouble at Peterborough. That’s just a fact,” offers Parker with a shrug. “But, your odds are a lot better if you’re at the front. So that’s where we’ll be looking to go as quick as possible”
“The only problem is, once you get to the front, it’s tough not to burn your stuff up. If you try to ease up a little, you’re getting run over from behind. So we’ll just need to walk that line between staying out in front of all the chaos and saving as much of our tires and brakes as possible”
He goes on to explain that the portions of the race that provide the most opportunity could also create havoc – but, as a competitor, it’s important not to dwell on the ‘what ifs’.
“Restarts are going to be tense,” offers Parker. “That’s the moment when your spotter is earning his pit admission. It’ll be wild for the first lap or so after the green comes out – because, at Peterborough, the restarts are the only real opportunities to make a clean pass. So, everyone on the bottom is trying to get under the guy in front of them, and everyone on the top is rushing to get to the bottom”
“As a driver, you just have to be mindful of that. But, you can’t drive scared,” insists the multi-time champion. “That’s when you make mistakes. All you can do is have faith in your spotter and hope that the guy next to you has enough respect for you not to send you into the fence.”
Round 5 of the APC United Late Model Series presented by Grisdale Racing Products in schedule for Saturday, July 18th at Peterborough Speedway. Details, including gate times and ticket prices, can be found at www.PeterboroughSpeedway.com.
Fans can keep up with Parker all weekend long by following him on Twitter @NewAgePunisher8 and by visiting the official Jason Parker Racing page on Facebook.
Jason Parker’s 2015 tour is powered by Prestige General Contractors, Saugeen Shores Transmission, MacDonnell Fuels, BAXI / Marathon Industries, Colourworks, Keeprite, Candue Homes, Ron Gibbons Construction and Crabby Joe’s of Port Elgin/Hanover.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)