PORT ELGIN, ON- Former Sauble Speedway Ltd. Late Model champion Jason Parker has been a perennial contender at Peterborough Speedway’s infamous Autumn Colours Classic for the better part of a decade. However, despite a number of promising runs and close calls, ‘The New Age Punisher’ has yet to etch his name into the history books as a ‘Classic’ champion. This weekend, the blue-collar veteran hopes to find a way to break into Peterborough victory lane for the first time in his career.
“As long as I have a car that will roll, I’ll be at ‘the Classic’. Every year,” says Parker – almost defiantly. “You couldn’t keep me away”
“Events like this are exactly why we do what we do,” adds the small business owner. “They’re the culmination of hours of research and countless nights in the shop. I’ve won a couple of these bigger events, but I haven’t been able to add my name to ‘the Classic’ yet – and I’ll be in that pit area every year, unloaded and ready to get at it until I win it”
Parker has earned top qualifier honours in the past at Peterborough, and has come within a hair’s breadth of winning the 75-Lap contest on more than one occasion.
“I’ve been so close at this race,” smiles Parker, shaking his head for emphasis. “It’s become a bit of a thorn in my side, because I can’t remember the last time we didn’t lock up the trailer on the Saturday night not feeling as though we had a great chance to win the feature on Sunday”
“I’m not sure what it’s going to take for us to get over that hump,” continues Parker, “but I know that every single guy on this team is heading to Peterborough ready to give every ounce of effort necessary to make it happen. We want this win. It’s going to happen eventually. So, the way I see it, it might as well be this year”
Although many drivers view the extended-distance race as a test of endurance, Parker is quick to refute that notion. Explaining that, thanks to the depth of talent that make the pilgrimage to Peterborough each Thanksgiving, it’s quite the opposite.
“75-Laps seems like a long time on paper, but I’m telling you when you’re out there and you get into a green flag run – the time flies by,” explains the veteran. “That’s why a strong qualifying run means so much”
“If you start deep in the field, you can bet all the money in your wallet that you’re going to have a group of killers in front of you,” continues the 2014 Sunset Speedway Velocity 250 champion. “And, when you have to pass guys of that caliber, you can run out of time in a hurry. If you roll off outside of the top-10 at ‘the Classic’, you’re long on work and short on time”
For Parker, the Autumn Colours Classic offers the ideal backdrop to test his equipment and program against the very best in his division from across Ontario.
“This weekend is the embodiment of competition,” says the father of two. “We’re going to bring our best stuff – and so are 29 other teams from all over the province. My guys are going to work their asses off – just like 29 other groups of guys are going to work their asses off”
“Nobody lucks into a win at Peterborough. Somehow, this event has a way of sorting out the most deserving team. There’s no shortcuts this weekend. We have to just put our heads down and work – and hope that it’s enough on Sunday afternoon.”
For more information on the Autumn Colours Classic, visit 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 efforts are powered by International Boiler Makers Local 128, 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)