One year removed from a dominant season racing weekly at Sauble Speedway, Late Model veteran Jason Parker has confirmed he will compete full-time with the upstart APC United Late Model Series in 2015.
The Pro Late Model tour has already garnered interest from some of Ontario’s most accomplished competitors, including two-time Autumn Colours Classic winner Mike Bentley, multi-time Ltd. Late Model champion Dwayne Baker, nine-time Delaware Speedway Modified champion Jamie Cox and 2014 OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour champion Andrew Gresel.
“I’m not sure I’ve ever been matched against a better roster than this,” says Parker of the star-studded lineup. “These are guys that you know, for a fact, are not going to give you an inch. If there are 50 drivers on this roster, over 40 of them are taking their programs just as serious as we are.
“I can’t remember ever being this excited for a race season. I’ve been counting down the days. I can’t wait to test myself against the best guys in Ontario.”
After winning five races en route to the Sauble Speedway championship last season, Parker explains that the tour’s eight-race schedule played a definitive role in his decision.
“I’m at the point in my career where I don’t have the time to commit to an 18-race schedule anymore,” admits Parker. “Between my business and my family, there just isn’t the disposable time like there was ten years ago. This schedule works for our team. We get to race against top level competition, at tracks that we already love to go to, and we don’t have to give up our entire summer.
“As soon as we went over the schedule, we knew that this made sense.”
When asked about a push for the inaugural tour championship, Parker maintains his family-run team is up for the challenge.
“We’re ready to do what it takes to contend this season,” the personable veteran said with a smile. “It’s going to take some fantastic performances – and a lot of good fortune – but we’re ready to put in the hours and the hard work.
“This is the kind of championship that people remember. Fans in Ontario will always remember who the first tour champ was. That’s the kind of accomplishment that stays with a driver long after they’ve left the sport.
“I don’t know how many years I have left doing this – so I’d like to win a tour championship while I still can.”
The APC United Late Model Series presented by Grisdale Racing Products will open up its 2015 season on May 23rd at Sunset Speedway.
-By Spencer Lewis, Speed51.com Canadian Editor – Twitter: @itsspencerlewis
-Photo credit: Dan Little Photography