Banner weekend for Parker at Norm Carr Classic
August 13, 2010
For Immediate Release (Winona, ON - August 12, 2010)
It was a banner weekend for Kawasaki Race Team's John Parker at the prestigious Norm Carr Classic ½-mile in Belleville on Saturday, August 8, which saw a sold-out grandstand full of racing fans as well as top competitors from Ontario, Quebec and New York on the track.
Parker not only blew away the competition in the Pro 450 and Pro Open qualifying heats, he delivered a repeat winning performance in the finals finishing well ahead of second place Chris Evans and third place Oliver Beauliveau Gagnon in both classes.
"We've been working pretty hard this last year and the season hasn't been without its struggles. Winning all four races in Belleville was a really nice way to pay it all off. I'm pretty pleased with it. The track was fast and ideal for racing and the bikes were smooth and perfect! In fact, the 450's times were nearly identical to the 600's," Parker said. "I felt really good in the saddle all night. I made no mistakes and hit my marks every time. This is the kind of scenario every rider hopes for but rarely do all the pieces fit together so nicely."
Not only was it a banner weekend for Parker, it was an equally banner weekend for Kawasaki Racing Canada, as the team had not won a major dirt track event in almost 35 years. Winning the Norm Carr Classic is about ‘bragging rights' and is the Canadian dirt track equivalent of winning at Indianapolis or Daytona. Not surprisingly, a lot of the major players in North American dirt track racing, past and present, have won the event.
Parker is the only dirt tracker who has raced the Norm Carr Classic every year since its inception in 1978. He has won the premiere Open division three times, two of which, like on August 8th, were complimented with wins in the 450 as well. His accomplishment is a record that is unlikely to be broken, especially considering he won the most recent edition of the crown jewel in the CMA's National Dirt Track Championship series at the age of fifty-one.
Although the competition was fierce, it was mostly behind Parker, who hole-shotted both classes to pull away and basically run his own race. In the 450 final, he gapped fellow veteran dirt tracker Chris Evans by a full straightaway; slightly less in the Open. But there was no doubt that Parker ruled all evening long adding yet another milestone to his illustrious and long-running career's highlights.
Showing the heart of a true racer, Parker didn't just go home to rest on his laurels and celebrate his Belleville win. The next day he travelled all the way to Medina, NY to campaign Round 4 of TT Flat Track Scrambles Championship.
He carried the momentum of Belleville with him easily winning his qualifying heat to then take the checkered in the final. The final, however, took a bit more effort. Parker was involved in a first-turn crash with two other riders that called for a red flag so track officials could clear the carnage.
Parker was not only lucky to walk away from the crash, his bike sustained very little damage and he was able to line up for the restart, albeit from the back of the pack. Undaunted by the harrowing crash, Parker stayed on top of his game picking off rider after rider to secure the lead by the halfway point. Once up front, he took it all the way to the finish line.
"There was a lot of driving involved but I had no intention of missing Medina. I love the TT Flat Track Scrambles because it offers a different kind of challenge, and I want to fulfill my mission to win another championship there. I figure as long as I have the desire, energy and top-flight equipment like my Kawasaki bikes to keep me competitive, I might as well go for it," Parker said.
With one round left on the schedule this weekend, Parker has enough points to claim his fourth consecutive Medina TT Flat Track Scrambles Championship as long as he finishes inside the top-10. Considering his record at the track, this should be a shoo-in barring a worst-case scenario.
John would like to thank the following people for their continuing loyal support: Len Shpeley, Jake Vanroon, Connie Vanroon, Dawn Parker. A big thank you goes out and his valued sponsors who help to make it all happen: Canadian Kawasaki, Inglis Cycle Centre, Scorpion Helmets, 26 Twenty Six Suspension, Hot Cams - Pivot Works, IM Leathers, Bickle Racing, Extreme Measures Kustom Paint, Saddlemen, Ron Wood Racing, A&A Racing.