Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kawartha Speedway's Vic Parsons ... A veteran racer in the truest sense

By Jim Clarke, Kawartha Speedway PR/Clarke Motorsports PR

With young racers getting the lion’s share of the headlines at so many different tracks, it could be easy for the more experienced runners to find themselves lost in the shuffle. Luckily, the on-track performance by some of the veteran drivers means they’ll still get their time in the spotlight.

One look at his resume will tell you that when it comes to driving stock cars, Vic Parsons has been there and done that. During the 1960’s, he made selected starts at invitational events in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The 69 year-old from Hawkstone, Ontario – who goes by the handle “Quick Vic” – has a background that also includes races in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, dating back to the 1972 and 1973 seasons. In that time frame, Parsons participated in 19 NASCAR events, racing against legends like Richard Petty, David Pearson and Bobby Allison and recorded 6 top 10 finishes – including 7th place runs at Bristol Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway. Fans of the popular ‘Back in the Day’ show on SPEED-TV would likely have heard Parsons’ name mentioned in coverage from those tracks, as well as Martinsville.

Vic Parsons currently competes in the headline Late Model division at Kawartha Speedway. While some drivers may find their skills and performance deteriorate as their years advance, Parsons is just the opposite. While running Kawartha’s Limited Late Model division during the 2008 campaign, the driver of the #1 Jackson’s Toyota/JLS Value-Plus Consulting/Ontario Steel Sales/Moore Packaging/South Barrie Collision/Advantage Door Systems Toyota was in the running for the season point’s title until mechanical gremlins sidelined his efforts on the final night of the season.

“It was great to be still in the fight for the championship right up ‘til the end,” said Parsons. “It just goes to show you that anything can happen. We ran neck and neck with Walters (eventual champion Tom Walters) all year long, so we have nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, it was exciting to see a couple of old guys running so well against the kids.”

Although he stepped away from the sport for about 15 years, Parsons has been a fixture at Kawartha Speedway for the last 6 seasons. During the winter, there were rumours making the rounds that he was ready to hang-up his helmet. When asked what brought him back to the track, his answer is simple.

“We didn’t sell the car over the winter, so we had to come back,” said the short-track legend. ‘Of course, we didn’t advertise it for sale anywhere so that could have made a difference. Sometimes I think there are other things I’d like to do during the race season – then we get to the track on the first night of the year and I quickly learn that all I want to do is race.”

2009 is “Quick Vic’s” first season in Kawartha Speedway’s Late Model division and just for fun; the team is considering putting a yellow stripe (used to indicate a ‘rookie’ racer) on the back bumper of his #1 Toyota. You might need to check his identification to find out, but ‘experience’ could very well be Vic Parsons’ middle name. He started driving racecars at the age of 18 – which seems almost ancient by today’s youthful standards – and still enjoys the competition. Ask where he ran his first ever race and a thoughtful look will come over the wily veteran’s face. He’ll rub his chin, roll his eyes around for a few minutes before saying....’I don’t know’.

He may not remember the site of his first race, but its almost a sure bet that Vic Parsons’ next win will come during the 2009 season at Kawartha Speedway.

Photo attachments: (Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications)
#1). Vic Parsons poses with his #1 Kawartha Speedway late model racer.
#2). ‘Quick Vic’ on the backstretch at Kawartha Speedway.

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