Las Vegas, NV (March 5, 1999) -- Hank Parker Jr., driver of the ...
Las Vegas, NV (March 5, 1999) -- Hank Parker Jr., driver of the #53 Bass Anglers Sportsman Society [BASS] Chevrolet Monte Carlo had his best qualifying run ever in the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division after qualifying fourth quick today with a time of 32.777 and a speed of 164.750.
Parker had blown an engine in the last practice round of the day prior to time trials and completed the engine change only minutes before the event was to begin. The scrambling team worked quickly and methodically as even Parker assisted with the change. "I was running really well and at one point in practice was second fastest, then to go out and blow a motor got me a little nervous."
Parker Racing purchased the new and untested engine only a week prior to this race. "We're faced with adversity," said team owner, father, and television fishing celebrity Hank Parker Sr. as the team began to change the engine. "Adversity will make us better," says Parker Sr. With the fourth place start in tomorrow's race, that is becoming obvious.
In addition to having mechanical problems, the Parkers face even bigger challenges. They are still seeking sponsorship from an "ideal" partner to work with them and the BASS organization. Parker says the BASS relationship is a very strong one and an invaluable piece to the puzzle of their success. The BASS organization has over 600,000 members nationwide. "We are looking for a sponsor who can work closely with the BASS organization to maximize the potential of this partnership," says Hank Parker Sr. "With my TV show on TNN, the BASS organization's media package, and my son's talent, we have a lot to offer a corporate partner looking to reach this very loyal and broad audience of fishermen and motorsports enthusiasts.
Adversity has however proven to be a stepping stone as the young Parker sits behind seasoned veterans, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon and beside close friend Lyndon Amick who drives the #35 SCANA/Powertel Chevrolet to make up the second row in tomorrow's event.
Parker and Amick have a strong friendship and share their General Manager, Barry Dodson. Dodson comes with a proven line of success after having worked with Rusty Wallace when he won his Winston Cup Championship in 1989 among other teams. "Barry really makes me feel confident and I'm glad that Lyndon and I share his talents." "Although we aren't really teammates, we get to share data and capitalize on a lot of things that we wouldn't have if we weren't working with each other," says Parker.
Parker and Amick are friends, but still competitors. After Parker completed his qualifying run, Amick approached and asked Parker "How is the track and what did you do?" Parker quickly gave the would-be third place qualifier advice that would no doubt help him secure his spot along side the BASS car on the starting grid. "I was third and I can't believe Lyndon beat me, he could have at least held back a little," joked Parker. Both teams are working hard to make an impact on this sport and judging by the beaming smiles of the two, they are having a great time doing it.