NORTHFIELD, VT- For Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) racer Mike Parks, racing isn’t just a hobby, it’s a way of life.
Parks drives the #66 Black Rock Steakhouse/360 Design Labs/D + D Amusements Chevrolet for a series he has created, but he takes his love for the sport much further than that. Parks can be seen race directing at Monadnock Speedway on Saturdays when the series is not racing, helping Mike Bruno at Devils Bowl on Fridays when needed, being a crew member for fellow racers, or just grabbing a seat in the stands when nothing else is going on. “I’m still a fan first and foremost,” the Walpole, NH driver admits. “My friend Nathan Kelly and I attended between 70-80 races one year. I have a unique devotion to the sport.”
The 51 year-old racer got his start in racing by working on cars in his Junior year of high school. He built a Street Stock in the mid-eighties, but put his racing career on hold for a bit while his son was growing up. He and Kelly then built a Super Street in the mid-nineties, and finally jumped into the Pro Stock ranks at the turn of the millennium. Parks has worked with dirt track star Brett Hearn since 2001, and has learned a lot from the man who has 76 championships under his belt. “Brett is as good as they come,” Parks exclaims. “He has shown me the mindset and patience for long distance races. He’s a great person to learn from.”
Parks sees youth racing from a different perspective. As much as Parks loves the sport, his advice to youngsters is a conservative one. “Follow your dreams, but don’t rush,” Parks explains. “Play the hand you are dealt, and keep it in perspective. Don’t let your childhood go away; you have your whole life to race.”
The bar is set high for Parks this year. His search for a championship starts with carrying the checkered flag, and the series opener at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park is big on his list. His equipment has treated him well at the Connecticut facility, but Lady Luck has not. He likes the feel of the “Big Short Track” Thompson has to offer, and wants to come away victorious at the Icebreaker April 5th and 6th. “We gave one away at Monadnock last year,” says Parks. “Our goal is to win races. We aren’t going to race for points, we race for wins.”
To contact the Granite State Pro Stock Series, call 1-802-558-8954 or e-mail Mike Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, visit the GSPSS website www.gspss.net, like the Facebook page, or follow the GSPSS on Twitter @GSProStocks.