Ray Parent drives Ford to his biggest victory yet
Ray Parent drove his Amtrol #17 Ford Fusion race car to victory at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway's Magic Mile in Loudon, NH, on Saturday, Sept. 22. "This is without a doubt our biggest career win ever to win at the 'Magic Mile' against the best of the best — it just doesn’t get any better than that," said his father Rene Parent of Westport. Despite having had a good season complete with several top five finishes, the former Seekonk Speedway Pro-Stock ace was considered a long shot to win the top-level ACT (American Canadian Tour)race — one headline declared, "Parent Thrills, Steals First ACT Tour Victory Invitational." The invitational race pits local track champions from the US and Canada against one another and Mr. Parent was the only Rhode Island driver in the field and this was his first ACT series victory. The Enterprise News of New Hampshire reports that "Rhode Island's Ray Parent took his racing effort to another level." Parent, the newspaper reports, "took advantage of the timely caution, after starting 20th on the field. He excited the cheering crowd with a four-wide move on the following restart to break into the top five. Wasting no time, he ducked underneath again for another three-wide move moments later, and by lap 19 he had stolen the lead ... MacDonald quickly got to second place, and loomed large in Parent’s mirror.Tiverton resident and Westport native
"A lap 26 caution brought the pair together, but at the drop of the green, MacDonald’s car suddenly spun backwards through the field. That's when Parent broke away with the lead, while MacDonald was eventually forced to retire. By lap 28, Polewarczyk was hot on Parent’s trail after starting 33rd" and took the lead. " ... But only momentarily as on lap 35, Parent put the crowd on its feet with another crossover and snatched the lead back on the inside. It became a tense fight and the laps wound down as the pair battled for the win. As the race come to a close, Parent began to break away
“Words can’t explain what this means to me,” said Parent in the post race press conference. “All year we’ve set ourselves up for today. This year was about exactly what we came and did here. Every race on the tour is wheel-to-wheel, and that’s what makes it so good. We worked on getting top tens, we worked on getting top fives, but it all leads to this."
Mr.. Parent was own and raised in Westport, went to Westport schools, moving to Tiverton after getting married. His parents still live in Westport.