CONCORD, N.C. — One year ago at the Textron Off-Road World Finals, Parker Price Miller walked into the gates at The Dirt Track at Charlotte as a fresh-faced 18-year-old still trying to find his footing in the national sprint car scene.
Fast forward 12 months, and Price-Miller found himself walking in this time as the pilot of a full-time World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series ride courtesy of Destiny Motorsports.
The 19-year-old young gun from Kokomo, Indiana took over the seat of the No. 4 from veteran Paul McMahan in mid-September, and has since spent the last six weeks learning the ropes as a full-time Outlaw, something he’d never experienced prior to this fall.
“This year has definitely been something different than what I’m used to,” Price-Miller said Thursday ahead of qualifying night for the World Finals. “It was me and two other (crew) guys at the beginning of the year … I was 18, my crew chief was 20 and my tire guy was 21, so we were all really young, but we did a lot with what we had.”
“We had some success, I got my name out there, and when this (No.) 4 car came about … I knew I had a chance to take a step up. I feel like we’ve already gotten better, just in the last month, but it just hasn’t shown yet because we’re running weekly with the Outlaws and they’re the toughest (drivers) in the world. It’s not been an easy road so far, for sure, but we’re trying to stay positive and hoping to end the season on a good note.”
Having a mentor in McMahan as he’s begun grinding out nights on the road has been something that the 2016 MOWA Sprint Car Series champion has been thankful for as he works to grow both his own driving abilities, as well as the performance of the team.
“It helps to have a guy like Paul helping you out, someone who’s been there and done that,” Price-Miller said. “He’s been around the game for a while and he sure knows what it takes to do this, more than I do right now, anyways.”
“I’ve just been trying to soak up as much as I can from him and work on getting better each time out.”
Price-Miller said that, for now, the goals for both he and the team are realistic, but that he is as driven as ever to put them into victory lane before too long.
“My biggest hope is that we can just keep growing as a team and I can keep learning personally as a driver,” he said. “If we can win some races next year … that’s a big goal of mine and the team’s and we’re working hard to get there. I’m fired up to do that for them; hopefully we can park it here soon enough.”
Being the youngest Outlaw on tour? That’s just an added bonus.
“It’s a dream come true, honestly,” Price-Miller said of driving weekly with the World of Outlaws. “I was always a kid who played baseball and basketball … when I started racing, I looked up to all the Outlaws as guys I wanted to be like. To be one of those drivers now is more than I can put into words.”
“I don’t look at myself as an Outlaw just yet; those are the guys who stop invaders from winning and they’re consistent, night-in and night-out. We’re not there right now, but we’re working towards it and it’s cool to be considered a part of that fraternity.”
Though he said there’s still some moving parts in place, Price-Miller said that the plan as of now is to return to Destiny Motorsports and take on the full Outlaws schedule when the 2018 season kicks off in February.
“That’s the goal,” he affirmed. “There’s some things that haven’t been announced yet … but we’re working hard every day to make it happen.”
About the Writer
Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network, as well as a periodic contributor to SPEED SPORT Magazine.
Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.
The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.
Email Jacob at: email@example.com
Email Race Chaser Online: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews