Monticello, NY --- It’s true that Billy Parker, Jr. has been around for decades. And it’s true he has won an inordinate number of driving titles. It’s also correct that he won two more races at Monticello Raceway on Tuesday (Sept. 10) and has now has driven 11,037 winners in his illustrious career.
With those victories Parker is now poised to take over sixth position all-time in North American races won and needs just one victory to tie Walter Case, Jr.’s total of 11,038.
Parker is not getting the live catch-drives that he has in the past, but still the bearded wonder has reined 159 winners this year and is currently third on the local leaderboard. But in the past his name was atop the leaderboard -- some 18 times over the years.
On Tuesday Zeke won a pair of races. He scored a stunning come-from-behind 1:58 victory with Robert Dinerman’s Topgun Raider ($14.00) in race five and then won race seven behind Karma Racing’s Olive Loaf ($4.70) in 1:57.1.
Asked how he feels chasing the leaders in the win department this year, Parker just shrugged his shoulders and said philosophically, “I’ve had a great career and with all the curves that life has thrown at me, not being the (driving) leader is not all that important at this stage of my life.”
It’s no secret that Parker has endured many tragedies in his lifetime, not the least being the loss of his beloved wife, TJ, a few years ago and beating prostate cancer early last season.
Also on Tuesday, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. again won five races on the card, four for trainer Bob Lounsbury. He now leads runner-up Jimmy Marohn, Jr. by 55 wins, 280-225.
When his 133 winners at Saratoga Raceway are added to his seasonal total, Aldrich now has 413 seasonal victories which ranks him fifth best in North America.
“I always had a big public stable but I gave it up this year and just concentrated on driving,” Aldrich explained. “I’m driving at both Monticello and Saratoga, many times at both tracks on the same day, and I have to admit it’s exhausting, especially since (the tracks) are 165 miles apart.”
Still, Aldrich is having the best season of his career and is just 38 wins from equaling his best output of 451 which he recorded in 2010.