Parker Hopes to Make History at Pomona

Scott Parker, four-time American Motorcyclist Assn. Grand National dirt-track champion from Swartz Creek, Mich., wants to be the first rider to win five flat-track championships.

Parker broke out of a yearlong slump two weeks ago to win the Sacramento Mile, and he hopes the momentum will carry over to Saturday night's national half-mile at the Pomona Fairplex.

"I'm excited about getting back to Pomona," he said. "I've won a bunch there before, and winning at Sacramento helps my motivation in getting ready this week."

Parker moved from seventh place to pass 1992 champion Chris Carr with two laps to go and won by about 18 inches.

"Those last two laps at Sacramento, I held on as hard as I could," Parker said. "I think I proved to my fans and myself that I'm back."

Parker won four national titles from 1988 to 1991, riding a Harley-Davidson. He won the spring race at Pomona in 1991 and in 1992 won the spring and fall races. Only Carroll Resweber, who won four AMA titles from 1958 to 1961, has won as many as Parker.

After two races this season, Carr leads with 36 points, followed by Terry Poovey with 25 and Parker with 20. Carr won the season opener at Daytona Beach, Fla.

"I've been racing professionally since 1979, but I think I've still got some more wins left," Parker, 32, said. "The motor's running real good, so I think I'm good for two or three more years.

"When I'm at a beautiful track, I love it and wouldn't think of quitting. Then, when I'm at a lousy track, I wonder what I'm doing there."

The AMA is instituting a new qualifying procedure at Pomona. Instead of individual time trials, six four-lap heats will determine the fields for four 10-lap semifinal heats.

"It'll be interesting at Pomona, where you can ride high or ride low, but on one-groove tracks it will be a problem. You could get a bad start in your heat and in only four laps you might not get to the front. Pomona is a good track to work with, though, so it should work out fine."

The last time Parker was at Pomona last October, he crashed during practice and sat out the race.

Ricky Graham, who won a record 12 races, including the October race at Pomona, in winning the championship last year, is not expected to ride at Pomona because he is recuperating from injuries suffered while trail riding before the Sacramento race.

Motor Racing Notes

RALLY--Jeff Zwart, in a four-wheel-drive Porsche Carrera, will defend his lead in the Michelin PRO Rally series this weekend at the 11th annual Rim of the World Rally in the Angeles National Forest, near Palmdale. It is Round 4 of the Sports Car Club of America championship series. Zwart holds a substantial lead over defending champion Paul Choiniere, a three-time national and two-time Rim of the World winner. The 105-mile rally will start at the Palmdale Ramada Inn and run from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and 1:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Jason Priestley, star of "Beverly Hills 90210," will make his rally debut in a Toyota Celica turbo.

STOCK CARS--Winston Cup racing's lone 1994 California stop is the Save Mart Supermarkets 300 on the 2.52-mile Sears Point road course in Sonoma. Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace and Ernie Irvan head the entries for Sunday's 300-kilometer race. The Budweiser 200, a Southwest Tour race, will be held Saturday. . . . NASCAR Winston Racing Series sportsman cars will run Saturday night at Saugus Speedway along with a train race. . . . Toyota series modifieds and dwarf cars will run Sunday at Kern County Raceway in Willow Springs. . . . Also scheduled are Saturday night races at Blythe Speedway and Imperial Raceway in El Centro.

DRAG RACING--More than 500 sportsman drivers are expected for the National Hot Rod Racing Assn.'s Division 7 Winston Racing Series competition this weekend at Bakersfield Speedway. It is the third of six events in which drivers can earn points toward national and divisional championships. After three days of time trials, final eliminations will start Sunday at noon.

MOTORCYCLES--Southern California speedway riders will make their final preparations this week for the American Speedway Final, May 21 at Ventura Raceway. Racing will continue as usual Friday nights at Costa Mesa, Wednesday nights at Glen Helen Park, Thursday nights at Lake Perris and Saturday nights at Victorville.

MISCELLANY--The Sprint Car Racing Assn. will hold a wingless car program Saturday night at Santa Maria Speedway. . . . The Southern California Timing Assn. will open its El Mirage Dry Lake time trials season Sunday. . . . Western Racing Assn. antique midget and sprint cars will share the spotlight with wheel standing machines at the M.K. Smith Chevrolet truck and tractor pull Saturday night at the Chino Fairgrounds.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
71°