Sand Becomes Three Time Winner of Parish Race
Rander, MI – December 10, 2013…After setting fast time and battling his way to the front from his sixth place starting place, Ray Sand, Jr. held on to win his third Dion Parish Memorial at Rander Speedway in Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series action Tuesday evening.
Sand, Jr. is the only driver to have won the race more than once having taken back to back wins in 2006-2007, yet the now three-time winner claimed in victory lane that this was by far his most fulfilling victory in the prestigious race.
The ecstatic winner exclaimed, “Awesome! This is just flat-out awesome because after hearing Lindsey talk about her father, I was more motivated than ever and it just made me dig that much deeper. I drove the wheels of the thing tonight and even though I didn’t know Dion personally, I really wanted to win this one.”
Sand, Jr., was speaking of Lindsey Parish, the youngest daughter of the late Dion Parish whom the race is named for and came in to speak to the SUPRS racers before the start of the feature event. With a voice filled with emotion she said, “I want you all to know that what you do here, racing online in memory of my dad, means the world to me and Mindy and our family.”
She went on to say, “You know, my dad, he just never gave up. It wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about enjoying life and treating people well. To dad, it was more important to have a good time and understanding that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but you should never give up. He always tried to teach Mindy and me that, and it’s hard, we miss him every day, but we always remember to keep trying hard. As hard as it is we feel very fortunate to know that you guys are keeping his memory alive.”
Dion Parish was a supermodified racer from Michigan that lost his life in a testing accident in September of 2002 at Kalamazoo Speedway. SUPRS started and administers a benevolent fund for supermodified racing in his memory and donates money to injured drivers in his memory.
After Miss Parish gave the command to go racing, Gary Waldron jumped out to an early lead from his pole position. Waldron, who is from Michigan just like Parish, looked to be well on the way to his first win in this race and first of the season. After leading the first 31 laps of the event, Waldron’s dreams of taking the win went by the wayside as he came up to put a lap on Dave Brigandi.
Brigandi, making his first SUPRS start in several years after having competed regularly in the early days of the league, courteously, moved high to allow the leader by but Waldron slowed just enough to allow 2004 Dion Parish Memorial winner Bob Gangwer to slide by under both from his second place spot.
As Waldron slipped further back in the field, Gangwer was able to stretch his lead while the pack battled fiercely behind him. Gangwer held on for 11 laps before scrubbing the outside wall. Sand, Jr., seeing his shot, pounced and made a power move to the inside going into turn one on lap 43. The two ran wheel to wheel of off turn four but Sand, Jr. was able to pull ahead and take the lead. Gangwer pressured the leader several times over the last 20 laps but it wasn’t enough to break the will of the winner and ended up second.
Gangwer had this to say after the race, “First of all, congratulations to Ray, he deserved that win, I could tell he wanted it when he went by me and you know with Dion and me being buddies, I really wanted to get another one of these.”
“Let me tell you, I really thought that once I got by Gary, I could pull this
thing off, the car was really good just past half way and I really got into a rhythm out there and really didn’t think anyone was going to catch me,” he said, then added, “Trouble is, you have to stay off the wall and I didn’t and Ray got me, but what a race. I don’t think I’ve driven with that much determination in a long time and there were some great battles out there tonight. I was just lucky enough to be a part of a couple of them.”
While Waldron, Gangwer, and Sand, Jr. traded the lead up front, third place finisher Steve Callahan had his hands full trying to hold off the rest of pack while clawing his way to the podium.
“Steady Steve” as he’s known to his fellow racers, was also inspired by Lindsey Parish’s talk prior to the start. “I think hearing Lindsey talk made all of us drive a lot harder including me because that was just plain good, hard, competitive racing out there tonight.”
“When Ray went by me, I’m not going to lie, I was upset because he got into me a bit right when I was running fourth and just getting settled in, but I just remembered what Lindsey said about never giving up and I got back into my rhythm and was able to hold off Rob even though he was right there with me,” said Callahan.
Rob Warren and Carl Becker rounded out the top five and Sand, Jr. picked up 10 bonus points after being deemed the SUPRSCharger for advancing the most positions from his starting spot.
The SUPRS racers move on now to Bracket Hill Raceway for the 10th Annual Christmas Special 25 lap race on December 17 when the winner will receive a Burgers’ Smokehouse Christmas Ham.
10th Annual Dion Parish Memorial 62
Winged Supermodified Time Trials (showing best lap)
- 18 Ray Sand, Jr.; Rochester, NY: 11.497
- 55 Steve Callahan; Cayuhoga Falls, OH: 11.544
- 35 Rob Warren; Pulaski, NY: 11.592
- 15 Joey Callahan; Cayuhoga Falls, OH: 11.603
- 25 Bob Gangwer; Goshen, IN: 11.627
- 10 Gary Waldron; Wyoming, MI: 11.647
- 42 Carl Becker; Lansing, MI: 11.710
- 77 Kevin Timmins; Baldwinsville, NY: 11.734
- 52 Dave Brigandi; Syracuse, NY: 11.892
- 18 Ray Sand, Jr.* ! ^
- 25-Bob Gangwer*
- 55-Steve Callahan
- 35-Rob Warren
- 42-Carl Becker
- 10-Gary Waldron* **
- 77-Kevin Timmins
- 52-Dave Brigandi
- 15-Joey Callahan
Time of Race: 11:97.840
* Denotes Lap Led
** Denotes Most Laps Led
! Denotes Fastest Lap of Race
^ Denotes SUPRSCharger