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Gary Parker’s Long-Awaited Return to NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle Nears

Posted By: Steve Baur
Written By Morgan Hixon
Photography Courtesy of Gary Parker

After many months of dedication, sponsors that believed in his efforts, and a very supportive wife, Gary Parker will be making his long-awaited return to NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Mod Muscle. 
Parker experienced a very scary wreck at the 13th Annual Scoggin Dickey Parts Center NMRA NMCA All-Star Nationals in Atlanta back in 2021 when his 2002 Mustang attempted to take out a wall. The longtime NMRA competitor was not sure if, or when, he would get back in the driver’s seat, as the damage was extensive, requiring an almost complete rebuild. As personal and economic wrenches were thrown in his way, he has been resilient to put all the pieces together and get back on track.

Thanks to his incredible support system, Parker plans to make his return at the Arrington Performance NMRA NMCA Power Festival in Martin, Michigan July 21-24. Goals leading up to the event include a hopeful plan to fire the car this week, many testing days in the coming weeks, and most importantly, making his comeback with a winning mindset. Parker even plans to break into competition at either NMCA Norwalk or NMCA Indy later this season to run Open Comp.

Parker added, “I have not missed a Holley NMRA World Finals since my first time out many years ago, so I definitely plan to be there to close out the season in Bowling Green. There is just something about that track—It has so much history and is by far my favorite stop on the tour.”

As months of hard work and long hours in the garage come to a successful decline, Parker wants to thank all of those who continue to stick by his side. Exedy Racing Clutches has been a huge part of his program for close to ten years and have been a major support system. Jonathan Embry at Embry's Auto Body and Restorations did an incredible job getting the body and paint looking better than ever following the body repair work by Clint Poling.

Thanks to RC Components Wheels and Mickey Thompson Tires, Parker’s Mustang will sport new shoes. Rick Groh Racing took on the task of a full refresh of the Coyote engine while Neal Racing Transmissions took care of a transmission refresh while adding some upgrades. The Mustang sports a full Fuelab fuel system that was all replaced and rewired following the incident. Team Z added to the build with a completely new front end suspension package. Attitude Street Cars has also been instrumental in getting Parker up and running again. Lithia Springs Ford has been a supporter of Parkers for several years and was right there to help this time around, too. Parker also mentioned, “Thank you to my wife, Carole, who has spent long hours in the garage helping me get it back together. Without my support system, I would not be where I am today.”

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