NASCAR: Parker Chase Talks Transition Into the Sport

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Like many NASCAR drivers, Parker Chase has had a need for speed as long as he can remember. At the ripe old age of 10, Chase finally talked his parents into allowing him to get behind the wheel of a go-kart, and after his first taste of racing, there was no turning back.

At 15 years old, Parker Chase graduated from go-karts to sports car road racing. The young driver didn’t even have a license yet but was already inside a Porsche in the Pirelli World Challenge Balance of Performance test.

“I ended up hopping in a different car and went out and went pretty quick, and so my whole year’s plans changed,” Chase said. “We went and did a full season of Pirelli World Challenge in GT4 (with Performance Motorsport Group). And I think my first race there was about a month later, and we ended up third on the podium and fifth in another race.”

A few years later, Parker Chase was driving a No. 14 Lexus for AIM Vasser Sullivan Racing when he met none other than NASCAR driver Kyle Busch, who had just captured his second NASCAR Cup Series championship.

“It was cool just to see the amount of people that wanted to talk to Kyle Busch,” Chase said. “Everywhere you go, there’s always a swarm of people following him. And even the autograph session that we did, I think the line for our table was probably four times longer than anybody else’s. And there’s plenty of people there that have won Le Mans multiple times and everything you can imagine. But the Kyle Busch table was the longest.”

Kyle Busch Inspired Parker Chase to Switch to NASCAR

He didn’t know it at the time, but the interaction with Kyle Busch would eventually change the course of Parker Chase’s life. As he got older, he realized that there was more opportunity in NASCAR than other types of racing.

“Because if you ask anybody that’s not in motorsports,” Chase said. “They say, ‘oh yeah, race cars.’ And when you’re racing in sports cars, they say, ‘oh, like NASCAR!’ So I think NASCAR in the United States is obviously the superior form of motorsport. So I just felt that you know, if I went that route, I have a strong opportunity of making it a full-time career.”

Parker Chase will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at his home track of COTA (Circuit of the Americas). Though it’s his first time in an Xfinity Series race, Chase feels confident that success awaits him on the road course.

“I think I want to at least finish in the top 10,” Chase said. “I think it’s gonna be quite hectic, so if we can stay out of trouble and not getting any serious contact or break anything and just keep it clean, we have an easy chance to finish on the top 10 I think. That’s my bare minimum goal, but obviously want to go out there and win as everybody does.”