Phil Parsons : biography
Phil Parsons (born June 21, 1957, in Detroit, Michigan), is a former NASCAR driver and owner of Phil Parsons Racing. He is also the younger brother of the late 1973 Winston Cup champion and former NBC/TNT commentator Benny Parsons. Years later, he returned to the Busch Series, where he enjoyed modest success. During his racing career, he also embarked on a career as a racing TV commentator, providing color analysis for the Mizlou Television Network. Many of these shows can be seen on TV4U.Com. He is now a commentator for Speed Channel’s coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He can also be heard as commentator for the DirecTV NASCAR Hot Pass during Sprint Cup races. He was the starter waving the green flag for the 2007 Daytona 500. In 2008, he along with his wife Marcia became part owners of a new Nationwide Series team, MSRP Motorsports.
Parsons began racing in the Late Model Series and the NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series. When the Late Model Series became the Busch Series in 1982, Parsons joined the circuit full-time, driving the #28 Skoal Pontiac for Johnny Hayes. He won his first career race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and led the championship points early in the season. He won the pole in two of the last three races of the season and finished fifth in points. The following season, he competed in a limited schedule, 22 out of 35 races, but won four poles and had twelve top-tens, finishing fifth in the points. That season, he also ran five Winston Cup races with Hayes in the #66, posting two top-ten starts.
Return to Busch Series
In 1994, Parsons returned to the Busch Series on a limited schedule for Bill Papke. He won his second and final Busch race at the Champion 300, and finished 25th in points after running just seventeen races. He went back to full-time racing in 1995 in the #99 Luxaire Chevy owned by his wife Marcia, posting nine top-tens and finishing eighth in points. The following season, he switched his car number to #10 with sponsorship from Channellock. He began the season with consecutive third-place finishes but moved down to ninth in points. The next season, he finished in the top-ten in each of the first six races of the season posted a best finish of sixth in points. He also made his final Cup debut that season for SABCO Racing at Darlington, when he replaced Joe Nemechek, who was on bereavement leave (Nemechek’s brother John was killed at Homestead the previous week). He finished 31st.
With sponsorship from Dura Lube in 1998, Parsons matched his 1997 points finish. Alltel joined as primary sponsors for 1999, but Parsons failed to qualify for the NAPA 200 and dropped to fifteenth in the standings. At the end of the season, he merged his team with ST Motorsports to drive the #59 Kingsford Chevy, and finished twelfth in points despite just two top-tens. After that season, he joined ESPN and eventually SPEED as a commentator for truck races. His last start in NASCAR competition came at Kentucky Speedway in 2001. Phil also serves as a Pit Reporter for NASCAR on TNT. Driving the #97 Curb Agajanian Performance Group car, Parsons started fifth but finished 34th after a wreck late in the race.
1985 Jackson Bros. Motorsports #66 In 1984, Hayes and Parsons joined the Cup series and ran twenty-two races, posting three top-8 finishes and wound up 24th in the standings, second behind Rusty Wallace for Rookie of the Year. The same year, his Busch ride was bought by Jack Ingram and he ran five races for him, and had two top-five finishes. In 1985, he ran the full season, splitting time between Jackson Bros. Motorsports and Roger Hamby’s car. Despite four top-tens, he failed to finish thirteen races, and wound up twenty-first in points.
In 1986, Parsons ran seventeen races, and had a best finish of fifth at Talladega. He had four more top-tens, but finished twenty-seventh in the final standings. The following season, he got his first full-time Cup job with the Jackson brothers when he signed on to drive their #55 Copenhagen Oldsmobile, garnering seven top-tens and a fourteenth-place points finish. In 1988, Parsons led 52 laps at the Winston 500 and won his only career Cup race. He also had a career-best points finish of ninth that season. The next season however, he only had two top-fives and lost his ride at the end of the season.
He began 1990 driving the #4 Kodak car for Morgan-McClure Motorsports, but was released three races into the season. He ran at Bristol for Jackson in a one-race deal, finishing 25th, and also drove for Phil Barkdoll and Lake Speed. He made his most starts with the fledging Diamond Ridge Motorsports, his best finish with them a 21st at Darlington. He did not run the Cup series in 1991, instead running a handful of Busch races in his own equipment leased from Diamond Ridge. He had two top-tens, including a fourth at Darlington. After beginning 1992 with a tenth-place at the Daytona 500 with Melling Racing, he returned to Busch to run seven races, and had five top-tens.
In 1993, Parsons returned to Cup, running the #41 Manheim Auctions Chevy for Larry Hedrick Motorsports. Despite an eighth-place at North Carolina Speedway, Parsons was released near the end of the season, but ended with a ninth at Atlanta Motor Speedway for Butch Mock Motorsports.