They are the words Paul Harvey made famous on the radio for years: And now you know, the rest of the story.
On Friday, Mike Parks, director for the Granite State Pro Stock Series, distributed a press release to media outlets announcing the series was breaking away from its affiliation with the Valenti Modified Racing Series.
Not so fast said Valenti Modified Racing Series founder and owner Jack Bateman.
The rest of the story isn’t a pretty one.
On Friday evening Jack Bateman said, despite the information being spread by Parks, Parks will no longer have any affiliation with the Valenti Modified Racing Series. And Bateman made it very clear, the Granite State Pro Stock Series is not going anywhere with Parks either.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series recently completed its second season. It was a division envisioned by late Valenti Modified Racing Series race director John Hoyt and Parks.
Bateman said the problem since last year has been that Parks has acted like the division is his.
“He was the self-proclaimed founder and president and he is not,” Bateman said. “It’s my division. I own the series. I just let him say what he wanted because I never wanted to get into a pissing contest with him.”
Bateman said issues between himself and Parks came to a head during the World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson Speedway Oct. 18-20. Bateman had been in talks to purchase scaling and inspection equipment that had been in use at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H.
Bateman said the plan was to buy the new equipment for use with the Valenti Modified Racing Series and the current inspection equipment that was being used would be moved to the Granite State Pro Stock Series. When Bateman arrived at Thompson he learned Parks had bought the equipment for use for the Granite State Pro Stock Series.
“He went behind my back and bought all this stuff,” Bateman said. “At that point I felt that I couldn’t trust him any more. He came to my office this week and I told him we should go our separate ways.”
Bateman said he will continue to operate the Granite State Pro Stock Series.
“We’re going to forge ahead,” Bateman said. “I feel kind of bad that Mike isn’t going to be involved but that’s his choice.”
Parks said he was trying to be “politically correct” in putting out a release saying the “Granite State Pro Stock Series” was splitting from Bateman’s watch with the Valenti Modified Racing Series.
“It’s a partnership that has gone distant,” Parks said of his relationship with Bateman. “But he does own the name and the series.”
Bateman said he wasn’t surprised that Parks distributed the release. The explanation of the split in the release by Parks could be termed extremely misleading, to the point of dishonest.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” Bateman said. “The worst thing that can happen is to have a split because both will fail and that won’t be good. I’m going to work really hard to keep the Granite State Pro Stock Series alive and well and I feel I can do that. And I’m not going to be concerned with what Mike will do. I don’t want to be that guy that acts like a jerk, I’m just going to work hard to make the series successful for the guys that are committed to it.
What Parks didn’t put in the release he distributed is that he intends to start a new series called the New England Super Late Model Series.
“I started [the Granite State Pro Stock Series] series for the betterment of Pro Stock racing because that’s what I have for a car and there’s a lot of guys like me that still like racing these cars and there was no place to race them,” Parks said. “And that’s my goal to continue onward.”
Parks said he has commitments for six events for next year for his new series, two races each at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. and Hudson Speedway in Hudson, N.H.
“Every competitor I have talked to today, I’ve talked to about 15-18 different competitors, and they are all on board with what I’m doing with this series 100 percent,” Parks said.
Thompson Speedway has already announced that the Granite State Pro Stock Series will be part of the season opening Icebreaker April 5-6 next year at Thompson and the track’s season ending World Series of Speedway Racing Oct. 17-19.