ROSSBURG, Ohio — Parker Price-Miller has been tabbed as Sam McGhee Motorsports‘ full-time driver for the rest of the year, McGhee confirmed Friday afternoon.
The duo debuts during this weekend’s 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway.
McGhee‘s driver for much of the summer and hopeful foundation for years to come, Spencer Bayston, departed the team late Thursday night. Bayston plans to reveal his next destination early next week.
Bayston notified McGhee after the Sept. 5 race at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway he would leave the operation following this weekend‘s 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
McGhee then planned to field two cars this weekend, one to break things in with Price-Miller and another to complete his informal agreement with Bayston.
That changed Thursday when McGhee and Bayston ended their four-month run.
“I‘m upset [Spencer] is leaving us … but we know Parker can get it done,” McGhee said. “He just hasn‘t had the right opportunity to show up and race. And when he does, it‘s only for a weekend or so. Now we are trying to move forward with our program and have Spencer do the same.”
Once this week concludes, Cole Duncan will race the next two weekends in the McGhee No. 11 at Atomic Speedway in Waverly, Ohio, and the All Star Circuit of Champions finale at Fremont (Ohio) Speedway. The Duncan deal came together shortly after Bayston notified McGhee his change of course and McGhee needed to fill his seat to close out the All Star Circuit of Champions season.
Price-Miller is McGhee‘s fifth full-time driver since his team embarked in winged sprint cars in 2018.
Ryan Smith, Dale Blaney and Zeb Wise all completed one-year stints with McGhee from 2018 to ‘20.
Entering this year, McGhee turned to veteran Ian Madsen for supposed stability, but the dynamics just didn‘t work and they parted in mid-June. Bayston then came along and things immediately clicked.
The team scored two monumental victories during a four-day span in July: the All Star Circuit of Champions‘ Lou Blaney Classic at Sharon (Ohio) Speedway and the Brad Doty Classic with the World of Outlaws at Attica (Ohio) Raceway Park.
“Here‘s what‘s going on: I‘ve wanted to keep Ryan Smith for a couple years and he decided to leave and go run for [Mike] Heffner, which I was more than happy for,” McGhee said, starting a long train of thought.
“Dale [Blaney], when he ran, that was his last full season and that was fine,” McGhee continued.
“Zeb [Wise] ran then started his own deal, more than happy for him to do that,” he added. “With Ian [Madsen], it just didn‘t work out for all of us, as much as we all wanted it to.
“We found Spencer and we thought we finally found our guy,” McGhee said.
“We had everything mapped out with him to run the World of Outlaws [next year], had everything in order, good sponsors we were talking to,” McGhee continued. “Spencer informed us, after the Labor Day show [at Port Royal], he‘s quitting to run [for another team].”
“I‘m not trying to make it look like I shit-canned a driver for no reason because that‘s not the case,” McGhee added. “You know how these keyboard warriors are. … I‘m tired of looking like the revolving door. We have fast-as-shit stuff. I‘m not trying to sound biased. We know we‘re one of the top cars.”
For Price-Miller, it‘s the sixth different car he will race this year. He owns two sprint car wins in 59 races and recently drove the Roth Motorsports No. 83 when the team needed a replacement for a suspended Aaron Reutzel.
Price-Miller has shown flashes of stardom, like when he led the Ironman 55 with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car Series at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo.
A parts failure midway through the 55-lap feature ruined his shot at a breakthrough victory. That kind of potential is what McGhee wants to work with into next year.
“I wouldn‘t call him up if I didn‘t think he could win,” McGhee said.