Racing has always been a family affair for Zack Simpson.
Simpson grew up around the track as a kid as his brother and sister both raced, piquing his interest in the sport from a young age.
Now a married father of two, Simpson is just as enamored with the sport as he was as a child and is a staple at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma.
Simpson said all his brothers were just as interested in racing when they were young, but his interest in the sport persisted far beyond childhood.
“When I was a kid both of my brothers and my sister-in-law raced and my nephew Jack (Parshall) always raced from the time I was little. We had go-karts and cars at home, so I was always racing,” he said. “When I was 13 or 14 I started racing a go-kart. By then my brothers quit racing, but my dad and I were still really into racing so my dad bought my first car.”
Parshall and Simpson still go head-to-head on the track on a weekly basis with both of them racing in the street stock classification on Saturdays during race season at Grays Harbor Raceway. Parshall is third in the current standings while Simpson leads the classification in points.
Simpson started out driving Parshall’s street stock car when Parshall was unable to race for three years. When Parshall was set to return to the track, Simpson’s father Leonard bought him a car of his own. Simpson plans to do the same for his five-year-old son Carter, who had expressed interest in racing quarter midgets.
Simpson also jokes that his younger daughter, Danika, will be next in the family to get behind the wheel of a race car.
Simpson’s life has been consumed by racing and as a result, his free time is limited, most if it being consumed by making subtle changes to his car throughout the week. He said it means a lot to have his wife and kids in the stands on race day to watch the result of all his work in the garage.
“If they didn’t support me and put up with it, I’d be single. They have to put up with it and be okay with it or it causes a lot of problems,” he said. “I got to work 8:30 in the morning, I come home for 10 minutes (after work) and then I head to the shop. By the time I get home they’re already in bed, so I don’t see my family until Saturday night or on my days off. I’m glad to have them put up with me and enjoy it along with me.”