The only thing Parrish and Montieth didn’t accomplish together is a victory against the World of Outlaws. But it was never from a lack of effort.
Perhaps one of Montieth’s most memorable moments is a 15th-to-second charge in the World of Outlaws yearly stop at Lincoln in 2014.
After blitzing through the field using his hallmark line, the top, Montieth caught eventual winner Daryn Pittman with 18 laps to go. Pittman had used the bottom most of the race, but when Montieth shot around the top in turns one and two and raced to Pittman’s right rear, he knew what was coming at full blast behind him.
“Anybody who’s raced here very long knows the last car number they want to see behind them with a couple of laps to go is that 21,” Pittman said in victory lane.
Montieth attempted multiple slide jobs, each one narrowly missing, as Pittman raced away.
That was as close as Montieth ever got to an elusive World of Outlaws victory, but the excitement he provided on that night lives on, as for so many other nights.
Dirt Classic wins in 2015 and 2019 against the All Star Circuit of Champions will always reign supreme with Parrish. A podium in the 2018 National Open at Williams Grove, behind Lance Dewease and Pittman, is another special moment.
Oh, and that time he charged from 24th to the lead in the 2013 Tuscarora 50, only to crash and drive back through the field to finish third is memorable, too.
But the one moment Parrish always draws back to is Opening Day 2004 at Lincoln, when Montieth surged from 20th to fourth and wrecked out, all before completing a lap.
The story doesn’t end there.
Leading up to that moment, Parrish and crew had to repair the front axle four times. A new axle went on after warm ups, qualifying, and the heat race, but when it needed a fourth repair after the B Main, Parrish had a different approach.
“We’re not putting a fourth one in,” Parrish said. “We’re actually going to roll the axle forward, get the wheelbase right, and send him on his way. I mean, we’re starting way back.”
That’s when Montieth went where no one else desired and ripped through the field before softly flipping on his side, right before the flagstand. He junked more cars in the weeks immediately after, and people began to question if Montieth would ever come into form.
On March 22, 2004, the first of 66 eventual Lincoln wins transpired, when Montieth rim-rode to his first victory with Parrish and broke a three-year winless drought.
“The rest is history,” said Parrish, who will enter a new chapter as an owner in 2021 with Matt Campbell behind the wheel. “Everybody would always say to me, ‘How can you watch him?’ I’m like, ‘It really doesn’t bother me.’ He was always trying. He always put it right on the edge. Every race he gave it his all.”