Some deep drag racing DNA is very apparent within a visionary effort for an already successful Ontario race team….

Brandon Barker, who is based from Belleview Ontario, has in a very short period of time done a remarkable job of establishing reputation within Eastern Canadian ET racing scenes.

Barker, who is the grandson to the late Jim Parkhurst (Parkhurst Motors & Racing Team) – a longtime drag racing staunch proponent, traces involvement in the sport since 2002 when he began racing a Junior Dragster.

An early photo (circa 2000) of the Parkhurst Motors Racing team.

“I was just 6 years old when I started driving a junior dragster,” Brandon revealed. “But my grandfather always made sure that I knew to tell everyone at the track that I was 8 years old.  That ended up being a running joke for about 3 years at the track!”

Brandon honed his early career at various tracks within Ontario & Quebec, including Shannonville Motorsports Park, Luskville Dragway, Napierville Dragway, Grand Bend Motorplex and Toronto Motorsports Park. At age 12 years he upgraded to a 7.90 Junior — then at 16 started his “big car” career – leading to stints in two different Super Pro dragsters.  

“My grandfather was and still is a huge part of my racing program,” he continued.  “He fuelled my passion for the sport and that memory continues to grow every day. Drag racing has always been a family event for me and more so now than ever.”  

During the two years just prior to the Covid pandemic (2018 and 2019) — it could be easily argued the Brandon Barker was the most successful drag racer overall for all of Canada – with his on-track winning % bearing that out.

In both 2018 & 2019 Brandon Barker enjoyed immense success racing this Parkhurst Motors presented Super Pro Dragster.

In 2018, he was crowned the series champion in both the Bracket Super Tour & Show Me the Money Tour and he was also named Driver of the Year at Luskville Dragway.  In 2019 he prevailed to win the first ever Triple Crown Championship (which was a series run across 3 airport race tracks) in Northern Ontario. In both 2018 and 2019 – he collected a very lucrative $60,000 in prize money (each year) while amassing no less than 15 individual event wins & 5 runner-ups over those two seasons.

But Brandon revealed that he is most proud of a title which he collected last year at what he considers to be his home track/back yard for racing.

“In 2020 I won the Super Pro Points Championship & Driver of The Year Award for Shannonville Motorsports Park,” he stated. “2020 was the final year for the Drags Series there which my mom, Sherry Barker, and Al Ray ran for 10 years.  I made that championship a goal at the start of the year and finished it off by winning 4 of 6 points events that season.”

Fast forward to this season — the Brandon Barker Racing team is now even more formidable — a 2-car assault with Brandon’s younger brother Daniel (23) the newest part of that equation.

Brandon & Daniel Barker

Together they run two identical Diamond-chassis dragsters, with D&D Performance taking care of the twin 565 cubic inch BBC engine programs.  Both cars feature KD Transmissions and converter set ups. 

The team’s valued sponsorship partners also includes Ogilvie Motorsports, Parkhurst Motors, Finish Line Motorsports, Pro 1 Safety Canada, Wild Willy Fuel Fragrances and Tunnel Vision Race Products.

The BracketLife Racing team features identically built Diamond Chassis Super Pro Dragsters.

Daniel, who lives in Toronto, is still finishing school while getting his drag racing career started.  So far his racing schedule has been somewhat limited to entry for some larger events as well as the Bracket Super Tour weekends.   

For the team a typical race weekend is very much a family affair including too Uncle Steve (Parkhurst), cousins Nathan and Carley, wife (Rachel) and her mom and dad (Vicki and Mike), and her sister (Ashley). 

Brandon Barker’s vision to the drag racing future has a major focus to the media awareness side of drag racing.  To address that he and wife Rachel did start their own company during 2021 — BracketLife Brand.

“We aim to celebrate what it means to be a bracket racer,” he explained.  “We want to emphasize and tell the behind the scenes story and the commitment that goes into getting to/from the race track every weekend. That along with highlighting drag racing across Canada is part of the BracketLife mission.”

In addition to marketing some brand apparel, BracketLife has commenced both a weekly email newsletter and blog posts where Rachel and Brandon alternate on sharing personal takes on living the drag racing lifestyle.  They also have created a YouTube channel where new videos are shared.    

With the 2021 racing season now concluded BracketLife/Brandon Barker Racing will shift its focus to 2022.

“Our objective is finally getting back south of the border to run big money events in the United States,” Brandon added.  “We want to expand the reach of BracketLife Brand and we want to continue to grow it for racing promotions, Canadian drag racing content and provide value to existing and future partners within our racing program.”

To visit BracketLife official click: HERE

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Brennan Shortall