Off Road

King of the Hammers Rookie of the Year Robert Parker dies at 38

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Credit: Ken Hill

Robert Parker, a GNCC Racing veteran and the best finishing rookie at King of the Hammers in January, died last Wednesday after an accident while riding his ATV. He was 38.

Parker competed in the GNCC (Grand National Cross Country) series on an ATV in the 4×4 Pro category from 2016 through 2022. He was the 2019 4×4 A championship runner-up.

While much of his success came as a four-wheeled rider, he also boasted experience as a four-wheeled driver in a UTV, competing in the Southern Bounty Series. In January, he finished ninth overall and sixth in the Pro Mod UTV class at the King of the Hammers‘ Can-Am Hammers Championship, the best newcomer to KOTH.

“To countless fans a spectacular competitor, to the King of the Hammers Rookies a brother, and to many before that, @robertparker4x4 was a friend,” KOH posted on social media.

His funeral took place on Tuesday at Overflow Church in Angier, North Carolina. He was survived by his wife Casey and children Carleigh, Nathan, and Sawyer. Carleigh and Nathan, respectively eighteen and thirteen years old, are also involved in off-road racing and have raced in GNCC, while Nathan also rode shotgun whenever his father competed in UTVs.

“Robert Parker you were surely loved by many. And we hope that we showed you that today,” reads a statement from his team following the service. “You touched a lot of hearts. You were a light on this world and it is surely a dimmer place without you in it. We miss you dearly my brother. Keep the horsepower ripping up there in Heaven for us!”

A GoFundMe for his family has been established.

Robert Thurman Parker: 21 May 1984 – 15 March 2023

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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