Off the Clock: Parks employee driven by passion & family

Updated April 16, 2024

ray win

"It's the thrill, the adrenaline," says Parks Inspector Ray Molina. "It's why I race."

Ray is a familiar face in the Parks, Recreation & Libraries department. He has worked in Parks for more than 16 years and enjoys his role in Park Development.

But it’s what Ray does in his spare time that takes his love for competition and sports to a new level. One day, while taking kids to school, he stumbled upon the All-American Speedway in Roseville. Fascinated by the speed and camaraderie, he decided he wanted to get behind the wheel in the world of NASCAR's F4 division series.

"It's always fun to be competitive and win," Ray says with a smile. "Anyone can get out there, find their limits.”

The F4 series takes drivers on a high-octane journey around a short track, testing their skills and nerves with speeds reaching up to 70+ miles per hour. 

Ray bought a car from a local driver and dove headfirst into the world of racing. “For me, the allure of cars packed together, side by side, and bumper to bumper is just irresistible,” he adds.

Ray & Matthew

The first few years were a learning curve. After power steering failures and his car being pinned to the wall, Ray decided to take a break, but he just couldn’t stay away.

Following his return to the track eight years ago, Ray has won an impressive five championships.

But racing isn't just about the thrill of victory; for him it's a family affair. With his son Matthew (who also works for parks) following in his footsteps, racing has become a bond between the two of

Car flip

 them. Sharing the track with Matthew, they’re an impressive duo. "One year, we were racing together, and my car flipped over," Ray recalls. "Matthew stopped his car and came running over to make sure I was okay. I told him to get out there and win and he did. It was an emotional victory for both of us."

For Ray and his loved ones, racing isn't just a hobby—it's a way of life.

With their team, fittingly named One Piece Racing, their goal is to bring their cars and themselves, back in one piece. "Racing has a huge family atmosphere," he reflects. "Everyone is willing to help each other, and you feel like you have someone to lean on."

Ray is also very encouraging to anyone who may be thinking about getting behind the wheel, “Just get in and do it, and don't be defeated. This is something that I don't ever think I will stop doing."

You can check Ray out on the track during the F4 season which runs from March through October.


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