Starting in his 104th Winston Cup event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned ...
Starting in his 104th Winston Cup event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo prepares for the Kmart 400 at Michigan International Speedway this Sunday, June 10. The 200-lap race is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.; broadcast on live on FX.
Posting one top-10 finish in his previous five runs on the 2-mile track, Park completed the 1999 event in the sixth position. Although the Pennzoil team has struggled slightly otherwise, their qualifying effort has proven strong point in the past with an average starting position of 15, in comparison to a 19.8 average finish.
In last year's first event at Michigan, Park suffered a minor set back early in the race when the power steering broke on the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. Although he overcame the challenge, Park lost positions after running out of gas as he was pitting on lap 122. Following a rain delay, Park moved from 26th to 20th immediately following the restart. Coming into the pits for an adjustment to the Monte Carlo, Park finished 28th as the race was called for rain.
Park will be signing autographs at the Kmart on O'Neil Drive in Jackson, Mich., on Friday, June 8 from 6-8 p.m. He will join Kmart-sponsored driver Jimmy Spencer at the store. The event is open to the public.
"We definitely rebounded in Dover this past weekend," said Park, who stands seventh in the Winston Cup points race. "I think we're starting to get a handle on the car after NASCAR changed the rules. We overcame a lot of adversity last weekend and it just proved how strong we are as a team.
"We went and tested at Michigan with some pretty good results but, with the rule change, we have to start all over. Michigan is one of those tracks I like to race on because there is plenty of room to pass. I seem to perform better on the wide, fast track and that is exactly what Michigan is."
Crew chief Paul Andrews:
"We can use the data from Fontana since the tracks are somewhat similar," said Andrews, who brings the same car raced on the West Coast to Michigan.
"We got out of sequence with fuel mileage but really had a better car than were Steve finished (15th). Because it's a two-mile track, you're going to need less drag than California and definitely need more downforce -- not quite like Daytona but almost. With the long straightaways, you need one heck of a motor too.
"We've had a couple of weeks since Charlotte to figure out the rule change. The chassis will be just fine. The whole combo will be good, so we'll be in great shape for the race on Sunday."