Roller Coaster Ride During Coca-Cola 600 Gives Park 22nd-place Finish CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Finding the right set up after NASCAR changed the rules regarding the springs, Pennzoil driver Steve Park worked his way from the back of the field during...
Roller Coaster Ride During Coca-Cola 600 Gives Park 22nd-place Finish
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Finding the right set up after NASCAR changed the rules regarding the springs, Pennzoil driver Steve Park worked his way from the back of the field during the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway where he started in the 38th position up into the top 10 just after the 100-lap mark.
Pitting under the green at lap 109, the sanctioning body called Park back into the pits for a stop-and-go penalty after they reported he sped down pit road. This proved costly as it put the #1 car one lap down. It wouldn't mean Park gave up though. With a faster car than the leaders, Park worked his way back to the front and sat right behind the leader Bobby Labonte, poised to pass the Winston Cup champion if a caution occurred. When the yellow flag did drop on lap 252, however, Labonte raced Park back to the line and didn't let him get the lap back. On the restart, Park dropped back as the new set of tires created loose conditions, not allowing him to get into the corners as hard as he would have liked.
Getting the car performing in the corners late in the race, Park was running as quick as the leaders but, being one lap down, finished in the 22nd position.
"We were a little disappointed about not getting our lap back from Bobby (Labonte)," said Park, who sits eighth in the Winston Cup points standings. "The Pennzoil team worked real hard to put us into that position to get out lap back. It was just one of those racing deals and, unfortunately, we were put into that situation after speeding on pit road. This Pennzoil team will rebound quickly, though, and we'll get ready for Dover."
Winning the 600-mile race was Jeff Burton, who scored his first victory of the season. Rounding out the top five was rookie Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, who also finished sixth in the Indy 500, Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte.