Ã˜ Racing in the ...
Ø Racing in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, Kenny Wallace continues to substitute for injured Steve Park as the Dale Earnhardt, Inc. team readies for the Monster Mile at Dover Downs International Speedway as they take to the 1-mile track for the MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 on Sept. 23; shown live on NBC beginning at 1 p.m. EDT. As a display of patriotism, the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet will feature "Old Glory" on the back deck lid for the race at Dover. The American flag will also be displayed on the "B" post in support of those missing and mourned.
Ø Suffering a concussion during the Busch race in Darlington on Sept. 1, Steve Park continues to improve from injuries occurring as a result of the accident. While doctors have assured Park of a complete recovery, time and rest is what the young driver will need to become 100 percent. With no timeline given by doctors, Park's return to Winston Cup racing is still uncertain although they predicted it would take at least four more weeks for the bruise on his brain to heal.
Ø Pennzoil-Quaker State Company will contribute to the relief efforts in New York City by making a contribution of $10,000 to the families of the rescue workers who died valiantly saving the lives of others. The company sent its condolences to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the citizens of New York and expressed to the mayor that it would continue to keep everyone in its thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Ø In this weekend's race, Wallace will drive the same Monte Carlo that took Park to second-place finishes at Darlington and Dover as well as victory lane in Rockingham earlier in the year. During the June event at Dover, Park worked his way from the back of the field following a miscue on pit road to finish second at Dover Downs. During a NASCAR-mandated pit stop at lap 58, an arrant tire from the #1 Monte Carlo found itself on pit road and then being hit by the #10 team, sending it over the wall toward the track. NASCAR then was forced to impose a penalty on the Pennzoil team, putting Park at the end of the longest time that placed him 30th. Park, who had been running in the top five, strapped his belts tight and maneuvered his way through the field, picking of spots one by one. Just 60 laps later, Park found himself by in the top 10 and into the top five at lap 153. A caution at lap 178 closed the field back up as Gordon had more than a 10-second lead over Park. Moving into the second spot at lap 259, Park radioed to the team that the motor was missing and after some assessment, concluded that the battery had died. Under the direction of crew chief Paul Andrews, Park turned off all the fans in hopes to conserve has much power as possible. Running on a mere 11 volts of power, Park continued to charge after leader Gordon. Park avoided a near miss on lap 363 when the #14 car spun directly in front of the New York native and then, during the restart, the #77 car got into the side of the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. Holding his ground, Park continued to post his best finish at Dover Downs by crossing the finish line 0.828 seconds behind winner Jeff Gordon.
"This car we are racing this weekend at Dover is really a great car," said Wallace, who raced this same car from 41st to 12th before suffering from overheating problems at Darlington a couple of weeks ago. "That Pennzoil Chevrolet was really strong at Darlington and I can't wait to get back in it. I'm confident that we can get a good finish from Dover."
"We all want Steve (Park) to get better and return to the Pennzoil car and I am just here to help out. My personal goals are to capitalize on this great racecar that I'm driving now. This is definitely my best opportunity and I' m definitely going to make the most out of it. I'm looking forward this week after learning the history of this car. I understand that this is the same car Steve won Rockingham with -- why wouldn't I be excited."
Crew chief Paul Andrews:
"The Pennzoil team is ready to get back to racing. We support NASCAR's decision not to race last weekend -- it was a welcomed break for a lot of our guys. The 20-race stretch really drains on everybody and shows that there's no room for error in the schedule. We've got people scheduled for vacation during Thanksgiving weekend, that's our time off. The weather is my biggest question; it's going to play a big factor in whether or not we can even race.