BUSCH: Milwaukee: Hank Parker Jr preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series GNC Live Well 250; Time and Date: 1:30 p.m. EDT, Sunday, June 30; Site: Milwaukee Mile; Live Coverage: FX Network (television) and MRN (radio) at 1:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 11:15 a.m. EDT, Saturday,...

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series GNC Live Well 250; Time and Date: 1:30 p.m. EDT, Sunday, June 30; Site: Milwaukee Mile; Live Coverage: FX Network (television) and MRN (radio) at 1:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 11:15 a.m. EDT, Saturday, June 29; Happy Hour: Saturday, June 29, 1:30 p.m. EDT.

LAST RACE (Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo) - Hank Parker Jr. and the No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team finished 41st at Kentucky Speedway. Parker's entry and the car of Johnny Sauter made contact on lap 31, sending Parker into the outside retaining wall. The No. 36 suffered too much damage in the incident to continue.

STANDINGS - Parker is 13th in the NASCAR Busch Series Drivers' Points Standings and team owner Scott Welliver holds the 17th spot in the owners' points standings.

PARKER'S HISTORY AT MILWAUKEE MILE - Hank Parker Jr.'s best finish at the Milwaukee Mile came in July 2000, when he drove his family-owned No. 53 Chevy to a seventh-place finish. In last year's event, Parker and his No. 36 GNC Live Well crew used fuel strategy in an attempt to win the race, but a long green flag run at the end of the event allowed the leaders to put the No. 36 a lap down.

THE CAR - The No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team is bringing chassis No. 11 to the Milwaukee Mile. This will mark the third time this season the car will be used. This chassis made its first appearance of the season at Nazareth Speedway, where Parker finished 24th in the Stacker 2 200. Most recently, Parker drove it to an eighth-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway three weeks ago.

MOVING ON UP - While most NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) competitors enjoyed a well-deserved weekend off, Hank Parker Jr. spent his time lugging boxes and moving furniture. Parker and his wife, Wendy, closed on their first home just a few weeks ago, moving into a brand-new abode near his hometown of Denver, N.C. The couple signed the papers on a Thursday morning, then Parker flew to Kentucky Speedway later that evening to prepare for the June 15 NBS race.

"I had to wait until a weekend off to move," Parker said. "Otherwise, I'd be too sore to drive. Wendy's been working me like a dog to get everything moved in and set up like we want it. I'm not complaining, though. I'm as excited as she is about getting settled in. I really like the fact that it's a brand-new place that no one has lived in before. We got to decide how almost every detail of the house would look. By the time she's done decorating the place, it's going to be unbelievable. It scares me, because I'm talking a lot about landscaping all of a sudden. It used to be racing and hunting, now it's what kind of shrubs to plant. I'm a little worried about myself."

NO REST FOR THE RACERS - While the No. 36 race team had the weekend off from the track, that didn't translate into time away from the shop for the crew. The accident in the Kroger 300 at Kentucky Speedway destroyed one of the team's cars, which meant the crew went back to work preparing a new chassis that will join the team's stable. The crew did have the weekend off to spend with family and friends. The next break in the NASCAR Busch Series schedule comes in approximately six weeks.

PRESSURE - NASCAR drivers always want to win, but even more so when their car sponsor is the title sponsor of the race. That means Hank Parker Jr. will have a little added pressure on his shoulders for the next two weeks. GNC Live Well, the primary sponsor on Parker's No. 36 Dodge Intrepid, is the title sponsor for the next two events on the NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) schedule. In addition to this weekend's GNC Live Well 250 at The Milwaukee Mile, the company is also co-sponsor of the July 5 Stacker 2 / GNC Live Well 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Add to that list the season-opening EAS/GNC Live Well 250 at Daytona and this Saturday's GNC Live Well 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race in Milwaukee. This marks the second time that GNC Live Well has sponsored a total of four NASCAR events in one season. Last year, the company lent its name to the GNC Live Well 200 at Watkins Glen International and the GNC Live Well 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, in addition to the Milwaukee NCTS and NBS races. For Parker, having a sponsor so involved in the sport is seen as nothing but positive.

"I think it's awesome that they're so involved," Parker said. "I do feel a little added pressure to do well in the races they're sponsoring, but that pressure comes from me, not from them. GNC has been nothing but supportive of my race team. For GNC to have jumped in the sport in early 2001 and to have become so active so soon is a credit to how strong a marketing tool NASCAR can be. GNC saw a way to reach a whole new group of customers and took advantage of it. I'm glad I'm along for the ride."

"UNIVERSALLY" ACCEPTED AT THE NASCAR CAFÉ - Hank Parker Jr. will make a visit to the NASCAR Café, located at Universal CityWalk in Orlando, Fla., next Tuesday, July 2. Parker will be on hand to unveil a special display featuring the uniform he wore during last year's Auto Club 300 at California Speedway, site of his first career NASCAR Busch Series win. The uniform will remain on display at the Café indefinitely. Parker will sign autographs and meet race fans, joined by his Welliver-Jesel Motorsports teammate, Casey Mears, driver of the No. 66 Phillips 66 Dodge. Attendees will have the opportunity to view a replica of the No. 36 GNC Live Well Dodge Intrepid and can attempt to best Parker's time on racing videogames located throughout the Café.

HANK PARKER JR. ON TRACTION CONTROL - "There are teams that will use any and every trick in the book to gain an advantage, including traction control devices. The devices I've seen are pretty slick, in terms of being hard to detect. I'd be willing to bet there are teams in the Busch Series that have already tried using (a device). All I can say is, I feel sorry for the first team that gets caught. I have no doubt that the repercussions will not be pretty. I'm thinking that team will be parked for a long time.

"As far as what NASCAR ought to do about the devices, I'm not sure. I do know that I don't want to get beat week in and week out by a team that uses one while I'm trying to stay legal and not use one. I personally would like to see it left up to the driver to control his car, not some computer chip. My vote is to try and keep (traction control devices) out of the sport. Sometimes my vote doesn't count for much, though."

-wjm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Hank Parker Jr. , Johnny Sauter