Parker impressive in Team Amick Viper By Dave Rodman DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2000) NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division regulars Lyndon Amick and Hank Parker Jr. wanted some extra seat time, and needed racing experience; and for a ...
Parker impressive in Team Amick Viper By Dave Rodman
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 4, 2000) NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division regulars Lyndon Amick and Hank Parker Jr. wanted some extra seat time, and needed racing experience; and for a while Friday they got the best they could've hoped for. The youthful buddies, who are combatants on the great variety of tracks visited by the NASCAR Busch Series, teamed up for the first of several times this season for a totally different stroke. They drove a plain blue-and-white No. 53 Dodge Viper -- one of two cars entered by Team Amick -- in the Super Grand Sports class of the season opening three-hour Motorola Cup sports car race at Daytona International Speedway.
Parker Jr., who will drive the No. 53 Team Marines Chevrolet when practice opens for the Feb. 19 NAPA Auto Parts 300 on Feb. 15, qualified the Team Amick Dodge on the front row, next to Doug Goad's Powell Motorsport Chevrolet Corvette. The car was near the front of every practice sheet in the event's two days.
Parker Jr. started the race and swapped the point with the lead trio of Corvettes, including the race winner driven by New Englander Peter Tonelli and Scotsman Craig Conway from Daytona Beach. Right after he turned the seat over to Amick midway through the race on the 3.56-mile road course, the car's transmission broke. It knocked them well down the finishing order in the 63-car field, but they said their competition knew they had been in a race.
"Hank started off and led for a little while," Amick said of his partner, who was stricken by flu-like symptoms and was sick to his stomach following the race. "I think he burned his tires up a little bit trying to chase those Corvettes.
"Nobody knew what anybody had - we've never done this so we didn't know what to expect. When I got in the car the transmission broke and I only got to make a couple laps. The other (team) car the rear end broke so we've got to get up on our maintenance a little bit."
That will certainly be an issue as Amick said he and Parker would compete in four more races in the 10-event Motorola Cup schedule, including events at Homestead, Fla.; Sebring, Fla.; Trois Rivieres, Quebec; and Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Amick, 22, said he was simply trying to increase his potential seat time. He agreed with Parker Jr., 25, that the added road racing experience they'll gain in the five Motorola Cup races they'll compete in this year certainly wouldn't hurt them when the NASCAR Busch Series travels to Watkins Glen International in June for the Lysol 200.
"To qualify second and third in our team's first road race, we're pretty pleased," said Amick, who was competing in the first of four races he'll contest during Speedweeks 2000. He will saddle up for the NASCAR Busch Series race in his No. 35 Powertel Chevrolet and will drive Ken Schrader Racing vehicles in events for the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"This is just something I wanted to do to make myself better as a driver," said Amick, who finished 24th from 37th in his only previous NBS road course start, at WGI in 1997. "When you see a guy like Ron Fellows come to the Glen in a Busch car and the way he excels there, Hank and I could see there was some benefit to trying to diversify our experience."
Fellows, who has the pole position for his class in Saturday's Rolex 24 At Daytona for the Grand American Road Racing Association opener, has won two NASCAR Craftsman Truck races and one NASCAR Busch Series race at WGI.
"Hank and I have been working together for about a year now, so we thought we would do this," Amick said. "It's been a lot of fun -- a totally different world -- but we're doing it for different reasons (than the Motorola Cup regulars).
"It's just a good way to start off Speedweeks."
While Amick said there wasn't much he could transfer over to his stock cars, the racing experience never hurts.
"The things that are going to help me is that the things you have to do in road racing -- the mental game and your idea of how to play the race -- is totally different," he said. "In the Busch car, you're trying to carry as much speed as you can through the corners, while in the road race car you're braking hard and trying to come off the corner hard."