As NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch teams head to the Midwest for inaugural events at Chicagoland Speedway, Skip Barber trained Steve Park steadies himself to compete in both series this weekend. Park hopes to gain valuable insight in the Busch race...
As NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch teams head to the Midwest for inaugural events at Chicagoland Speedway, Skip Barber trained Steve Park steadies himself to compete in both series this weekend. Park hopes to gain valuable insight in the Busch race he can apply to the marquee Tropicana 400.
The Long Island native will juggle a tight schedule in Joliet. Teams and drivers arrive on Wednesday with an extra practice day putting Park on the track all day Thursday. Friday isn't any easier with qualifying scheduled for both series.
One of the few drivers that has run on the 1.5-mile D-shaped tri-oval, Park tested his Busch car last month under the guidance of the Pennzoil crew chief Paul Andrews and engineer Dave Charpentier. Pennzoil is affiliated with Quaker State, the Official Lubricant of the Skip Barber Racing School. Though the session was abbreviated, the trio gained invaluable knowledge to help them prepare for the 267-lap event.
"The layout is like Texas but it drives more like Vegas," said Park, who is currently 11th in the points standings. "It's fast with lots of grip but the corners are flat. The configuration of the track promotes passing with its sweeping corners. It should make for a pretty good race. I'm glad though that I'm competing in both events so I can gain extra seat time, that's definitely one of the benefits of racing twice on the same weekend. It obviously helped in Dover when we finished second in the Winston Cup race after we placed fifth in the Busch event."
"It's always a benefit to us when Steve can gain experience on the track," added Andrews. "Everyone will be on an even playing field though since no one has first hand race knowledge at Chicagoland. We enjoy a challenge and getting to race at a new facility is something welcomed. It makes you think a little more but that is how you gain an edge on the competition."
- Andrew Torres