The race was red-flagged after five laps to repair guardrail following a crash involving STEVE PARK, NO. 1 PENNZOIL CHEVY MONTE CARLO and his teammate DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVY MONTE CARLO. Both drivers were taken to the medical...
The race was red-flagged after five laps to repair guardrail following a crash involving STEVE PARK, NO. 1 PENNZOIL CHEVY MONTE CARLO and his teammate DALE EARNHARDT JR., NO. 8 BUDWEISER CHEVY MONTE CARLO. Both drivers were taken to the medical center and released, with no injuries.
The track reported, however, that Park, after meeting with the media, will remain in the treatment center for additional observation only (because of his previous injury).
DALE EARNHARDT JR.:
"I was trying to do my damndest to get off of the side of Steve's car because I knew once we hit the wall my car was going to probably push him over the guardrail into the infield. It's a bad deal. There was nothing I could really do. I was kind of in a bad situation."
WHAT HAPPENED? "Steve and Rusty got together on the back straightaway. Rusty really wouldn't clear, (he) came up the race track. Steve came back down and passed my car and I drove him into the guardrail. There was really nothing I could do on that wet grass. I was trying to get away from him, because I knew it was going to be a bad wreck once he got into the guardrail. I'm just glad he's OK; we'll be able to go next weekend. Hopefully we can get the Bud car fixed and get back out there, but it's going to be a long day."
"I was on the outside of Rusty and it was the first lap and he started moving up. I backed off and then he pulled back down like his spotter might have said someone was on the outside. I got back up on the outside of him; and he just he came up on me. It was just a first lap deal."
WHAT DID THAT FEEL LIKE? "It didn't feel good, I can tell you that. The main thing is I don't like getting trapped in a race car. When a race car gets upside down with the head braces that we have and the window openings -- I was trapped. Luckily -- I want to thank the safety workers. They came and made sure the car didn't go on fire and helped me out. I'm real thankful for them. I think Pocono has a first-class safety crew out there."
ON DALE JR. BEING FIRST THERE: "He was just elated I was OK. I got out of the race car and he was happy. I got out of the car and the first thing he said (was), ^ÌYou OK?" I looked him straight in the face and said ^ÌYeah, I'm OK.' Just don't like the fact that I was trapped. So I'm trying not to have panic set in, just tried to get out of the race car. The safety workers made sure the car didn't go on fire and helped me get out. Dale Jr. was definitely a welcome sight and I was glad he was OK too."
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN UPSIDE DOWN IN A WINSTON CUP CAR BEFORE? "No, not really. That was the first time. I know how to react when it does go upside down. You don't want to just release your seat belt and then hit the roof of the car. I tried to stay calm and do everything I was supposed to do to get out of the race car. I was just disappointed that I was kind of trapped because of the way the safety devices are in the car and the window opening and stuff. I was very, very fortunate that the safety workers were there to one, prevent a fire, and two, to help me get out of the race car."
ROBBY GORDON, NO. 31 CINGULAR WIRELESS CHEVY MONTE CARLO:
ON THE ANKLE INJURIES: "It feels pretty good driving the car today. We passed a few cars there. I was all the way up, just next to Jeff Green there, when that caution came out. Let me tell you, I was sure glad to see Steve Park and Dale Jr. walking together on the big screen when I drove by. That means he got out of the car OK."
HOW'S THE CAR THIS WEEKEND? "I think the car is going to be pretty good. Our goal is top 10 finishes and we were real good the last two weeks. I think that we'll be good here. The most important thing it to score some points and if you got to position yourself to be there at the end, and that's what we're going to do all day."