By Thomas Chemris - Motorsport.com Jason Leffler "We didn't have a very good day. The finish wasn't bad, we picked up a couple of spots in the standings". Steve Park Park has had extensive experience at NHIS, having rub the track ...
By Thomas Chemris - Motorsport.com
"We didn't have a very good day. The finish wasn't bad, we picked up a couple of spots in the standings".
Park has had extensive experience at NHIS, having rub the track several times in the Modified series. " I love being home in New Hampshire" We've had five really bad weeks. To come this close to a top five is a good sign were back".
Winner of the inaugural event at the Speedway, racing in a car that he used this year at Rockingham and Darlington
Qualified 23, but his day ended early as he hit the garage on lap ax from a blown motor.
"We broke a motor. I do not know what broke but it seized up, coming off turn two. It's either a rod or a piston or something like that, but it blew big time. It's a shame because the thing was running great, it handled perfect. I don't know what caused it but the motor just went. That hurts us big time in the point's race. We were fourth in the points, and now we will probably drop back to sixth or something."
"We had a better car than that. I have to try to help them with some of the calls and should have elected to stay out. I had the best set of tires all day on, and I could not make.
I was dumb enough to pit because I was last on the lead lap".
The Soap Opera that has become Ultra Motor sports continues.
Mike Wallace qualified the number seven Nations Rent car twenty second.
Wallace who was pulled from the car for an evaluation period prior to the June event at Pocono, has had an on again off again relationship with the team.
"There is nothing worse than being second fiddle", notes Wallace on the his continuing with the team only after Robby Gordon declined the ride, to fill in with Richard Childress Racing for the injured Mike Skinner.
"Jim Smith and I have come to an agreement that I am in this car for the rest of the year, no matter what happens, good, bad, indifferent. The owner went on television (RPM Tonight), and made it public. It is not a good deal. I hasn't been a good deal, but I am going to try to make the best of it because I am a racecar driver and a professional."
"Track position is critical here, and we couldn't work our way up".
I guess I cut a right front tire. I was real surprised, as loose as the car was that we would have problem up there."
Bodine crashed his primary car in practice and used a provisional to make the field
"We got all we could get out of it, the car ran better on the last two runs".
I was driving around and it went straight. I don't know it's a weird deal. We'll just have to keep digging, this isn't going to get us down, and I promise you that".
A team Penske crewmember, Derek White was injured after the event when he fell off the transporters lift gate. He was airlifted to Concord general Hospital/
""It's amazing how that car climbed the wall. It bent a shock or something, but I still cannot believe this thing climbed the wall so easy".
"We had a good car today, and that showed when we started moving up spots at the beginning of the race".
"It was typical Loudon deal, it was hard to pass. If you were on the bottom and got a little bit out of the groove, it's tough to get back down there".
"Every caution that came out, we got tight for about ten laps. Every caution that came out we just got tighter and tighter in the center".
"I know the 93 was under me, and then I was under the 33. I thought I was going to have a little more room, but I guess I didn't".
After winning his38th career Pole in 276 races the three times Winston Cup Champion came to New Hampshire tied for the points race. After disappointing finished in the last two races Gordon Handled the pressure well. "To me, what makes you a championship caliber team is knowing the ups and downs and getting through them"
"We were not very good on restarts. It took us two, three, four laps to get going".
"I got hit pretty hard from behind by one of those cars. I jumped up the racetrack and lost a bunch of spots. When I finally got back underneath them, I went down into three and Jerry Nadeau just started to come down and I was already there".
Kevin's big adventure continues as the Winston Cup rookie continues his quest to run two major series simultaneously. Harvick who qualified 24th also competed in the Busch Grand National series Saturday night from Gateway Speedway in Illinois.
Harvick, who sat on the outside pole, won the event in dramatic fashion as he won a late race battle with series rival Jason Keller. Harvick then negotiated a series of helicopters and private jets to return to New Hampshire.
"It wasn't a real fun to race, it was just one of those deals where you had to follow each other around".
Mike Skinner No. 31
Following his crash at Chicagoland Speedway, RCR driver Mike Skinner had surgery on his left ankle at Hankins Orthopedic Center in Daytona Florida. "I reset Mike's ankle, and inserted two titanium screw, each four inches in diameter", noted Dr. Craig M. Hankins who performed the surgery.
No statement has been issued indication the length of time Skinner will be unable to drive.
Veteran Journeyman Robby Gordon is filling in the car on a race-to-race basis.
" Skinner thought on being sidelined," It is going to be difficult for me to get out of the Lowes Chevy, but I am going to do what the doctor told me and rest up this weekend. But you can only hold me down so long"
Robby Gordon No.31
"I have to adjust with working with this crew, understanding each other"
The seven car was an option this week, I wanted to be here, but they are running pretty good, they beat me in practice"
Gordon qualified 36th, but got off to a slow start getting lapped by the leader on lap 49
Ricky Craven No. 32
New England native Ricky Craven returned to NHIS optimistic regarding the event. The second half of the Winston Cup season, Craven and the team look to continue to improve and become more competitive. " "We've proven to be fast which is the priority in the business. You have got to find speed and we've done that. The bad news is we have not capitalized on that."
Craven qualified 20th, and ran as high as third position however was not be, as the team retired the car with mechanical problems on lap 225.
Joe Nemechek No. 33
Returning for his third race after recuperating from a crash during testing at Dover Downs in May of this year. Nemechek won his first and only Winston Cup Race at the Magic Mile. Nemechek qualified 28th
"I think some of those guys dummied out today. Our car drove terrible, but the track conditions were terrible too".
"I'm disappointed, I can tell you that .It is really not worth talking about. We had a good car"
Kyle Petty No. 45
Kyle Petty returned to New Hampshire International Speedway for the first time since the Death of his son, Adam. Adam petty was killed during a crash at the speedway in May of 2000.
"This is going to be a pretty tough week for our family. The 45 team and for everyone at petty Enterprises. We're anxious to race and we're anxious to well in New Hampshire with mixed emotions".
The No. 45 sprint Dodge was painted in tribute to the fallen driver.
Kyle, and his team issued the following statement "This isn't a Sprint Car (referring to sponsor Sprint PCS), or a Petty Enterprises Car or anything like that. For this weekend, this is an Adam car."
Bobby Hamilton No. 55
The new racing surface suited the driver; "This is the first time I have been happy with it since we've been here."
"Our guys back at the shop are building all our cars now and they are doing a fantastic job. I cannot say enough about this race team".
Stricklin, crashed his primary car in the final practice, and had to use the backup car. "We tried the same set up, and I don't know, our camber wear on the front tires was not very good".
"I just turned up on the 14. I apologized to his spotter, and I need to go talk to him".
"We cut a right front tire and ended up hitting the wall. We were running as fast as the leaders when we wrecked".
Andy Houston No. 96
There is nothing louder than a team that says nothing
The official Statement from the team reads.
"PPI Motor sports and McDonald's are currently engaged in proactive discussions regarding the No. 96 Winston Cup entry driver by Andy Houston. While the joint evaluation continues, the decision has been made not to enter the No. 96 Ford in the events at New Hampshire and Pocono."
As an area of note, all Houston and McDonalds merchandise has been dramatically discounted at the team's souvenir trailers.
Unconfirmed reports indicate the problems stem from financial mis-management, and that the team and McDonalds are at odds regarding sponsorship money from last years Busch Grand National deal, in which the PPI team did not complete the entire season.
Houston spent the weekend in the Busch series driving for team Rensi in the No. 25 Marines car finishing 17th, 3 laps down.
"We were going to move to the front, but from the get-go we started pushing water".
"I guessed wrong on the set up for this car and I hate it for the team. And I hate it that we ran badly".