Starting in his 76th Winston Cup points event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned ...
Starting in his 76th Winston Cup points event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo and the Winston Cup circuit heads to his "hometrack" this weekend for the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The Sunday race will be shown live on TNN beginning at 1 p.m. on July 9.
With roots in the Modified Series, Steve Park is no stranger to New Hampshire International Raceway having toured extensively in the Northeast Region. On the 1-mile oval, Park finished in the top-15 in both 300-lap events last year, posting a 12th-place finish for the first race.
In 1999, Park's qualifying efforts at New Hampshire proved very successful as he started both events on the inside of the sixth row after posting the 11th-fastest time during time trials.
On the track this weekend, Park will pilot the same Pennzoil Monte Carlo that put him on the outside row for the start of the Richmond race this spring and gave the team an 11th-place finish. The Chevrolet also ran during Martinsville earlier this year.
"This is like coming home," said Park, who raced in the New Hampshire area during his modified days. "I lived in nearby Connecticut and traveled all over the northeast to race. I'm looking forward to seeing all my friends again.
"Racing at New Hampshire is tricky because it's a one-mile track with short track characteristics," continued Park, who is currently 20th in points. "Being able to stay in the low groove is imperative at least to start -- the second groove may come in later in the race but that's not a guarantee. I think we can put on a good show for the 'home' crowd and get that Pennzoil Chevrolet up to the front."
"New Hampshire is challenging," said crew chief Paul Andrews. "Any change in the temperature drastically changes the surface -- it's real sensitive. Getting a good draw for qualifying is very important, an early pick could have you starting in the back no matter how well the car is driving.
"For the tight, flat corners, downforce means more than drag since the straightaways aren't that long," added Andrews. "We are also making sure that we have a flexible set up so we can make necessary changes. Steve (Park) likes this track and that will help the outcome on Sunday. It will be a good showing."
<pre> Steve Park New Hampshire International Speedway Performance Record Year Race St Fin Laps Status Winnings 2000 Busch 200 (Busch) 21 10 200/200 Running $13,675 1999 Jiffy Lube 300 (WC) 11 12 300/300 Running 51,775 Dura Lube 300 (WC) 11 15 300/300 Running 51,025 1998 Jiffy Lube 300 (WC) DNS CMT 300 (WC) 39 41 218/300 Running 25,625 1997 U.S. Cellular 200 (Busch) 8 2 200/200 Running 20,975