Park dominates Darlington, settles for second

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Having a 2-second advantage over the field with less than 20 laps to go, Pennzoil driver Steve Park appeared to be on his way to his second victory of the season, that was until the caution flag came out for debris with 18 laps...

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Having a 2-second advantage over the field with less than 20 laps to go, Pennzoil driver Steve Park appeared to be on his way to his second victory of the season, that was until the caution flag came out for debris with 18 laps remaining in the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway.

Heading into the pits with the lead, Park returned to the track just behind eventual race winner Dale Jarrett in spite of a good stop by the Pennzoil team. Several laps later another caution flag came out when the #31 and #5 crashed and the race was red flagged with 10 laps remaining. When the field returned to green flag racing at lap 7, Jarrett took off with Park in hot pursuit. Better on the long runs, Park wasn't able to close the gap between the two and, after leading the most laps throughout the 293-lap event, finished in the second spot.

"This is a tough old place," said Park, who scored his third top-10 finish in five races in 2001 and his third top-10 in six races in Darlington. "We worked real hard on getting our set-up where it needed to be on the long runs. And with 18 laps to go, we knew we were in trouble.

"We're real disappointed and we hate to be disappointed with second," continued Park, who led four times for 164 laps. "This Pennzoil team and these guys have been working so hard. We would have loved to get another win, but we'll go get'um at Bristol next week."

With the second-place finish, Park climbed from 13th to fifth in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings as the series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway where he earned his first career pole award last spring.

-CMM

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Steve Park