Park Posts Best Dover Finish After Faced with a Variety of Challenges DOVER, Del. -- Faced with a variety of challenges throughout the 3 hour, 19 minute race, Pennzoil driver Steve Park worked his way from the back of the field following a...
Park Posts Best Dover Finish After Faced with a Variety of Challenges
DOVER, Del. -- Faced with a variety of challenges throughout the 3 hour, 19 minute race, Pennzoil driver Steve Park worked his way from the back of the field following a miscue on pit road and then a dead battery to finish second during the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway.
During a NASCAR-mandated caution at lap 58, an arrant tire from the #1 Monte Carlo found itself on pit road and then it was hit by the #10 team, sending the tire over the wall toward the track. NASCAR then was forced to impose a penalty on the Pennzoil team, putting Park at the end of the longest time which placed him 30th at the restart. Park, who had been running in the top five, strapped his belts tight and maneuvered his way through the field, picking of spots one by one. Just 60 laps later, Park found himself by in the top 10 and into the top five at lap 153. A caution at lap 178 closed the field back up as Gordon had more than a 10-second lead over Park. Moving into the second spot at lap 259, Park radioed to the team that the motor was missing and after some assessment, concluded that the battery had died. Under the direction of crew chief Paul Andrews, Park turned off all the fans in hopes to conserve has much power as possible. Running on a mere 11 volts of power, Park continued to charge after leader Gordon.
Park then avoided a near miss on lap 363 when the #14 car spun directly in front of the New York native and then, during the restart, the #77 car got into the side of the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. Holding his ground, Park continued to post his best finish at Dover Downs by crossing the finish line in the second position, 0.828 seconds behind Gordon. Park, who finished fifth in the Busch race on Saturday at Dover, climbed one spot in the Winston Cup points standings to seventh, 37 points behind the next position.
"We came back from a lot of adversities today," said Park. "We spent most of the day playing catch up and then with about 50 laps to go, the car started missing. I switched the ignition over and we were diagnosing it and found out that the battery was going dead. So we had to shut off all our fans and it made it to the end. It just shows you we've got some pretty good stuff. I'm just proud of the whole team to come back from adversity and turn it into a good top-five finish."
Winning the 400-mile race was Jeff Gordon, who scored his second victory of the season. Rounding out the remainder of the top five was DEI teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ricky Craven and Dale Jarrett.