Notes: By virtue of his first Winston Cup victory last season, Steve Park, driver of the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned ...
Notes: By virtue of his first Winston Cup victory last season, Steve Park, driver of the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo, earned an automatic spot in The Winston All-Star event being held this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Saturday night event is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. with live coverage beginning with the Winston Open at 8 p.m. on FX.
Last year, Park participated in his first "Winston" event by winning the Winston Open. During the 2000 All Star race, the New York native charged toward the front after starting in the back of the 20-car field. With $500,000 on the line, there was plenty of bumping and banging between the group of elite drivers. Surging into the lead during the final 10-lap segment, Park was tagged from behind and went sailing into the wall -- being eliminating from any chance at the jackpot.
This weekend also marks the second anniversary of the union between DEI, Park and crew chief Paul Andrews, who joined the group in 1999. Andrews has been instrumental in the growth of the young team that has now posted two victories with six top-10 finishes in the 11 races competed in 2001.
"I love Saturday night racing, that is my background," said Park, who worked his way up to Winston Cup through the NASCAR Modified Series. "There's something special about racing under the lights, I can't quite explain it but I get goosebumps.
"Being apart of The Winston is really an honor. Racing hard while not worrying about points gives us all incentive to push the envelope just that much more, that was quite apparent last year. Although we don't plan on repeating that situation, you can count us to give it our all.
"Running the Winston Open last year gave us some advantage since we knew what the track wanted and Steve figured out a line that worked. Don't think it will but much a problem this year though since we'll be able to work on The Winston set up right from the beginning.
"The final 10 laps is obviously the most important and we'll have to figure out what adjustments are going to be needed for that last segment. Tires will play a different role this year since Goodyear has produced are harder compound tire. You may actually want a used tire if a caution occurs in the last 10 laps. I know that is what gave Dale Jr. the advantage last year, but that may not be the case this Saturday night."