Park Fights Loose Conditions and Penalty to Finish 23rd at Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Starting in the 16th position, Pennzoil driver Steve Park fought to keep the ...
Park Fights Loose Conditions and Penalty to Finish 23rd at Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Starting in the 16th position, Pennzoil driver Steve Park fought to keep the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet on the lead lap of the Kmart 400 but loose conditions had the New York native hard pressed for positions and then a stop and go penalty negated his efforts at Michigan International Speedway as he finished 23rd.
Running in the top 20 in the early stages of the race, Park managed to keep the DEI-owned Monte Carlo on the lead lap as eventual race winner Jeff Gordon pulled away from the field in commanding style. As green flag stops began around lap 125, Park, who saw his teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. run out of gas before arriving into his pit, came into pit road immediately for four tires and fuel. Following the stop, the jack stuck to the underside of the #1 car and was dragged through the next pit stall -- giving the 33-year-old a stop and go penalty.
Going one lap down, Park continued to work his way around the 2-mile track, trying to keep the car in check as it continued to be loose getting into the corners. Pitting during the late cautions, the Pennzoil crew relentlessly made adjustments in order to gain several positions as only 15 cars remained on the lead lap. With single-file restarts in the last 10 laps, Park finished 23rd as one of nine drivers one lap behind the leaders. The finish puts Park eighth in the Winston Cup points standings, seven behind the next spot.
"We made adjustments all day long at that Pennzoil Chevrolet," said Park. "We started off loose and never could get the Monte Carlo tight enough. Thought we had a right front flat there for awhile but our spotter (Stevie Reeves) assured us that everything was fine after he looked through the binoculars. Not having those bump stops really hurt -- that's what we tested with here but, unfortunately, we couldn't race them. Really looking forward to next weekend and putting this behind us."
Rounding out the top five behind Gordon was Ricky Rudd, Sterling Marlin, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan Newman.