Park/Pennzoil Texas preview

Steve Park: Ø Posted his fourth top-10 in the six races completed this season, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned ...

Steve Park: Ø Posted his fourth top-10 in the six races completed this season, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo starts in his 97th Winston Cup event as the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the Harrah's 500 this Sunday afternoon, April 1; shown live on FOX beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.

Ø Comparing this year to last, Park and the Pennzoil team have stepped up their efforts early in the season. After a slow start at the beginning of 2000, some wondered if they were going to be able to continue the success achieved later in the season. At this point last year, Park stood 20th in the points. Those questions have been answered, as Park currently stands fifth in the Winston Cup points standings, amassing a win in Rockingham, dominating in Darlington to finish second and posting two other top-10 finishes. The Pennzoil team and driver definitely have gelled in 2001 and, if they stay on their current course, could earn Dale Earnhardt, Inc., that eighth championship for their fallen leader.

Ø Started last year's event at Texas in the sixth spot, Park took over the point early in the race and remained in the top of the field throughout the nearly four-hour event. That was until lap 297 when the motor in the Pennzoil Chevrolet began to miss, causing Park to fade toward the back of the field. Falling two laps behind, he salvaged a 19th-place finish.

Ø Disappointed with his qualifying effort after setting a track record last year, Pennzoil driver Steve Park started the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in the 17th spot and moved up slightly prior to the first pit stop. Getting blocked into the pit, Park fell back to the 24th position but then started fighting his way through traffic. Park would take over the lead at lap 292 after the Pennzoil team put him in the front with a great pit stop. Maintaining the top spot until a caution flag at lap 372, Park saw several teams deciding to stay out or taking on two tires while he brought the Pennzoil car into pit road for a four-tire pit stop. This race proved to be one of track position and, although he was able to gain some ground on the leaders, Park finished the 3-hour race in the ninth position and remained fifth in the Winston Cup points standings, just 113 from the top spot held by Dale Jarrett.

Regarding Goodyear tire test in January:

Paul Andrews: "It always helps anytime you get on the track. We never tested the complete tire, just versions of them to help Goodyear get the complete package they wanted to bring to Texas. Since we only compete in Texas once a year, the track experience gained is helpful and we did gather some track data."

Steve Park: "I've only raced at Texas in two Winston Cup races so I welcome any chance to get on the track. The harder tire slowed the car down just a tick but it handled better. The Pennzoil car drove well with the hard Goodyear tire. It's going to make for a good race on Sunday. It will be a good show for everybody, especially in the home state of our sponsor, Pennzoil"

-CMM

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