Park Rockingham preview

Starting in his 87th Winston Cup points event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned ...

Starting in his 87th Winston Cup points event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo heads to the North Carolina Speedway, in Rockingham, for the Pop Secret 400 this Sunday afternoon; shown live on TNN beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Watch for Steve Park and the yellow Pennzoil Monte Carlo during this weekend's 393-lap event as the Pennzoil team had a good showing during Rockingham event earlier this season. Leading during the Dura-Lube 400 three different times, Park posted his best finish (ninth) on the 1.017-mile oval as he held the point for a total of 34 laps. With the growth of the Pennzoil team throughout the season, this could become the track where Park claims his second victory of the season.

Steve Park will be piloting the same Pennzoil Chevrolet he raced at Darlington to a 10th-place finish. This Monte Carlo is a little lighter with better aerodynamics than that raced at Rockingham in February. Also look for the Pennzoil crew during the 76 Pit Crew Challenge held this weekend as the teams in the top 35 in points all get to participate.

Having his best qualifying effort at Talladega Superspeedway, Park started on the outside of the fifth row for the Winston 500 as he went for the $1 million bonus -- part of the "Winston No Bull 5" promotion. Biding his time during the race, Park used patience while keeping an eye on the leaders. After the last caution, the Pennzoil car was shown in the eighth spot to begin the 15-lap shoot out. As other teams took on fresh rubber, Park wasn' t able to jockey positions with the front pack and finished the 188-lap event in the 19th position.

"I'd have to admit that I was a little disappointed with last week's finish," said Park, who now sits 12th in the point standings. "I really felt like we had a car to win and to finish 19th just wasn't were we wanted to be. The positive is that we qualified very well (10th); our best ever in Talladega so that will give us something to work with next season. I guess everything really depends on what NASCAR is going to do with the restrictor plates."

"We are taking the pit crew challenge very seriously," said crew chief Paul Andrews. "We have practiced all week using the rules and have a great shot at winning. Steve (Park) came out on Wednesday and worked with us to make the stops all that much better. Every team has a chance at winning and the competition is designed around not making any mistakes. A three-second mistake will put you out of contention for bragging rights."

"Last time we had a few problems in the pits but ran well," continued Andrews. "Since we've improved upon on stops, we should be in pretty good shape this weekend. There is a lot of sand in the asphalt so a good chassis set up is important for the long run. You don't use the banking as much since the grip isn't there with the worn track."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Steve Park