No. 13 Proven Lucky For Pennzoil Driver Park As He Looks Forward To Starting His 113th Race This Weekend At Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Most people believe the number 13 to be a bad omen but Pennzoil driver Steve Park has had the best luck when...
No. 13 Proven Lucky For Pennzoil Driver Park As He Looks Forward To Starting His 113th Race This Weekend At Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Most people believe the number 13 to be a bad omen but Pennzoil driver Steve Park has had the best luck when that digit has presented itself recently in his Winston Cup career and he's hoping the luck continues this weekend as he starts in his 113th race this weekend during the Pepsi 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
"For some reason that number 13 has hung around us for the past two seasons," commented Steve Park, who pilots the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. "So far it's proved to be lucky for us, especially winning our first race on the 13th of the month (August). That was just the beginning. I'm not usually a superstitious person but you can't ignore the coincidences."
This season when starting in the 13th position at Darlington, Park went on to lead the most laps and finish in the second position. Then, during the 13th points race of the season, Park pulled out another second-place marking, following Jeff Gordon to the checkered flag at Dover. The second time Park started a race in the 13th spot was at Indy where he was also parked in the 13th garage stall. During the Brickyard 400 two weeks ago, the New York native once again went on to lead the most laps and post his best finish (seventh) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"We would have picked pit stall 13 for the Brickyard but the track called it 12A," added crew chief Paul Andrews, who brings the same Monte Carlo to Michigan that raced for the first time at Indy. "We have all noticed how this number just seems to be out there. The Pennzoil team could have used some of that luck this past weekend at Watkins Glen."
Andrews is referring to the several mishaps that plagued the Pennzoil team over the weekend as they sought to defend their title. Overcoming every adversity, Park finished the 90-lap event at Watkins Glen in the 10th spot and remained 11th in the points standings.
But it was after Park dropped to 13th in the points standings when his luck started to turn around again. Finishing 41st at Chicago, the 33-year-old fell two spots from 11th; however, the very next weekend, Park posted a top-10 finish at New Hampshire. Although he remained 13th in the standings, Park followed up that performance with a 13th-place finish at Pocono before heading to Indianapolis. Since dropping to 13th in points, Park has posted three top-10 finishes in the last four events.
"We have really turned this program around in recent weeks and are back where we need to be," said Park, who won a Busch race on the 2-mile track in 1997. "The entire Pennzoil crew has worked especially hard to get back on track. Pretty sure we can turn that stat around of not finishing on the lead lap at Michigan. We've got the numbers with us this weekend."
So if it all adds up, Park could very easily post his third Winston Cup career victory during the 200-lap event, which is scheduled to get underway on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. EDT, as he takes the green flag for the 113th time in his Winston Cup career. <pre> Steve Park Michigan International Speedway Performance Record
Year Race St Fin Laps Status Winnings 2001 Kmart 400 (WC) 16 23 199/200 Running $66,333 2000 Kmart 400 (WC) 14 29 193/194 Running 34,905 Pepsi 400 (WC) 15 33 179/200 Engine 32,630 1999 Kmart 400 (WC) 10 6 199/200 Running 43,275 Pepsi 400 (WC) 12 20 199/200 Running 35,140 1998 Miller Lite 400 (WC) DNS Pepsi 400 (WC) 24 11 199/200 Running 28,090 1997 Detroit Gasket 200 (BS) 4 1 100/100 Running 40,675