Notes: * Starting in his 68th Winston Cup event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned ...
* Starting in his 68th Winston Cup event, Steve Park in the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo heads to the granddaddy of speed – the 2.66 mile Talladega Superspeedway – this weekend for the DieHard 500; shown live on ABC beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.
* In his first run at Talladega Superspeedway, Park finished an impressive second during the Busch race in 1997. His best Winston Cup finish on the superspeedway was posted during the Pennzoil team's impressive run late last season with their 12th-place finish.
* With teammates proving invaluable in the drafting game, look for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Steve Park to help each other throughout the 188-lap event at Talladega. As owner Dale Earnhardt Sr. defends his crown at Talladega, watch for DEI drivers to follow in his footsteps to figure out the best way to beat the track, hopefully affording Park his first Winston Cup victory.
"Talladega is one of those places that you're pretty nervous the whole time you're there – anything could happen at any time," said Park's crew chief Paul Andrews. "What ever you unload with as far as a fast car or slow car is usually what you're going to keep there.
"After our disappointing effort at Daytona, we tested at Talladega searching for ways to improve our performance," continued Andrews. "I think we're going to go back with a pretty good car. During the test we tried a variety of things to get some extra speed since the new rules are going to slow us down a little. Hopefully we found a few things, but we'll have to see."
"With the new rule changes at Talladega, drafting is going to become an even bigger issue," said Steve Park, who has three top-10 finishes this season including a fourth in Atlanta. "If you get out of line, you're going straight to the back. It should be very interesting on Sunday with the slower speeds."
"With Martinsville you don't have a chance to take a break in the car, you're always turning on the shorts track," said Park, who finished 12th during last fall's event on the 2.66-mile superspeedway. "At least on the larger tracks, including Talladega, you have some time on the straight-aways to think and straighten the wheel. But you can't let your guard down for a minute because the 'big one' is just a wrong move away."