Team Monte Carlo California Tidbits

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Park scored a career-best fourth-place finish in this Monte Carlo earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He was leading the race at Texas Motor Speedway on April 2 when the motor...

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Park scored a career-best fourth-place finish in this Monte Carlo earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He was leading the race at Texas Motor Speedway on April 2 when the motor blew in the same Monte Carlo. Park says it’s his favorite car, and he’s hoping to improve on last year’s 24th-place finish at California Speedway. Park finished 32nd in the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and holds 22nd-place in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings (NWCS).

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo)

The seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion drove his California Chevy to a ninth-place finish earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Earnhardt, who will turn 49 years old on Saturday, finished third in the DieHard 500 at Talladega the last time out and moved to fourth in the NWCS, 98 points behind leader Mark Martin. Earnhardt finished 12th last year at California Speedway.

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX film Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Hamilton and the Morgan-McClure Motorsports team tested a brand new Monte Carlo recently at California Speedway and will race the car in Sunday’s 500-miler. “We worked pretty much on qualifying in the test, and the car was pretty fast,” team owner Larry McClure said. “I think it’ll race pretty good, too.” Hamilton finished 30th last year at California Speedway. Engine problems relegated Hamilton to a 43rd-place finish at Talladega, and he’s ranked 27th in the NWCS.

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Labonte is running the same Monte Carlo that won the pole and finished eighth earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway. Labonte ran the same chassis here in 1997 and ‘98 and finished second and third, respectively, in those events. Labonte finished seven at Talladega and ranks 10th in the NWCS. Labonte finished ninth last year at California Speedway.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Waltrip will drive the same 2000 Monte Carlo the team ran earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Waltrip qualified seventh at Vegas and finished 33rd. He finished 31st in the DieHard 500 at Talladega and ranks 26th in the NWCS. Waltrip finished 23rd last year at California Speedway.

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Earnhardt Jr. will drive chassis No. 005 at California Speedway, the same Monte Carlo he parked in victory lane earlier this season at Texas Motor Speedway. He also drove the same car to a 10th-place finish at Las Vegas. Earnhardt Jr. ranks 23rd in the NWCS and will be making his first big-league start on Sunday at California Speedway. Earnhardt Jr., along with Kenny Bernstein, will participate in Anheuser-Busch Day at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, May 4. The drivers will participate in a Budweiser “street festival” outside the Stock Exchange that will include the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales. They’ll sign autographs and meet fans on Wall Street from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) Fresh off his first victory of the season on April 16 in the DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Gordon will be gunning for his third victory at California Speedway on Sunday. He’ll race Monte Carlo 24-40, a car that won the pole and finished eighth earlier this season at Darlington. Gordon won last year’s race at California Speedway and is currently seventh in the NWCS.

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Nadeau will drive the same Monte Carlo that qualified ninth and finished 20th at Las Vegas. Nadeau also finished 20th last year at California Speedway. He finished 19th at Talladega in the DieHard 500 and ranks 31st in the NWCS.

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Skinner drove his California Monte Carlo earlier this season at Darlington and Texas. It’s a good downforce Monte Carlo and the right-side sheet metal had to be replaced after Skinner scraped the wall at Texas. Skinner recorded a career-best second-place finish behind Gordon in the DieHard 500 at Talladega on April 16, and he ranks 14th in the NWCS. The California native qualified 10th and finished 10th last year at California Speedway.

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Nemechek drove the same Monte Carlo earlier this season at Darlington and Las Vegas. He finished ninth at Las Vegas. He was 22nd at Talladega and ranks 28th in the NWCS. The Oakwood Homes Monte Carlo will carry a new color scheme on Sunday at California Speedway.

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Marlin’s Monte Carlo will carry John Wayne’s picture on the hood at California Speedway. Marlin last drove the Monte Carlo at Martinsville. He finished eighth at Talladega and ranks 15th in the NWCS. Marlin finished 16th last year at California Speedway.

KENNY IRWIN (No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Irwin is coming off a season-best fourth-place finish at Talladega. He moved to 24th in the NWCS with that finish. He’s running the same Monte Carlo at California Speedway that he drove to a 17th-place finish at Texas. Irwin finished 13th last year at California Speedway.

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Wallace calls his California Monte Carlo his jinx car. The team used the same Monte Carlo at Atlanta and Darlington and it experienced engine problems in both races. “The car would run good, but then both times, about three-quarters of the way through the race, the oil would run hot and it’d knock the bearings out,” Wallace said. “The oil system has been completely reworked. It’s like a new car, so we’ll see what happens. This car has really killed our season so far, so now maybe we can salvage something with it.” Wallace finished 40th at Talladega after falling out with engine problems and he’s 33rd in the NWCS. He finished 27th at California last year.

DICK TRICKLE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Trickle will be making his third start in the Power Team Monte Carlo this season as a relief driver for Geoffrey Bodine. Bodine plans to return to action next week at Richmond. This is a brand new Monte Carlo for the No. 60 team. Trickle finished 39th in the Power Team Monte Carlo at Talladega.

DAVE MARCIS (No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet Monte Carlo)

Marcis will try to qualify the same Monte Carlo he drove at Texas. The 59-year-old Wisconsin native finished 33rd last season at California Speedway.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Geoffrey Bodine , Kenny Bernstein , Michael Ho , Mark Martin