BUSCH: Daytona II: Hank Parker Jr preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Stacker 2/GNC Live Well 250; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 5; Site: Daytona International Speedway; Live Coverage: FX Network (television) 7 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio); Qualifying: 8 p.m. EDT,...

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Stacker 2/GNC Live Well 250; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 5; Site: Daytona International Speedway; Live Coverage: FX Network (television) 7 p.m. EDT and MRN (radio); Qualifying: 8 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, July 3; Happy Hour: Thursday, July 4, 7:15 p.m. EDT.

LAST RACE (GNC Live Well 250) - Hank Parker Jr. and the GNC Live Well Racing team had worked its way into the top-10 before an engine problem occurred approximately two-thirds through the 250-lap event. The problem dropped the No. 36 Dodge Intrepid to a 20th-place finish.

STANDINGS - Parker is 15th in the NASCAR Busch Series Drivers' Points Standings and team owner Wayne Jesel holds the 19th spot in the owners' points standings.

PARKER'S HISTORY AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY - Parker has finished as high as 10th and as low as 35th in his three NASCAR Busch Series events at Daytona International Speedway.

HERE'S THE "ANGLE" - Hank Parker Jr.'s No. 36 GNC Live Well Dodge Intrepid is carrying a different paint design for the Stacker 2/GNC Live Well 250. Parker's hood is adorned with an image of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Superstar and the 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist in Wrestling, Kurt Angle. Angle, his wife Karen and Hawk will be on hand Friday to check out the garage and pit areas at DIS prior to the start of the Busch Series race.

Angle is a resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., which is also home to Parker's sponsor, GNC Live Well. Angle's Business Manager, David Hawk, is a columnist for Physical Magazine, and is the personal trainer for Parker's No. 36 GNC Live Well pit crew. It was through Hawk's relationship with the GNC team that the idea to have Angle's image on the No. 36 came about.

"I respect Kurt Angle a lot," Parker said. "He earned something that not many people can lay claim to, and that's an Olympic Gold Medal. He can say he was the best in the world on the day he won that medal. I know he sacrificed a lot and worked his tail off to achieve that goal. You have to respect someone that's willing to give everything they have to win. He really has an inspiring story."

THE CAR - The car the No. 36 team is using at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is the same one that Hank Parker Jr. qualified eighth with here in February. The car was damaged in an accident during the EAS / GNC Live Well 300 season-opener at DIS. After repairs were made, Parker finished 10th in the same car at Talladega Superspeedway in April. The chassis bears the number "02," meaning that it is one of the oldest chassis in the Welliver-Jesel Motorsports stable.

GOING FOR THE HAT TRICK - GNC Live Well Racing crew chief Gary Cogswell would like to add a third Daytona Busch Series win to his résumé. The Michigan native went to victory lane in 1995 with driver Chad Little and claimed another win with Matt Kenseth in 2000. Add to that an outside pole position in 1997 and a pole position in 1998 with Mike McLaughlin.

HANK PARKER JR. ON DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY- "I'm so pumped to race under the lights at Daytona, it's unbelievable. Every year since they started doing the night race here, I've sat at home and wondered what it would feel like to run on the high banks at night. Now I finally get to find out what it feels like. I'll really have to pace myself out there, because I can see myself getting too excited in the early part of the race. I'll have to take a few deep breaths and chill out to make it to the end."

ON HIS CHANCES AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY - "I really don't think our chances are that good here. That's not a reflection on the team. It's just a situation where our aerodynamics don't match up with some of the other car makes. The Dodge teams on the Winston Cup side got a break on their spoiler heights in February, but the Busch side never got that break. The Fords on the Busch side got a break, though. I expect to see one of them up front all race. I hate to sound negative, but I feel like the Busch teams that are running Dodges at Daytona and Talladega are behind the eight ball before we even make a lap."

2002 SEASON SUMMARY - 17 starts; 4 top-10 finishes (Talladega 4/20, Richmond 5/3, New Hampshire 5/11; Nashville 6/8); Winnings, $307,660

NASCAR BUSCH SERIES CAREER SUMMARY - 113 starts; 6 top-5 finishes; 23 top-10 finishes; Career NBS Winnings $2,270,313


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Drivers Matt Kenseth , Hank Parker Jr. , Mike McLaughlin , Chad Little