BUSCH: Indianapolis: Hank Parker Jr preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Kroger 200; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Saturday, August 3; Site: Indianapolis Raceway Park; Live Coverage: TNT Network (television) at 8 p.m. and MRN (radio) at 7:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 3:30 p.m....

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Kroger 200; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Saturday, August 3; Site: Indianapolis Raceway Park; Live Coverage: TNT Network (television) at 8 p.m. and MRN (radio) at 7:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 3:30 p.m. EDT, Saturday, August 3; Happy Hour: Saturday, August 3, 5 p.m. EDT.

LAST RACE (NetZero 250) - Hank Parker Jr. and the No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team used pit strategy to claim their first win of 2002 at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR). Parker started farther back in the field (23rd) than any previous winner at PPIR. He became the first-ever driver to take a Dodge to victory lane in a NASCAR Busch Series event. Parker's win helped to give Dodge a clean sweep of NASCAR's top three divisions last weekend. The manufacturer also claimed wins in the Craftsman Truck and Winston Cup Series. Casey Atwood also won the ARCA event at Pocono in a Dodge.

STANDINGS - Parker is 14th in the NASCAR Busch Series Drivers' Points Standings, and team owner Scott Welliver holds the 20th spot in the owners' points standings.

PARKER'S HISTORY AT INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK - Parker has finished outside the top-15 in his previous three races at Indianapolis Raceway Park. After starting 29th here in 2001, Parker completed just four laps before being involved in an accident exiting turn two. Scott Wimmer, maneuvering to avoid a spinning car in front of him, squeezed Parker's car into the outside retaining wall. Brian Vickers then hit Parker's machine from behind.

In spite of suffering heavy front-end damage to his machine, Parker managed to complete the event, scoring a 25th-place finish, two laps down to race-winner Kevin Harvick.

THE CAR - The No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team is bringing chassis No. 11 to Indianapolis Raceway Park. This will mark the fifth time this season the car will be used. This chassis made its first appearance of 2002 at Nazareth Speedway, where Parker finished 24th. Most recently, Parker drove chassis No. 11 to an eighth-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway, a 20th-place finish at the Milwaukee Mile and a 16th-place finish at Gateway International Raceway.

HANK PARKER JR. ON INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK - "It's a neat facility. It's one of those tracks that reminds a lot of the drivers of their short track days and racing every Saturday night. I also like how it's just a one-day show. I'm a homebody, so any race that lets me spend an extra day or two in North Carolina is OK with me. I'm hoping we can take the momentum from our win this past week at Pike's Peak and build on that here. I guarantee one thing, though. There will be a lot more cautions in this race than there was in Colorado last Saturday. I just hope I'm not involved in any of them."

ON BOTH OF HIS WINS COMING ON FUEL MILEAGE - "I couldn't be happier that I've won two races now, but I've been a little preoccupied with the fact that they both came off pit strategy and fuel mileage. I almost get the feeling that a few reporters and some race fans don't see them as 'legitimate' wins. I've been thinking a lot about that, but I feel like I've got some perspective on it now. The fact is, we had a car that was capable of winning the race on Saturday even without the fuel mileage deal. So, I don't feel like we 'stole' the win or anything.

"Would I love to win a race by beating the pants off everyone in the field? Absolutely. But, if every win I ever get in my career comes on a fuel mileage deal, I'm not going to complain. It's so hard to win a race, I'll take it anyway I can get it. When it's written in the stats, it doesn't say how you won the race, just that you won it. A win is a win. I know 42 other guys who would have loved to have won on fuel mileage."

ON BEING THE FIRST DRIVER TO WIN IN A DODGE IN THE BUSCH SERIES - "I guess that's my little piece of history right there. I hope that's not the only thing I'm remembered for when my racing career is over, but I guess it's nice to be remembered for anything. I couldn't believe it when I found out that Dodge had won four races in one weekend. It's awesome to be a part of something like that. I know all the Dodge fans out there have got to be loving life right about now. It's very cool to be associated with Dodge. They have an awesome racecar, and I'm glad to be driving one. I hope I'm not only the first guy to win in a Dodge in the Busch Series, but also the second, the third and the fourth. My teammate, Casey Mears, he can be the fifth."

CREW CHIEF GARY COGSWELL ON INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK - "It's my favorite event on the schedule. It's at night, it's a little short track, there's a good crowd, and you can see about 90 percent of the track from your pit stall. You set up your car kind of like you do at Richmond, but the track is unique. You don't run on the bottom here like you try to at most tracks. The preferred line is about halfway up the track. Usually, an outside groove comes in about midway through the race. Maybe with the truck series running on Friday night, they'll put down enough rubber that the outside groove will come in a whole lot sooner. That will make for some good racing if it does."

ON THE TEAM WINNING ITS FIRST RACE OF 2002 - "I believe that winning at Pikes Peak will open the floodgates for this team. Hopefully, this is just the beginning, and we'll continue getting the strong finishes we feel we deserve. It's nice to get the monkey off our backs, and it never hurts to have some positive momentum on your side. Again, we've known we're capable of winning all year. We just finally had the breaks go our way for once. Maybe this will start a trend for us. The ingredients are all there; the driver, the cars and the team are all strong."

-jm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Hank Parker Jr. , Casey Atwood , Casey Mears , Scott Wimmer , Brian Vickers