Parsons won't limp into ALLTEL 200 ROCKINGHAM, N.C. Feb. 17, 1999) Though his body was bruised by a wreck during last Saturday's NAPA Auto Parts 300 at the Daytona International Speedway, Phil Parsons will hardly be limping into this week's...
Parsons won't limp into ALLTEL 200
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. Feb. 17, 1999) Though his body was bruised by a wreck during last Saturday's NAPA Auto Parts 300 at the Daytona International Speedway, Phil Parsons will hardly be limping into this week's ALLTEL 200 at the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.
An accident on the 65th lap of the NAPA Auto Parts 300 left Parsons' car in a twisted heap and rendered his body stiff and sore. Nonetheless, Parsons came away feeling good about his race team.
"Sometimes you're the victim of circumstances in a race," Parsons said after his ALLTEL Chevrolet was posted in 33rd place. "We worked our way from the back of the pack to the front twice in the first half of the race. The car was fast. I think we were good enough to run with (race winner) Randy LaJoie.
"Then on a restart, some cars got together in front of us," Parsons said. "I went high to miss the wreck and got hit by another car. After that, the wreck was on. That's one of the risks of restrictor plate racing. It keeps all the cars in a tight bunch. If one person makes a mistake, it usually takes out a bunch of race cars.
"Our car was incredible. All the hard work that went into the car during the off-season really showed. The way we worked as a team helped us overcome every obstacle. Wrecks, unfortunately, are part of the business. But if you run up front like we did, good things are bound to happen."
Parsons was running fifth when the multi-car accident happened along the frontstretch.
The ALLTEL team will bring a new Chevrolet to the 1.017-mile raceway at The Rock.
"We got a lot done in the off-season," said crew chief Gene Nead. "We came to Daytona with cars already built for Rockingham and Las Vegas and beyond. The wreck doesn't help, but it comes with racing. The important thing is it won't put us behind. We're still a strong race team. There are 31 races left in the season. A lot of things are going to happen between now and the end of the season, and I honestly believe most of them are going to be good."
Parsons will be making his 16th NASCAR Busch Series start at Rockingham. In 15 previous starts, he has five top-10 finishes, including a runner-up finish in 1989, a third-place finish in 1982 and a fourth-place finish in 1997.
"Daytona is more about the car than the driver," Parsons said. "The engine has to be strong and the body has to be sleek. A driver basically holds on.
"At Rockingham, the driver is more important. You have to know how to get in and off the corners. You have to understand the balance between car and driver."
Saturday's race also allows Parsons an opportunity to provide ALLTEL a chance to celebrate a victory in a race that sports its name.
"ALLTEL has been tremendous to our race team," Parsons said. "When they decided to sponsor the Busch Series race at Rockingham, too, I think it proved their commitment to the sport. A perfect reward would be putting the ALLTEL Chevrolet in Victory Lane in the ALLTEL 200."
Source: NASCAR Online