BUSCH: Phoenix: Hank Parker Jr preview

LAST RACE (Sam's Club 200) Hank Parker Jr. and the No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team finished 11th in the Sam's Club 200 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. After making a green flag pit stop around lap 98, Parker and a number of other ...

LAST RACE (Sam's Club 200)
Hank Parker Jr. and the No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team finished 11th in the Sam's Club 200 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. After making a green flag pit stop around lap 98, Parker and a number of other competitors were caught a lap down when the caution flag came out 12 laps later.

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 PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
Hank Parker Jr. and the No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team finished eighth in last year's Busch Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. The team overcame a number of setbacks, including a broken window net bracket, that forced Parker behind the wall for repairs just before the start of the race. Starting dead last after the mishap, Parker went from worst to first, taking over the lead just past the halfway point of the event.

THE CAR
The No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team is bringing chassis No. 21 to Phoenix International Raceway. The chassis has only been used in two races since being built during the summer. Hank Parker Jr. first drove it to a 15th-place finish at Darlington Raceway in September. Most recently, Parker drove the No. 21 chassis at Dover International Speedway, where a crash involving Kerry Earnhardt severely damaged the rear of the chassis. Parker was credited with a 38th-place finish in that event.

WINSTON CUP DEBUT
Hank Parker Jr. made his Winston Cup debut last weekend in the Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway. Driving the No. 91 Dodge Intrepid R/T research and development ("R&D") car for team owner Ray Evernham, Parker qualified 25th and finished 33rd in the event.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT
In spite of making his Winston Cup debut at North Carolina Speedway last weekend, GNC Live Well Racing driver Hank Parker Jr. hasn't let it go to his head. Even if he had, some race fans were quick to bring him back to earth.

"I was in my Winston Cup firesuit, heading back to the Busch garage between practices," Parker said. "I was feeling pretty proud of being a Cup driver, walking around with my chest poked out. I was signing some autographs as I was leaving the garage, and I kept hearing some fans screaming my name. I finally looked over, thinking they wanted an autograph or a picture with me. One of them shouted, 'Hey, is your dad (Bass fishing legend and television personality Hank Parker) going to be signing any autographs?' That took the wind right out of my sails. If I was getting a big head, that brought me down a notch pretty quick."

HANK PARKER JR. ON PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY:
"It's a great place to race. The main thing I like about it is that it's one of the tracks that has come 'on-line' during my time in the Busch Series. There are only a few places where I've got as many laps as some of the veterans of the series, like LaJoie and Jason (Keller). It raises your confidence level when you feel like other drivers don't have an advantage, in terms of seat time and practice laps at a certain facility."

CREW CHIEF GARY COGSWELL ON PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY:
"I like the facility and the area. I've had a couple of good runs here with other drivers, and Hank seems to like the track. It reminds me of Gateway (International Raceway in St. Louis), with the main difference being how much brake you have to use at different ends of the track. At Phoenix, you really use a lot of brakes in turn one and not very much at all in turn three.

"Other than that, I also like how consistent the track is. The wind coming off the desert makes it pretty chilly here first thing in the morning, then the sun heats things up to the mid-90's by midday. At a place like Charlotte, that would do two entirely different things to your car. Out here, you can get the car set up in the morning and have that setup work even in the heat. That is a real help."

-jm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Hank Parker Jr. , Kerry Earnhardt