BUSCH: Richmond II: Hank Parker Jr preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Funai 250; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, September 6; Site: Richmond International Raceway; Live Coverage: TNT Network (television) at 8 p.m. and MRN (radio) at 7:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 3 p.m.

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Funai 250; Time and Date: 8 p.m. EDT, Friday, September 6; Site: Richmond International Raceway; Live Coverage: TNT Network (television) at 8 p.m. and MRN (radio) at 7:30 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 3 p.m. EDT, Thursday, September 5; Happy Hour: Thursday, September 5, 6:15 p.m. EDT.

LAST RACE (South Carolina 200) - Hank Parker Jr. and the No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team finished 15th in the rain-shortened South Carolina 200 at Darlington Raceway. Driving a brand-new chassis, the first laps Parker got to make in his new racecar was during the event itself, as rain prevented the Busch Series competitors from practicing or qualifying on Friday for the race.

STANDINGS - Parker is 14th in the NASCAR Busch Series Drivers' Points Standings and team owner Wayne Jesel holds the 18th spot in the owners' points standings.

PARKER'S HISTORY AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY- In the spring race at Richmond International Raceway this season, Parker battled back from an early-race wheel problem and a mid-race spin to record a sixth-place finish, his second top-10 of the year. In last year's fall event, Parker dealt with failing brakes throughout the race, finishing 28th.

THE CAR - The No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team is bringing chassis No. 18 to Richmond International Raceway. The chassis was completely reworked after a crash at Dover International Speedway in June. Before that, Parker drove No. 18 to a sixth-place finish at Richmond in May, his highest finish of the season prior to his victory at Pike's Peak (International Raceway) in July. Most recently, Parker drove No. 18 to a 13th-place finish at Michigan International Raceway in August.

MIGHT AS WELL - Hank Parker Jr. spent the Labor Day holiday helping his brother, Billy "Catfish" Parker, prepare a racecar for a Late Model Stock race. "Catfish," like his older brother, is an aspiring racecar driver, and has made several starts in the NASCAR Busch Series. Unfortunately, "Catfish" saw his day come to an early end on Monday when he got involved in a crash on lap two of the Late Model event. The Parker brothers, who are both avid outdoorsmen, elected to spend the rest of the day in the woods, hunting Doves.

"There wasn't a whole lot left do at that point," Parker said of he and his brother's decision. "It's not much fun hanging around to see who's going to win the race if it isn't going to be you. We decided to make the best of a bad situation and get our minds off of it by hitting the woods."

HANK PARKER JR. ON RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY - "This is another of those short track night races that I love so much. There's no comparison to running under the lights. Richmond is a fun little track, even if I haven't had much success here. I've gotten involved in some pretty hard crashes racing here, and I've had some bad luck a few other times. Even if I haven't finished great here, it's still one of my favorite places to race.

"With us bringing the same chassis we used in the spring race, we feel really good about our chances. We came from the back of the field twice in May to finish sixth, so if we can avoid having to do that again, a top-five finish is definitely a goal we can reach."

CREW CHIEF GARY COGSWELL ON RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY- "Richmond is one of my favorite races. It's such a unique track. You use a lot of brakes and a lot of gear, but you still have to have a lot of power to get down the frontstretch. I don't think track position is quite as important here as some other places we visit. We had an awesome setup here in May and overcame a lot to end up sixth. Hank drove his behind off and came up through the field twice. We hope we can start him near the front and keep him up there this time. If we do, he's got a real shot at the win."

ON HAVING THE CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES COMPETING AT RICHMOND- "I think it's a great thing to have the trucks with us. For one thing, it helps to give them more exposure, which I'm sure they appreciate. Second, it's really going to help the condition of the racetrack to have them running on it. It usually takes about an hour into the Busch Series practice before the race surface is where we want it to be. With the trucks laying down all that Goodyear rubber in practice and qualifying, it should help us to get up to speed a lot sooner.

"I'll definitely watch the truck race, for several reasons. The trucks always put on a good show, for one thing. I always enjoy watching them run. I'll also pay attention to see how pit strategies play out and make some notes on that. We'll see if pitting early pays off for anyone, and if taking on just two tires helps or hurts anyone at the end of the race. There's a lot you can learn by paying attention to what they're doing. If pitting out of sequence or not taking on four tires ends up helping someone win, we'll definitely take that into consideration when we're discussing our pit strategy."

2002 SEASON SUMMARY - 25 starts; 1 win (Pike's Peak 7/27); 1 top-5 finish (Pike's Peak 7/27); 5 top-10 finishes (Talladega 4/20, Richmond 5/3, New Hampshire 5/11, Nashville 6/8, Pike's Peak 7/27); Winnings, $507,015

HANK PARKER JR.'S NASCAR BUSCH SERIES CAREER SUMMARY - 121 starts; 2 wins (California Speedway 4/28/01, Pike's Peak International Raceway 7/27/02); 7 top-5 finishes; 24 top-10 finishes; 1 Bud Pole Award (Las Vegas, 3/00); Career NBS Winnings $2,443,668

-jm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Hank Parker Jr.