BUSCH: Rockingham II: Hank Parker Jr preview

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Club 200; Time and Date: 1 p.m. EDT, Saturday, Nov. 2; Site: North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham, N.C..; Live Coverage: TNT (Turner Network Television) and PRN (Performance Racing Network)...

EVENT INFORMATION - Event: NASCAR Busch Series Sam's Club 200; Time and Date: 1 p.m. EDT, Saturday, Nov. 2; Site: North Carolina Motor Speedway, Rockingham, N.C..; Live Coverage: TNT (Turner Network Television) and PRN (Performance Racing Network) at 1 p.m. EDT; Qualifying: 1:30 p.m. EDT, Friday, Nov. 1; Happy Hour: Friday, Nov. 1, 4:30 p.m. EDT.

LAST RACE (Aaron's 312) - Hank Parker Jr. and the No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team finished 43rd at Atlanta Motor Speedway after a crash on lap 14 ended their day. Parker made contact with the car of Brian Vickers, sending Parker's machine into the outside retaining wall. The damage to the car was too severe to be repaired on-site.

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 NORTH CAROLINA MOTOR SPEEDWAY- Hank Parker Jr. has two top-10 finishes in nine NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) starts at North Carolina Motor Speedway. "The Rock" is the site of Parker's first career top-10 NBS finish, a sixth-place result on Halloween day in 1998. In last fall's race, Parker piloted his No. 36 GNC Live Well entry to an eighth-place finish.

THE CAR - The No. 36 GNC Live Well Racing team is bringing chassis No. 14 to North Carolina Motor Speedway. The chassis has been used in four races in 2002. Most recently, Parker drove it to a fourth-place finish at Memphis Motorsports Park. Parker also piloted the car to an eighth-place finish at New Hampshire International Speedway in May, and he finished 15th with this chassis in August at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). No. 14 also saw action in the March event at BMS, where an accident left the GNC Live Well team with a 33rd-place finish.

DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL - Hank Parker Jr. and his wife, Wendy, got some exciting news earlier this week. The couple, who are expecting their first child in April, 2003, found out they will be having a girl. This means that Parker will probably have to find a new nickname for the child. Up to this point, the 28-year old driver had been referring to his unborn infant as "Bocephus."

TESTING AND "DOUBLE-DUTY" - While Hank Parker Jr. did not bring his No. 36 GNC Live Well Dodge Intrepid to a test session at North Carolina Motor Speedway, he did get some practice laps at the track. In preparation for his NASCAR Winston Cup debut this weekend at the Speedway, Parker spent Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 22-23, testing with Evernham Motorsports. As part of Dodge Motorsports' research and development program, Parker will pilot the No. 91 Dodge Intrepid R/T for Evernham in the Nov. 3 Pop Secret 400 at "The Rock."

THE CELEBRATION CONTINUES - GNC Live Well, the primary sponsor of Hank Parker Jr.'s No. 36 Dodge Intrepid, is celebrating the redesign and grand reopening of its 4,200 stores in the United States. To help raise awareness of the GNC stores' new look, which is designed to be a more informative and consumer-friendly environment, Parker's car is sporting a special paint design at a number of Busch Series events.

Parker's GNC Live Well Dodge is painted blue with green trim, and it features a sunflower motif on the hood, bumper, and sides of the car, while the tag line on the hood states, "New look. New attitude. New GNC." Sunflowers have been a part of GNC's heritage for 40 years. In 1972, GNC developed a pitch for its customer-service representatives touting the benefits of "zesties," otherwise known as sunflower seeds, which are high in protein, low in carbohydrates, non-fattening, rich in natural vitamins and a great source of minerals.

The special color scheme, which introduces the same colors GNC is featuring in its new store design, was debuted at Lowe's Motor Speedway in early October.

HANK PARKER JR. On "The Rock": "It's a tough old race track. It's easy to spin your tires here. I have a hard time getting a handle on how to set up my car to run well at this place. Tire wear is what makes it so difficult, this surface is kind of worn out, so it's easy to use up your tires early in a long green flag run. I like racing here, but it can be very frustrating when you think you've got an idea of how to set up your car. Then you find out you've missed it by a mile."

CREW CHIEF GARY COGSWELL ON "THE ROCK": "I love Rockingham because it's one of those tracks that reminds you of the roots of NASCAR. It's not plush. It's not fancy. It's racing the way it used to be. It's a little like Darlington, in that it's so abrasive on tires. The wind and the sand in the air seem to have really roughed the track up. When the race is over at those two places, the front of your racecar looks like you sandblasted it from all the grit and stuff taking the paint off.

"You have to be conservative on your setup at Rockingham, because you can't be fast for two laps and expect to be good at the end of a 50-lap run. You have to give up a little speed on the short runs to be consistent on longer runs. Tire conservation is a key. The place is treacherous on tires. You can tell the guys who are being too aggressive. They're fast for five or 10 laps and then you just watch them fade away. The driver really has to show a lot of finesse to get up front without ruining your tires in the process."

-jm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Hank Parker Jr. , Brian Vickers