Steve Park Starts 2008 With Top Ten At Greenville-Pickens Speedway Greenville, S.C. (April 19, 2008) - Steve Park started his 2008 NASCAR Camping World East Series campaign driving the No. 35 Waste Management Recycle America Chevrolet at ...
Steve Park Starts 2008 With Top Ten At Greenville-Pickens Speedway
Greenville, S.C. (April 19, 2008) - Steve Park started his 2008 NASCAR Camping World East Series campaign driving the No. 35 Waste Management Recycle America Chevrolet at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Saturday night. Park turned in a quality performance for his first time working with NDS Motorsports, qualifying twentieth but racing into the top ten, finishing ninth.
Park, a two-time winner on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, tested with the team at the South Carolina half-mile track in advance of Saturday's 150-lap season opener. Early numbers were not encouraging, with Park timing in eighteenth fastest in practice and twentieth in time trials, but the E. Northport, N.Y. native was optimistic for the race.
"We're a little further back than we'd like to be but the Waste Management Recycle America Chevrolet is a lot better on long runs than on a two-lap qualifying run," he said before the race. "We're fighting for grip and we don't know if it's the shocks or something else. We came here and tested and it's a good thing that we did because we found out a lot about the car, and that's continuing this weekend."
In the race, the search for grip on the historic race track continued. Park ran on the lead lap but felt an adjustment was necessary, and pitted under a lap 12 caution for adjustments. A second stop was made under a lap 59 caution, and the No. 35 car was set to run to the finish from the eighteenth position.
"We made a lot of wedge adjustments," he said. "We couldn't change tires, so all we did was work with the track bar and as well as wedge."
As the laps wound down, Park was getting better and taking advantage of those whose cars had fallen out of adjustment. He worked his way into the top ten with just ten laps to go, and got one more position before the race ended to finish ninth.
"We salvaged a top ten out of the race, which was nice," he said after the race. "To come up that far from as far back as we qualified, that made for a decent night for us. We're able to roll the car into the truck, so that's a plus as well. We weren't that great at Greenville, but we'll go to Iowa and make it better.
"The guys here are great to work with," Park continued. "They work real hard and they're giving me a great car to drive full-time on this series. I'm looking forward to giving them some better finishes starting at Iowa."
Iowa Speedway hosts the Camping World Series' next race, which will be a combination race between the East and West series on Sunday, May 18th. Park did not compete in this race last year, but he does have laps on the four year-old track.
"I went there when the track first opened and did a little exhibition match race with Michael Waltrip and Kenny Schrader," he said. "It's a beautiful facility and I look forward to racing there."