Steve Park Impressive At Music City Motorplex; Finishes Sixth Nashville, Tenn (July 19, 2008) - Steve Park shook off a couple of bad runs in NASCAR Camping World East Series competition by scoring his fifth top-ten finish of 2008 on Saturday ...
Steve Park Impressive At Music City Motorplex; Finishes Sixth
Nashville, Tenn (July 19, 2008) - Steve Park shook off a couple of bad runs in NASCAR Camping World East Series competition by scoring his fifth top-ten finish of 2008 on Saturday night. Park's sixth-place finish, driving the No. 35 Waste Management Recycle America, allowed him to pick up two spots in the season points standings to run eighth at the season's halfway mark.
Park, coming off a race where he led laps but couldn't finish up front, needed to bounce back at the .596-mile oval in the shadow of Nashville, Tennessee. With encouraging practice times posted in the first session, it looked like it was going to be a good day for Park and NDS Motorsports.
Park qualified for the race in the fifteenth position but acknowledged that on a track that rewards smart drivers who conserve their equipment and tires for the long run, the starting position is not important.
Even though he had already raced his way into the top ten in the race's opening laps, Park opted to make a pit stop under caution on lap 23 for a chassis adjustment. He returned to the race at the end of the field but quickly returned to run twelfth, and was content to put in laps in that spot as the race crossed its midway point.
"We started off loose so we came in and made an adjustment," he said. "That made the car too tight and I started grinding the right front tire, but we did a smart job seeing what the competition was doing and the speed they were running. Knowing that, I could set my own pace and not abuse that tire."
With fifty laps to run, Park was eighth but still moving up, running fifth with twenty-five to go. He battled Marc Davis, Ricky Carmichael, and Derek Thorn to hold that position as the race entered its final laps and wound up sixth at the checkers.
"It was a decent run," he said. "We were watching people blow right front tires so we worked hard to make sure we kept ours on the car. We didn't blow it out and we got a sixth-place finish."
Park's fifth top-ten finish of the year is seen as a sign that NDS Motorsports is back to its early-season form that had Park as high as third in the season points standings.
"It's been tough the last couple of races," he said. "We broke at New Hampshire and the driver didn't do a very good job at Thompson. Without those finishes, we'd be sitting second or third in points. We have to stop the bleeding in the points and get top-five and top-ten finishes so we can make those points back up."
Park's next opportunity to make up points comes on Saturday, July 26, when he makes his first visit to the half-mile circle at Adirondack International Speedway. That race, in Beaver Falls, New York, goes green at 6:30 p.m. and will be televised live on HD Net television.