ORLEANS RACING PRE-DAYTONA QUOTES
Source: Orleans Racing
STEVE PARK (Driver, No. 62 Orleans Dodge): "I have spent a lot of time with the team. With Johnny Allen (crew chief), Kevin Kroyer (engine builder), Steve Hibbard (shock specialist) and a lot of really good guys, I can see why they have had success in the past. We just want to enjoy that success in the future. We feel like we are just a little bit behind getting things in place. We hired Johnny a little late. We are just trying to get our heads above water and come out at Daytona and have a good run. I think we have the confidence to do that. I've said it in the past few weeks, but I think we have had more fun in the last couple of months than I've had in the last couple of years. I'm really looking forward to getting involved in the Craftsman Truck Series."
(About Johnny Allen joining the team in late January): "The major challenge of it is just getting our stuff in order. Even I joined the team late. Then I joined a team that didn't have a crew chief. We were finally able to acquire the talent of Johnny Allen, and he fits well with the team. We are trying to bridge that gap as fast as we can. Personalities fit. Everybody is working well together, and when everyone works well together it helps bridge that gap and that timeline. We are going to try to get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time."
(About Daytona International Speedway): "We start out with one of our biggest races of the year. I've not raced there in the Craftsman Truck Series. I've watched it in the past, and it is one of the best races out there, I think, from a competition standpoint. They finished three wide there last year across the line. I'm looking forward to being a part of that. I think being involved in the Daytona 500 for so many years and drafting, it is going to help us come race time. For me, I just need to get used to the trucks and how they draft and how big of a whole they punch in the air. We have had a chance to test at Daytona and Talladega. I'm learning more and more about the trucks, and I'll continue to learn the couple of days we are in Daytona and right up until the race. Hopefully all of the stuff I learn, I can apply during the race and try to put the Orleans Dodge toward the front."
(About living in Daytona): "Daytona is a place I've been going to with my dad since I was a kid. I finally have a home down there. Not having to stay in the motorhome is going to help. I think it is going to make me feel more at home, more at ease. I'll get to sleep in my own bed the night before the race and the night of the race, so I'm looking forward to that. Really what I'm looking forward to is just the race itself. The trucks are so competitive at Daytona. Now we have a new manufacturer coming on with Toyota and all of the attention they will bring, plus we have Cup drivers involved with Jack Sprague, Mike Skinner, Ted Musgrave and Bobby Hamilton. They will bring a lot to the series. I'm looking forward to racing with these guys. They are guys I've raced with in the past in the NEXTEL Cup Series, and now I'll race with them in the future in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."
JOHNNY ALLEN (Crew Chief, No. 62 Orleans Dodge): "We have accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. We have a long road to go, but we are getting there. I enjoy all of the guys. They are hard workers. When I started we were a little behind the Eight Ball, but we are getting caught up. Coming into any racing situation late is difficult, but these guys at Orleans Racing have worked hard all through the winter. Otherwise we would have been in a lot worse shape that we are now."
(About Steve Park): "I've never worked with Steve except the testing over the winter, but I'm excited about it. I think he may have gotten a bad reputation in the past, and I'm looking forward to changing that."
(About Daytona): "I've always loved Daytona and Talladega. I've done a lot of testing at the speedways with different types of cars, but this is my first time with the Craftsman Truck Series. I'm really looking forward to the season because the Craftsman Truck Series looks like it is a fun series. It is going to be a different learning curve, but as well as this team ran last year will help. We have a lot of good notes and a lot of good guys."