Park Feels Gateway "Owes Him One"
04-28-2005 | TruckSeries.com Report
One Race Change in Sponsor!
This week Park will drive the #62 Casino Queen Dodge. The “Queen” is a sister property to Las Vegas based “The Orleans” hotel and casino that normally sponsors Park’s efforts. The Queen is a River Boat property located on the mighty Mississippi, which features full hotel and gaming on the Illinois side of the river.
Which Truck? Park will wheel the Casino Queen T12 Dodge Ram this week as he works to claim the top-spot in this week’s Ram Tough 200.
This is one track that Park feels that owes him one. Why? Because Park was running fourth with 20 laps to go in last year’s version of this event when the transmission in his Casino Queen Dodge failed. The problem was exacerbated when Park had little left in the gearbox for the three green-white-checker restarts that punctuated last year’s event.
Did you know that the 2004 Gateway event was the final event where a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race could end with unlimited green-white-checker waves of the flag? The rule was changed the following event after NASCAR instituted a single green-white-checker for its top-three touring series – Nextel Cup, Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Trucks.
Park On Gateway:
GATEWAY IS SIMILAR TO DARLINGTON WHERE IT’S NOT QUITE SYMMETRICAL. DOES THAT PRESENT A CHALLENGE TO THE DRIVER?
“It’s probably the only track that I think owes me one. Last year we had a top five truck and had a transmission problem really late in the race. I thought we had a chance to win the race and lo and behold we’re running fourth and the top three guys knocked themselves out in the closing laps and it easily could have put us in position to win that race but you can’t win them when you’re sitting in the pits. So we want to go back there and have another good run and get the Casino Queen Dodge in the front where it needs to be.
“The track is unique. It’s got two distinctly different corners and you’ve got to set up to be good in both. You always want to be better in one or the other because you can never get perfect in both corners. With the gear rule and a lot of stuff going on with the rule changes it’s going to make for no downshifting, I think. It’s going to make for an interesting race. We’ll see what we have when we get there and race the heck out of it.
“The Casino Queen is not too far away so we’re looking forward to taking the Orleans Dodge team to the Casino Queen and spend some time over there. It’s just a great place for us to go. Last year Mr. Gaughan took the whole entire team out to dinner in downtown St. Louis and we had a great, great steak dinner and a great time. We tried to top it off with a great race and we fell out with transmission troubles about ten laps short.”
IS THERE MORE OF A PREMIUM ON HANDLING THERE?
“There really is. It’s a horsepower track because it’s got these long straightaways and tight corners but the problem is the corners. Each corner is different so you definitely have to have a happy medium in one corner and capitalize on the other one. We know going in you can’t be the best in both corners but I always like to be the best in turns three and four because coming off four is the one that leads to that checkered flag. I think that’s probably the most important corner there.”
Meet the Crew (now known as the “Wired Aces”)
Name Hometown Shop Duty Race Day Duty
Charlie Wilson Bakersfield, CA Crew Chief Crew Chief
Clint Jennings Logan, OH Mechanic Rear Tire Carrier
Harley Rauch Fresno, CA Transmission/Gears Front Tire Changer
Danny Stockman Yucaipa, CA Truck Chief Front Tire Carrier
Gary Brannon Buttonwillow, CA Mechanic Catch Can
Bill Caldwell Culver City, CA Truck Driver Fuel Man
Joel Cox Seattle, WA Fabricator Jack Man
Lance Wilson Bakersfield, CA Front Suspension Rear Tire Changer
Randy Snyder Buena Park, CA Truck Driver Chef
Listen in on the #62: The team’s primary radio frequency is 468.9125 Mhz