Steve Park Pre-Race Notes & Quotes
Lowe's Motor Speedway, May 21, 2004
Source: Orleans Racing
LAS VEGAS, Wednesday, May 19, 2004 - The following pre-race notes, quotes and statistics are for Steve Park, driver of the No. 62 Orleans Dodge in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, prior to the Infineon 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway May 21.
Park's best finish in a points race at Lowe's Motor Speedway is seventh in the NEXTEL Cup Series in October of 2000. This will be his first Charlotte start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
This will be the 2nd start for Orleans Racing at Charlotte and the 62nd NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start for the team.
Park is 22nd in points after four races. He finished 27th in Daytona, 12th in Atlanta, 26th in Martinsville and 27th in Mansfield.
Charlie Wilson, crew chief for Orleans Racing's NASCAR Grand National West Series Dodge driven by Scott Lynch, will serve as interim crew chief. Wilson, of Bakersfield, Calif., led the Winston West team to a championship in 2003, Lynch's rookie season in the series. That same year, he served as crew chief for Lynch's only NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts, Las Vegas and Homestead. Lynch finished 12th in both events.
Park won the Winston Open in 2000 and earned the pole for the Winston Open in 2003.
The Orleans Racing team did not return to Las Vegas after the Mansfield event. Instead they came to Charlotte and worked out of Rusty Wallace's Busch shop and the Dodge facility in Statesville, N.C.
Team Lowe's Motor Speedway Results:
Year/Race Series Team Start Finish Status
May, 2003 NCTS Brendan Gaughan 9 2 Running
Park Lowe's Motor
Year/Race Series Team Start Finish Status
October, 2003 NNCS Richard Childress 26 36 Running
May, 2003 NNCS Richard Childress 13 27 Running
October, 2002 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 34 15 Running
May, 2002 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 20 38 Running
May, 2001 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 38 22 Running
October, 2000 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 39 7 Running
May, 2000 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 18 9 Running
October, 1999 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 14 10 Running
May, 1999 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 5 42 Handeling
October, 1998 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 38 36 Running
May, 1997 NNCS Dale Earnhardt Inc. 5 16 Running
Thoughts on Lowe's Motor Speedway: "I like going to Lowe's. It is in our backyard. The racetrack is unique. It changes so much from day to night. A lot of people don't like it for that reason. The track is hot and slick during the day. At night it has a lot more grip in it, and it changes a lot. It is very sensitive to weather and temperature changes. From a driver standpoint and crew chief standpoint, you have to stay on your toes. The track will change a bunch from qualifying to race. We have to keep in mind that what we have in qualifying will need to change for the night race. We can adapt to that. The Orleans Racing team has competed here before, and I have a lot of experience at Lowe's. It makes for an interesting racetrack. It has bumps in Turns 3 and 4. It is pretty smooth in Turns 1 and 2. You have to give and take a little on your setup. You can't be perfect in both corners."
Comments on the departure of Johnny Allen: "Johnny, I thought, did a good job for us, but we had some issues, like preparations for tests and stuff like that, that probably weren't up to the caliber that the Orleans Racing team wanted it to be up to. They decided a change was in order. It has nothing to do with the performance of the truck. The results haven't shown how well the truck has run all year. I don't want people to think that it is based on performance because people will think that getting caught up in someone else's wreck is no reason to let a crew chief go. It has nothing to do with that. It was more the preparation of the truck. It has nothing to do with the results on the track. It is about how the team works together. It needs to be a well-oiled machine. Right now it is not running like one. I guess they felt like the change was in order."
Comments on Charlie Wilson serving as interim crew chief: "Charlie Wilson is great. I think the world of Charlie Wilson. Look at his credentials and what he has done with Scott Lynch in the West Series car. He is a very knowledgeable guy. He is a guy who will work well with the team in the interim. I was actually a proponent for having Charlie travel with us this year and help out at the racetrack. That is coming to fruition now with him filling in as we search for a new crew chief. We are looking for a person who is going to move forward to make this team a better race team. Shane Wilson did a great job the last few years making this team a team that wins races and contends for championships. We are looking for a guy who can do the same thing and work well with the guys. We are going to exhaust all possibilities to find the right person."