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Steve Park Post Race Report - Michigan

Steve Park and the Orleans Racing team traveled to the Irish Hills of Michigan for this week's Craftsman Truck Series event but a truckload of leprechauns wouldn't have been enough to ward off the bad luck that befell them with less than ten laps to go.

Park started the 100-lap race 26th on the grid and it took him just 34 laps to break into the top five.

When the fifth caution of the day flew on Lap 64 and the leaders filed to pit road, crew chief Charlie Wilson opted to save the team's final set of tires and left Park on the track to assume the lead.

The race strategy was working to perfection when a crash on Lap 75 brought out the yellow flag and Park hit pit road for a fresh set of rubber.

Park rejoined the field 26th in the running order and with fresher tires than anyone else on the track, he sailed through the traffic with the greatest of ease.

With nine laps to go Park was riding in ninth, but that's when disaster struck.

Todd Bodine clipped Ron Hornaday who bounced off the wall and collected Park and Bobby Labonte. Bodine drove away unscathed while Park's destroyed Orleans Dodge proceeded directly to the garage on the back of a flatbed with a disappointing 31st place finish.

"We had a plan worked out and it looked like it was going to work for us," said the crew chief of the #62 Dodge, Charlie Wilson. "Park was flying up through the field, but then you saw what happened. Steve couldn't have been further away from it and yet, as has been the case all year long, we get tangled up it."

As he walked back from the infield care center Park said, "Yeah, I'm okay. I'm just real disappointed in what happened out there. We had a good truck and were on our way to a good finish and look at how things turned out. Worst part is that was a great Dodge truck --- and now it's complete junk!"
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