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Steve Park Post-Race Quotes - Vegas

STEVE PARK (No. 62 Orleans Racing Dodge Ram) – Started 18th, Finished Third

Have you talked to Brendan Gaughan yet?
“No, not yet. I’m sure when I get back to the truck my phone will be ringing off the hook. He’ll be really happy about it. Brendan’s a big part of this team. He’s a big cheerleader, too. We love having him around. His enthusiasm rubs off on all of us. That’s why we like having him around. When we get down in the dumps, he comes in just full-fired and fires us all back up. It’s great to have him as part of our team.

On fuel conservation being an issue…
“It was at first until the caution flag came out. The caution was long enough that we were still close on fuel, but we were like a lap shy of making it, hoping for a four or five-lap caution flag to put us on the other side of the window where we’d be safe. At first it was a concern, but later in the race it wasn’t so much of a concern once the caution came out.

On points chase…
“Well, we’re not first. I know that. We might be in the top-10 I think now. That was a kind of goal that we set for ourselves – to solidly put the Orleans Dodge team in the top 10 where it belongs. We started out slow and have been rebuilding the team ever since Brendan left and really just making strides to move forward. I think I told you guys last week, I said, ‘I’d be surprised if we didn’t win a race before the year is up.’ And the goals are the same for us: to finish in the top 10 in points and win a race, because this team has certainly worked hard enough for that.

How important was it for this team to follow up last year’s win…
“You might want to ask them over on the No. 77 Dodge. I’m not sure how many people we still have from last year. We have two left over from the team last year. We have the same trucks, and we’ve re-bodied the trucks with the new Dodge body. We’re just building the team up personnel-wise and people-wise to where it needs to be to get back to winning races again. Probably the brightest spot of the whole entire night was not only to win races, and show that we can lead races and put ourselves in the position to win, but the pit stops were phenomenal. Just a month or two ago, we were struggling hard in the pits. I can remember coming in second in Kentucky and coming out 15th a couple of times. We knew we were never going to win a race like that. So, these guys have stepped up to the program. We did everything we could tonight to try and win the race, and we fell short finishing third. We’re just going to have to suck it up and go to California.

Describe the change in the last set of tires…
“They just lost grip. They were set exactly like we had the first set and the second set. We’ve experienced that problem. Our consistency among sets is sometimes off. Sometimes in the middle of the race you get a bad set, and then you get a good set back on in the middle of the race. We pretty much did the opposite. We had two good sets, and put our worst set off for the end of the race when we really needed it. But, that’s why they call it racing. It’s probably not the easiest thing. You look at tires, and they’re round, and they’re black, and they’ve got the right numbers on them and you assume that they’re just like the other ones, and we’ve learned that they’re not.”
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