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Steve Park Pre-Race Report - California

Source: Orleans Racing
Kimberly Meesters
Date: 09/28/2004

The following pre-race notes, quotes and statistics are for Steve Park, driver of the No. 62 Orleans Dodge, prior to the American Racing Wheels 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at California Speedway Oct. 2.


Orleans Racing enters the California event coming off a season-best third-place finish at its hometown race Sept. 25 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This will be Park's seventh start at California Speedway. He has one start in the NASCAR Busch Series and five starts in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. This will be his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at California Speedway.

Park has two poles at California Speedway – 1997 in the Busch Series and 2003 in the NEXTEL Cup Series.

Orleans Racing has 77 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts. The team has three Craftsman Truck Series starts at California Speedway and four NASCAR West Series starts at California Speedway. The team has one win at the track with Brendan Gaughan in the NASCAR West Series in 2001.

Park is 10th in Craftsman Truck Series points. He finished 27th in Daytona, 12th in Atlanta, 26th in Martinsville, 27th in Mansfield, 12th in Charlotte, 13th in Dover, 10th at Texas, 11th at Memphis, fourth at Milwaukee, fourth at Kansas, sixth at Kentucky, 31st at Gateway, 17th at Michigan, 22nd at Indy, fifth at Nashville, ninth at Bristol, 12th at Richmond, 14th at Loudon and third at Las Vegas.

PRE-RACE QUOTE FROM STEVE PARK: “ It's been an up and down season. We started off slow. Really getting started so late getting the people in place was a priority for us to get the Orleans team where it needed to be and that was up front and winning races. Three-quarters of the way through the season, we feel like we're getting on top of that. We're not where we want to be yet, but we're definitely moving in the right direction. To come off a third-place finish with our Dodge Ram in Vegas showed an improvement, not only to the race fans but to us that we're moving in the right direction.” ( How do you stay positive heading to the next event?): “We stay energized knowing behind the scenes we're making improvements we need to move forward and make our Dodge Ram a truck that can compete week in and week out and run for wins. We feel we're doing that. The main thing for us we want to do is be consistent, on a bad day finish 10 th and on a good day win races. We're creeping up on that. We're not there just yet from a personnel standpoint and a performance standpoint, but there's light at the end of the tunnel, and we know we can do that. This whole Dodge Orleans Race Team is a great race team. With Brendan moving on so late in the winter, it gave us a short time to put things together the way they need to be. Over the course of the first part of the year we were still putting people in place, and stuff teams do really the previous seasons. During the winter time we were doing it while we were racing the first half of the season. We're just looking forward to the last half of the season and be a team that can win races and run up front. I have no doubt that even with six races left we're going to win a race before the season is out.” (About testing in Las Vegas this week): “We're actually testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway because the team is really located about a minute away from the speedway in the industrial park in front of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We're only allowed to test at a place like Las Vegas after we've competed on it. We have some improvements we want to make, not only to the truck we had Saturday night but to the truck we want to shake down for California, and this is a good place to do it.” (Outlook for California ): “We're real positive about it. Unless we learn something different in the test, we plan on taking the same truck we ran Saturday night. The guys spent all day yesterday really helping get the truck turned around so we can load it back up and take it to California .”
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