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Truck series' Orleans Racing to Steve Park: Thanks for playing

ThatsRacin.com Writer

In what could be the first fallout of Dodge's decision to cut back manufacturer support in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series next season, Orleans Racing has released driver Steve Park from its No. 62 Dodge, effective immediately.

According to a team news release, the decision to release Park was prompted by team's "indecision regarding their 2006 program."

"Rather than keep Park from exploring other available options the decision was made to free Park from his obligations with the team for the remainder of the year," the release said.

Earlier this month Dodge Motorsports officials confirmed they would be redirecting some of their resources from their program in the Truck Series to their Nextel Cup operation.

It remains unclear who - if anyone - will drive the No. 62 in Saturday's race at Martinsville, Va.

Park is in his second full season with Orleans Racing. He earned his first Truck Series victory in February at California Speedway.

"Steve’s a great competitor and with so many terrific rides available we wanted to let him explore his options for 2006 before the end of the season," said team owner Michael Gaughan.

"Our time together as a race team was validated earlier this year when Steve was able to drive into Victory Lane, which created a memory that will last all of us a lifetime."

Park, 38, is one of 14 drivers who have won at least one race in each of NASCAR's top series - Cup, Busch and Trucks.
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