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Park released, will not run Martinsville

By Dave Rodman, NASCAR.COM

LAS VEGAS -- Orleans Racing has announced that driver Steve Park is released from his contract to drive Orleans' No. 62 Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series, effective immediately.

The move was prompted by Orleans' indecision regarding its 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 team has entered its No. 62 truck for Park and the No. 77 Jasper Dodge for team owner Michael Gaughan's son, Brendan; but a team spokesman confirmed Monday night Park would not drive the 62 at Martinsville.

In his two years with Orleans Racing Park finished ninth in the 2004 standings and won his first career truck race -- giving him victories in Cup, Busch and truck -- at California last February.

Park had five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 25 starts last season and is 17th in driver points this season, with the victory, two top-five and four top-10 finishes in 20 starts.

"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," Michael Gaughan said.

"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.

"We are proud to be part of Steve being able to claim victories in each of NASCAR's top three series."
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