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Steve Park

steve park, steve parker
Stephen "Steve" Park born August 23, 19671 is an American former professional stock car racing driver He won races in NASCAR's two top Northeast touring series Modified and K&N East and all three national divisions Camping World Truck, Nationwide, Sprint Cup

Park began racing not in an entry-level class, but in NASCAR Modifieds on Long Island as the youngest of four sons of longtime National Modified Championship contender Bob Park After establishing himself in weekly Modified racing at Riverhead Raceway, he advanced to the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series He won several races and became a championship contender before moving on to the Busch Series

Contents

  • 1 NASCAR career
    • 11 1996–1997
    • 12 1997–1999
    • 13 2000–2001
    • 14 2002–2003
    • 15 2004–2005
    • 16 2008–2010
    • 17 2011
  • 2 Post-NASCAR
  • 3 Return to NASCAR 2013
  • 4 Personal life
  • 5 Motorsports career results
    • 51 NASCAR
      • 511 Sprint Cup Series
        • 5111 Daytona 500
      • 512 Busch Series
      • 513 Camping World Truck Series
    • 52 ARCA Racing Series
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

NASCAR careeredit

1996–1997edit

Park was first hired by seven time Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt in 1996 Initially, Park refused to return Dale's phone messages, who was calling with interest to hire Park, thinking his friends were pranking him After finally being convinced that the real Dale Earnhardt was calling him, Park made one start in the No 31 Busch Series car in Charlotte in October that resulted in a 29th-place finish Park was then given a full-time ride in Dale's No 3 AC-Delco car for the 1997 Busch Series season where he posted 3 wins and walked away with Rookie of the Year honors

1997–1999edit

Park came to the Winston Cup Series as the driver for the No 14 team of Dale Earnhardt Inc DEI in 1997 He attempted eight races in this car, qualifying for four of them He also ran a race in the No 40 car at Martinsville Speedway for Felix Sabates In the 1998 season, Park switched to the No 1 Chevrolet for DEI and drove the first two races, but he failed to qualify at the third race of the year at Las Vegas During practice for the fourth event of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Park suffered a tire failure and had three hard hits before his car came to rest He sustained a broken leg, broken collarbone, broken shoulder blade, and two chipped front teeth2 Park returned later in the year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ran the rest of the year He posted a best finish of 11th at Michigan and Dover3

In 1999, his first of only two full Sprint Cup seasons, Park finished 30 of 34 races He went out with handling problems at Daytona and Charlotte, an engine failure at the other Daytona race, and a crash at Sears Point In the Sears Point crash, Park spun around in turn two and backed into an embankment, thrusting his car up into the air and over onto the top of a tire barrier Park posted a best finish of sixth in the Kmart 400 at Michigan and finished 14th in the point standings4

2000–2001edit

Park's 2001 Cup car at Dover at the time being driven by Kenny Wallace

During the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Park would grab his first win at his home track of Watkins Glen, winning the 2000 Global Crossing @ The Glen

In 2001, Park's year began with a frightening note in the Daytona 500, as his car was one of eighteen that were demolished in a pileup on lap 173 that also sent Tony Stewart flipping through the air Park had led for several laps right before the crash Although he was uninjured, Park pounded the roof of his car after climbing out The crash would be overshadowed by Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash on the last lap

The following week, Park scored an emotional win for DEI by winning the Dura Lube 400 at North Carolina Speedway The same season, driving in the Busch Series, Park was involved in a crash at Darlington Raceway while driving the No 31 Chevrolet owned by Ted Marsh5 Under caution and still driving on the track, Park's steering wheel came off, causing him to yank a hard left By complete chance, lap down car Larry Foyt was speeding up to join the lap down line at the same time Park turned5 Park was T-boned on the driver's side upon collision with Foyt's car5 The severity of the crash caused a massive brain injury as well as several broken ribs Foyt said that the car was traveling "well over 100 miles per hour" Park was left with noticeably blurry eyes, and slurred speech as a result of the accident and some have theorized that he never fully recovered from his injuries The near-fatal crash marked the beginning of Park's long ongoing struggles to get back into NASCAR's divisions somehow Since he pulled out of the NASCAR sport in 2005 he's only been in a few races since then

2002–2003edit

Park missed the first four races in 2002, but he returned to race at the fifth race of the year at Darlington He had many accidents, however The largest incident was a flip at Pocono Raceway, where he spun into and was turned by his teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr and hit the infield barrier with tremendous velocity, cause him to flip over6 The race had a 65-minute red flag to repair the old-fashioned guardrail highway barrier that Park hit6 The barriers were replaced afterwards

During the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Dale Earnhardt, Inc let Park go midway into the season, and he was effectively "traded" to Richard Childress Racing for Jeff Green, who took over the No 1 car from Park with Park taking over the No 30 car for Childress A few days later, he won the pole for the Winston All Star Open, but at the start of the race he jumped the start and had to start from the rear He never made it to the next round His best finish at RCR was a 5th-place finish at Michigan that June, as he fought then teammate Robby Gordon for that position

2004–2005edit

At the end of the 2003 season, Park announced he would not return to the No 30 car and would join the Craftsman Truck Series the following season He joined Las Vegas-owned team Orleans Racing and piloted the No 62 truck, vacated by Brendan Gaughan who was offered a ride in the No 77 Nextel Cup car for Penske Racing Although Park never won a race in 2004, he finished 9th in CTS driver points, and was voted Most Popular Driver by his peers

In 2005 Park won the Craftsman Truck Series American Racing Wheels 200, the second race of the season at California Speedway, and became the tenth driver to win a race in all three of NASCAR's top racing series one of seven drivers to accomplish the feat in the 2005 season alone However, Park and the team struggled the rest of the season, and in October, right before the truck race in Martinsville, Park and Orleans Racing parted ways due to Dodge pulling support and money to many truck teams

2008–2010edit

Park's 2009 East Series car

In 2008 Park signed with NDS Motorsports and drove the No 35 Monte Carlo in all 13 of the NASCAR Camping World East Series events He finished 9th in the standings with his best finish being second place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

In 2009 Park returned to race in the No 35 Monte Carlo in the NASCAR Camping World East Series He finished 5th in the point standings Park made a single start in the Chevy for Corrie Stott Racing in the series, starting 31st and finishing 25th7 On August 1, 2009, he won the Edge Hotel 150 at Adirondack International Speedway It was his first East Series win since July 1, 1996 at Nazareth Speedway8

In 2010 Park returned again to race in the No 35 Monte Carlo in the East Series Park also drove the numbers 46 and 41 Vandyk Baler Corp/ Bollegraaf Toyotas in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Eddie Sharp Racing in 2010 for three races two in the 41 and one in the 46, with a best finish of 18th at Chicagoland Speedway

Park returned to the Sprint Cup Series in July 2010, driving the No 36 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing In his first Sprint Cup Series race in several years, Park started the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona from the 39th position, as qualifying was rained out He went on to finish 13th and led one lap Park's fan-sponsored car was painted to honor Richie Evans, a nine-time NASCAR Modified champion who was killed in a racing accident shortly after winning his final championship in 1985

2011edit

Park ran one race for Tommy Baldwin Racing at Talladega, however he retired from the race after completing only four laps He also attempted the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway later that year, but he failed to qualify The fan-sponsored New Hampshire car was intended to honor six-time Modified Series champion owner Len Boehler9 He also ran two races on the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour, finishing fifth at Connecticut's Thompson Speedway and twelfth at Charlotte

Post-NASCARedit

In October 2012, Park spoke to ESPN in support of IMPACT Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing and other neurological testing for drivers in the wake of his former teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr being sidelined after sustaining a concussion at Talladega Park himself was a victim of crashes that took him out of action

Return to NASCAR 2013edit

Park entered a Whelen Modified Tour race during Speedweeks at Daytona The race was run as part of the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach to open Daytona's new backstretch 4 mile short-oval configuration

On the final lap Park was pushed from behind by Eric Goodale into race leader Mike Stefanik and inadvertently wound up winning the race It was Park's first modified racing victory since 1996 Stefanik was visibly upset with the incident, calling it "just bullshit"10

Personal lifeedit

In late 2008, Park was married to longtime girlfriend, Jessica Skarpalezos at Sea Island, Georgia On January 2, 2010, Park announced on his website the birth of his son Jayden Robert Park

In a May 2016 "Where Are They Now" interview with KeepIt35com, Park mentioned that he currently works at Batteries Plus Bulbs in Mooresville, NC, a franchise that he currently owns

Motorsports career resultsedit

NASCARedit

key Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time  – Most laps led

Sprint Cup Seriesedit

POC
DNQ Daytona 500edit
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
1998 Dale Earnhardt, Inc Chevrolet 33 41
1999 23 34
2000 36 31
2001 25 31
2003 Dale Earnhardt, Inc Chevrolet 32 29

Busch Seriesedit

DAY
DNQ

Camping World Truck Seriesedit

IRP
11

ARCA Racing Seriesedit

key Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time  – Most laps led

CAR
35

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Steve Park Career Statistics
  2. ^ Steve Park Career History
  3. ^ Steve Park 1998 Winston Cup Statistics
  4. ^ Steve Park 1999 Winston Cup Statistics
  5. ^ a b c Thomas, Stephen September 1, 2001 "Park hospitalized" CNN/Sports Illustrated Retrieved 21 April 2010 
  6. ^ a b Caldwell, Dave July 29, 2002 "AUTO RACING; Crash Overshadows Elliott's Triumph" The New York Times 
  7. ^ "Park's NASCAR Truck Series results" NASCAR Retrieved 20 April 2010 
  8. ^ Christley, Jason August 2, 2009 "Park Drives Back To Victory Lane" NASCAR Retrieved 21 April 2010 
  9. ^ Steve Park 2011 Sprint Cup Statistics
  10. ^ Courchesne, Shawn February 26, 2013 "Going Viral: Whelen Modified Tour Driver Mike Stefanik Enjoys Time As A Web Sensation" RaceDay CT Retrieved February 26, 2016 
  11. ^ "Steve Park – 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  12. ^ "Steve Park – 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  13. ^ "Steve Park – 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  14. ^ "Steve Park – 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  15. ^ "Steve Park – 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  16. ^ "Steve Park – 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  17. ^ "Steve Park – 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  18. ^ "Steve Park – 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  19. ^ "Steve Park – 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  20. ^ "Steve Park – 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  21. ^ "Steve Park – 1990 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  22. ^ "Steve Park – 1991 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  23. ^ "Steve Park – 1995 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  24. ^ "Steve Park – 1996 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  25. ^ "Steve Park – 1997 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  26. ^ "Steve Park – 1999 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  27. ^ "Steve Park – 2000 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  28. ^ "Steve Park – 2001 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  29. ^ "Steve Park – 2003 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  30. ^ "Steve Park – 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  31. ^ "Steve Park – 1996 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  32. ^ "Steve Park – 1997 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  33. ^ "Steve Park – 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  34. ^ "Steve Park – 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  35. ^ "Steve Park – 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  36. ^ "Steve Park – 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  37. ^ "Steve Park – 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Results" Racing-Reference Retrieved September 26, 2015 
  38. ^ "Steve Park − 2010 ARCA Racing Series Results" Racing-Reference USA Today Sports Media Group Retrieved March 24, 2015 

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Steve Park driver statistics at Racing-Reference

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