New Yorker Park Wins First Cup Race

After the race, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart had themselves a little shouting match over Stewart's over-aggressive driving style. Is Gordon right to be angry?

  • Global Crossing @ the Glen Results

    Steve Park fended off a late race charge from Mark Martin to win Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup Series Global Crossing @ The Glen at Watkins Glen Int’l Raceway. It was Park’s first win on NASCAR’s premiere circuit in 77 career starts.

    "I can’t say enough about this Pennzoil car and my whole crew, especially (crew chief) Paul Andrews for giving me everything I needed to win today," a jubilant Park said in victory lane. "Thanks to Teresa and Dale Earnhardt and everyone associated with this team for sticking with me, it’s been a long time coming."

    Park took the lead after his crew delivered a lightning-fast green stop on his first visit to pit road. The New York state native, who will turn 33 later this month, had never recorded a top ten finish in five previous Winston Cup road course starts.

    Park did a masterful job of holding off Martin, who pressured for the lead over the last eleven laps, to take the checkered flag. Martin was able to stick the nose of his car to Park’s rear bumper several times, but couldn’t find a way to pass the third year driver.

    "He did a great job of using up the race track and not giving me any room to get around him in the passing areas," said Martin, who followed up two DNFs with his runner-up finish. "I never like to use, but the way we’ve been running lately, we’ll take a second place finish."

    Martin’s Roush Racing teammate Jeff Burton was third, Robby Gordon posted his best career Winston Cup run with a fourth place finish and series point leader Bobby Labonte rounded out the top five.

    Tony Stewart, Dale Jarrett, Joe Nemechek, Wally Dallenbach and Matt Kenseth completed the top ten.

    Jeff Gordon’s bid for a NASCAR record seventh straight road course victory was thwarted early when he and Stewart tangled on lap two. Despite being forced to pit after the contact, Gordon was able to drive to a 23rd place finish. Stewart managed to avoid pitting for any damage caused after the incident.

    "Tony got loose coming off the turn and when he tried to right himself, he got into the side of me and I touched the guardrail," Gordon said. "Luckily the damage wasn’t as bad as I first thought, but we were at a disadvantage the rest of the day."

    While Park drove a Dale Earnhardt-owned car to victory, it wasn’t a very good day for the drivers named Earnhardt in the field. Dale Sr. spun through the Glen’s infamous interloop and hit the guardrail, causing damage to the rear end of his car. He was able to continue and wound up 25th.
    Meanwhile, Dale, Jr. also made contact with one of the track’s guardrails on lap 60 when he spun his Monte Carlo working through turn nine. The accident knocked him from the race and he was credited with 40th position.

    Park became the 13th different Winston Cup winner this season, one short of the record 14 drivers who won a race in 1991.

    The Winston Cup Series moves next to Michigan Speedway next Sunday for the Pepsi 400.
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