Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2001

Park forced to sit after freak mishap

September 6, 2001

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— Winston Cup driver Steve Park, injured in a freak accident at Darlington Raceway, said Wednesday he will not race this weekend.

Park, who suffered a concussion and bruised collarbone Saturday, will miss this weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway and possibly even a few more events.

Dr. Jerry Petty of Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine in Charlotte examined Park and recommended he sit out.

"We've found some evidence of bruising on the brain and that is what we are treating him for right now," Petty said.

Park, who drives a Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said he would follow Petty's advice.

"I'm following doctor's orders right now and if he says time is what I need right now, then that's what I'll do," Park said. "We were on top of our game when we went out and I want to make sure we're back on top of our game when I come back."

Kenny Wallace, who substituted for Park in last week's Southern 500, will fill in for him again on Saturday.

The 34-year-old Park, who was released from the hospital on Monday, was injured in an accident during a caution period on lap 20. Park's car was running at about 45 mph, behind the pace car on the backstretch, when it veered suddenly to the left just after exiting Turn 2.

Park's car cut directly in front of Larry Foyt, who was accelerating to move up to the head of the line of lapped cars on the inside lane for the restart. Foyt's car hit Park's just behind the driver's side door, sending it spinning into the inside wall.

He had to be cut out of the car and airlifted to the hospital.

DEI officials are still investigating what caused the car to shoot down the track.

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