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Surgery Successful, Park Ready for Recovery

7 March 1998

ATLANTA, GA: -- #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo driver Steve Park underwent successful surgery Friday night at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta to repair a broken right femur suffered in a severe crash during practice Friday for the PRIMESTAR 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Park also suffered a broken right shoulder blade, left collarbone and two front teeth. Doctors reported no head or internal injuries.

Park posted one of the top ten practice speeds during the rain-delayed practice. As he exited the fourth turn, Park's car veered into the wall then careened into the frontstretch wall before cutting across the grass and hitting the pit road wall head on. A cause for the accident has yet to be determined.

Medics took several minutes to extricate Park then transport him to the infield trauma center before he was helicoptered to Georgia Baptist.

Doctors inserted a metal rod in Park's leg to speed the healing process. There is no estimate on when Park will return to racing. His Dale Earnhardt Inc. team used Phil Parsons to qualify the car Friday. Mike Wallace will qualify the Pennzoil Monte Carlo on Saturday in Atlanta with Ron Hornaday expected to drive at Darlington and Bristol. Park spoke with friends and team members before surgery and his parents Bob and Dotti Park after surgery. The Park family arrived at Georgia Baptist Friday afternoon as doctors wheeled Park into surgery.

"It hasn't been a fun day, but we want to thank everyone for their prayers and concern," said the Park family. "Steve would want all his friends to know that he plans to get well and get back on the track as soon as possible. We know he appreciates everyone's thoughts and prayers."

The Parks asked that in lieu of flowers, fans make a donation to Motor Racing Outreach, Smith Tower, Suite 405, 5555 Highway 29 North, Harrisburg, N.C. Please send all get well cards to: Steve Park Fan Club, P.O. Box 6005, Mooresville, N.C. 28115.