NASCAR: Steve Park Injury Update
11 March 1998(Charlotte) -- #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo driver Steve Park returned to Charlotte on Tuesday after undergoing successful surgery Friday night 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 chipped front teeth. Doctors reported no head or internal injuries.
Park is resting in a private room at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The Park family request that instead of flowers, fans make a donation to Motor Racing Outreach, Smith Tower, Suite 405, 5555 Highway 29 North, Harrisburg, N.C. 28975. Please send all get well cards to: Steve Park Fan Club, P.O. Box 6005, Mooresville, N.C. 28115.
The following statement is from Ty Norris, General Manger of Dale Earnhardt Inc.
"Steve is hurting pretty bad, but the doctors have assured us that everything that is broken will heal. We flew him to Charlotte this morning (Tuesday) and he'll be in Carolinas Medical Center for a couple of days. I think getting Steve back home has been the best medicine so far because today has been his best day. He's laughing and joking with family and friends, but it's going to be a few more days before he can talk to the media because of all the medication he is taking. Steve is in for a lot of rehabilitation, but I have no doubt that he will come back stronger than ever. Steve started a workout regimen earlier this year and that conditioning is going to help shorten the recovery period.
We have acquired the services of Dr. Walt Beaver, an orthopedic surgeon who works closely with the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Hornets, and we have great confidence that Steve is in the best care. However, according to Dr. Beaver, it will take several months of healing and rehabilitation before Steve can return.
"We are not going to rush Steve back in the car. He's young and has his whole career in front of him and we want it to be with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. We look at this as one of the defining moments for this team. We put this team together for Steve and a lot of talented people came to DEI because of Steve and we will all be together when he returns. We may win the next 10 races or we may not make another race, whatever the case this Pennzoil team is and will always be Steve Park's team no matter who is filling in for him in 1998.
"Ron Hornaday is testing at Darlington this week and we will make an evaluation after that test as to whom will drive the Pennzoil Monte Carlo at Darlington. Our intent is to have Ron drive at Bristol. But following Bristol, Ron will be busy with the truck series and we will have to name an interim driver until Steve returns. That will be a community decision between Dale, Don Hawk, Pennzoil and our team, which will be made sometime in the next two weeks."