NASCAR: Steve Park Medical Update & Quotes
22 April 1998#1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo driver Steve Park's recovery is on schedule according to doctors who examined the 30-year-old rookie this week. Park suffered a broken right femur, right shoulder blade, and left collarbone along with two chipped teeth in a March 6 practice crash at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
After spending ten days in Atlanta and Charlotte hospitals, Park returned to his Cornelius North Carolina home to undergo therapy under the care of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Walt Beaver. Park visited Bristol Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway after the accident. Darrell Waltrip is driving the #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo until Park's return. Park made the following comments Wednesday:
What Is Your Medical Status:
"The doctor said the bone, in the last four weeks, has almost doubled its mass. He's pretty excited by the progress of the leg, the swelling, and the knee. He said the rehabilitation is going real well. He's hoping that if the development of the bone continues like it has, maybe I can get back in the Pennzoil Monte Carlo ahead of schedule, possibly sometime in June to do some testing."
When Do You Plan To Race Again?
"The date I have had in mind is the one that everyone knows about and that is the Brickyard 400. I'd like to be well enough to test in July. You know, we have some races in July that are pretty special to me and I'd like to come back if I could. I'd be thrilled if I could make my comeback at the Jiffy Lube 300 in July in New Hampshire. I've won a lot of races there and I have a lot of fans in the area so that would really be special. If we can get back testing in June and get strong enough where we could compete then who knows, Pocono would be a nice place to race as well. Maybe we could do the last two races in July, then go to the Brickyard in August."
What Do You Do During The Week?
It's funny because my job now isn't to drive the Pennzoil Monte Carlo. Instead, my job now is to do as much as I can to get rehabilitated so that I can get back into the car. That means going to the gym for about two hours each morning then in the afternoon I have my therapy for a couple of hours as well. I do whatever I can to get back to being healthy so I can drive again.
Describe Your Feelings Watching the Pennzoil Monte Carlo:
"Sunday's are pretty depressing and miserable to be honest. It's no different if I'm at the track or away from the track. Actually, it's easier to be at the track and see a lot of my friends that I have made in NASCAR. I try to help out wherever I can whether it's offering advice, just listening or cheering the team on. I'd rather be at the track knowing what is going on and being involved with the team instead of sitting at home not knowing what is happening."