NASCAR WCUP: Part-Time Driver To Change Tires On #1 Pennzoil Car
29 January 1999Tom Hubert & Steve Park Cooperate To Help Dreams Come True
Steve Park dreams of driving the winning race car at the Daytona 500. Tom Hubert dreams of driving a race car. Both men will work together at Daytona this month to make their dreams come true.
When Park pits the Pennzoil Monte Carlo during the race, the first man over the wall will be Hubert, a tire changing specialist who drives part time on the Winston Cup and Craftsman Truck Series. For the first few races of the season as Park's Dale Earnhardt Inc. team trains a permanent tire changer, Hubert will man an airgun during pitstops as interim tire changer.
"I won't lie to you. I'd rather be driving the Pennzoil Monte Carlo like Steve than changing tires for it," said Hubert. "But, if I can help Steve and the team and myself by keeping my name out there with all the car owners then I'm happy. I'm planning on doing some Winston Cup races this year with Kurt Roehrig's team. I'd like to do even more."
Park said it wasn't too long ago that he was a driver looking for a chance to show his talents to owners and sponsors. He hopes Hubert will soon get his opportunity.
"Dale Earnhardt took a chance on me and that was the break I was looking for. Tom is in the same position I was a few years ago. He just needs someone to give him the chance to show his talent," Park said. "Tom's as fast of a driver as he is a tire changer so I see this as a bonus for our team. We needed a tire changer to come in here and help us out while we train guys to become the permanent tire changer."
Hubert, 34, changed tires at Bahari' Racing for two years even having to ask off one weekend in 1997 so he could drive the #78 Diamond Rio car at Sears Point where he posted the 11th fastest qualifying time and finished 28th after racing on the lead lap most of the race.
Hubert drove in two Winston Cup races last year. At Sears Point he drove the Roehrig Motorsports car qualifying 10th and was running 4th with 35 laps to go before breaking a rear gear. In August, the Cottonwood, California native qualified 10th at Watkins Glen in the #13 Elliott-Marino Motorsports car. Hubert was running as high as tenth before he was eliminated in another car's accident.
In 1998, Hubert ran five NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races posting 2 front- row starts, a pole, and a 5th-place finish at St. Louis. He also finished second in his first ever Winston West race at Las Vegas. In 1997, Tom ran five NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races posting two top 10 finishes with a second-place finish at Sears Point Raceway. He won the Northwest Tour race at Portland International Raceway.
"My dream is that Steve wins the Daytona 500 and the next day someone calls Roehrig with more sponsorship," Hubert said. "That's the perfect Daytona weekend."