Park snapped up by RCR

Steve Park has been hired by Richard Childress Racing as the driver of RCR's No. 30 America Online car days after being released from the Dale Earnhardt Incorporated team. Park's first outing for RCR will be in next week's Winston Open

Park snapped up by RCR

Park was released Tuesday as driver of DEI's No. 1 car, almost simultaneously with the release of Jeff Green from RCR. Green was promptly hired by DEI for the No. 1, and the hiring of Park by RCR virtually amounts to a straight trade.

Neither driver has had a good season, although Green won the pole for the Daytona 500 and Park the pole at California two weeks ago. Park especially has been at the centre of controversy all year, and has rumours of his dismissal from DEI have been circulating since the start of the season.

Some believe Park, 36, has not fully recovered from the effects of a crash at Darlington in late summer 2001 which put him out of action the first four races of 2002. Park has insisted he is at full speed, and Childress, with the hiring, apparently believes the same.

"Steve is going to give the America Online team a fresh start going into the summer months of the season," Childress said. "He's a proven winner in Winston Cup, and I know he has what it takes to work with [crew chief] Mike Beam and the rest of the team to get the programme headed in the right direction.

"I've talked with Kevin [Harvick] and Robby [Gordon], and they're both excited about him driving for RCR. "

Park was DEI's charter driver in Winston Cup, beginning in 1997. He has won twice in 105 Cup starts, at Watkins Glen in 2000 and at Rockingham in February 2001.

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