Park Breaks Femur in Practice

Article excerpt

HAMPTON, Ga. -- Driver Steve Park sustained a serious injury in

a hard crash during Primestar 500 practice yesterday at Atlanta

Motor Speedway, almost certainly ending his bid for Winston Cup

Rookie of the Year honors.

Park had to be cut out of his Dale Earnhardt-owned Chevy and

was airlifted to nearby Georgia Baptist Medical Center. He

suffered a broken right femur (the weight-bearing bone in the

thigh), as well as a fractured collarbone and shoulderblade and

two broken front teeth. The driver underwent surgery late last

night to have the leg bone reset with a pin and screws.

Bill Elliott suffered a fractured femur in the 1996 Winston 500

at Talledega and missed about seven races.

Park's car struck the outside wall between Turns 3 and 4,

rebounded and hit the wall again near Turn 4, then shot across

the track and a patch of infield grass and struck the pit wall.

A preseason favorite with Kenny Irwin to win top rookie honors,

Park is fourth in the rookie standings behind Irwin, Jerry

Nadeau and Kevin Lepage. Phil Parsons took over for Park in a

backup car yesterday and posted the 48th fastest speed (184.309

mph).

CRASH-FILLED ARCA RACE -- Park's accident wasn't the only

mishap of the day. …

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