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LIer Steve Park wins NASCAR modified race

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Steve Park watches

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Steve Park watches from pit road before his qualifying run at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Credit: AP, 2005

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR veteran Steve Park, the East Northport native, got into the back of race leader Mike Stefanik, sending him spinning heading into Turn 2 of the white-flag lap, en route to a victory in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race in the UNOH Battle At The Beach last night at Daytona International Speedway.

It was Park's first Modified Tour win since October 1996 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.

Park, 45, won two NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2000 and 2001, but a serious accident at Darlington Speedway in 2001 which caused a brain injury essentially ended his effectiveness as a top flight driver. He raced on the top circuit for two more seasons with little success before switching to NASCAR's Truck Series, where he was a winner. He raced a few Sprint Cup events in 2010 and 2011.

Pole sitter Todd Szegedy led the first 126 laps of the 150-lap event, but was forced down pit road with a flat right front tire and was relegated to a 21st-place finish. Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville finished sixth.

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