Richard Childress back where he wants to be

After the death of his life long friend and driver Dale Earnhardt, at Daytona in 2001. Childress wanted to get out of racing all together. But now Richard Childress has a lot to be happy about.

Kevin Harvick led the way with a runner-up finish behind Ryan Newman. Steve Park had his best finish since June 2001 with a fifth-place result, getting past teammate Robby Gordon late in the race. And Gordon, last week's winner at Watkins Glen International, ended up sixth.

 In 2003 the RCR teams have finished in the top five 11 times. Six by Harvick, four by Gordon and one by Park.

  Kevin Harvick feels that his 29 team is as good as it was when that car had the number 3 on the side and driven by the late Dale Earnhardt. That's quite a testament to his team.


We're every bit as good as they were the last five years," Harvick said. "We're winning races and we're in the top five every week. I feel right now that this is part of my team. It's Todd (Berrier) and Gil (Martin) and all the guys from my Busch car.


Harvick has put RCR 29 in the top five 4 times out of the last five races with a win at Indy and second at Michigan and New Hampshire. With his 2nd place finish this weekend at Michigan he moves up one spot to 4th in the points standings.

 Steve Park got his best finished I 5th, his best finish in more than two years.

It was a great run for the America Online Chevrolet, Mike Beam and all the guys," Park said. "We're brand-new and me and (crew chief) Mike (Beam) are just jelling together.


"It was a great effort on their part. We got good gas mileage and Mike made a good call in the pits. I was conserving there at the end and Robby was catching me, so we had get to racing there when I didn't know if we had enough fuel to go the last lap.


"It was great. That's what having great teammates like Robby and Kevin Harvick is all about. I'm just happy to be here with a good top-five finish for a team that's new, it's been struggling."


Park's finish came at a good time. Last week at Watkins Glen, Childress said he'd make a decision on who would drive the No. 30 car by the middle of October.


 Gordon's future with RCR is certainly secure, and his No. 31 team is much improved. With victories at Watkins Glen at Sonoma, Gordon has finished seventh or better in six of the last eight races.


"It was a good run for us all in all," Gordon said of Michigan. "I raced Steve pretty hard. That was kind of fun. It is what it is. We just continue to get better and better as a team, the cars are getting better and we're scoring more points, so that's a good thing."


It's always a good thing when all of your drivers leave smiling, which is what happened to the RCR bunch Sunday.


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