UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest * This weekend's NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge marks the 15th consecutive start in the annual race of winners for Dale Jarrett. Jarrett made his first appearance in the event in 1992 as a result of his...
UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest
* This weekend's NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge marks the 15th consecutive start in the annual race of winners for Dale Jarrett. Jarrett made his first appearance in the event in 1992 as a result of his win with the Wood Brothers at Michigan in 1991.
* Jarrett has yet to win the annual All-Star Challenge. He has finished as the runner-up twice in the event, finishing second to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in 2000 and second to Jeff Gordon in 2001.
* While Jarrett has not won the actual event, he has been first at the conclusion of Segment One on two occasions, finishing first in Segment One in 1996 and again in 1997.
* The #88 UPS Racing pit crew is one of the 25 that will be competing in the NASCAR Nextel Pit Crew challenge at Bobcat Arena in Charlotte, N.C. this Wednesday.
Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing in the All-Star Challenge
Where does this event rank compared to other major sporting events?
"I think it's a fair comparison to say that it is the equivalent of the NBA's or Major League Baseball's all-star breaks, just like our Daytona 500 is the equivalent of the NFL's Super Bowl. It's our all-star weekend. This is our weekend to kick back and have a good time while we're still competing. It's not as stressful as the weekends where we're worrying about points and all that but we're here to have a good time and put on a good show. I think any all-star type event tries to accomplish the same thing whether you're talking about football, basketball or baseball or whatever."
How special is it to be able to race at home the next two weeks?
"I think I can safely say I speak for most people in the garage when I say it's certainly nice and a welcome stretch on the schedule. It's an excellent race track. The people here are great and they do a tremendous job of drawing the crowds here. It would be hard for us to find a two-week stint anywhere that is more successful than this. The guys get to stay at home most of the time and get to sleep in their own bed and that's worth a whole lot considering they're on the road for another 34 weekends a year."
Do you like the change in the format last year with cars not being eliminated from the first two segments?
"I think that's a good thing, and I think it's fair that everybody is around for the whole thing. Seldom do you know exactly what's going to happen, but I'm sure the crashes we've had the last couple of years helped decide that issue - that we needed to make sure we had enough cars running at the end. When you put up a million dollars a lot of things can happen, but it's always a great race and it's a race for winners. You can't get a more competitive race than that."
What are your thoughts on the notion of having the All-Star race potentially moving around to other tracks?
"I don't know until we get to that point and see. Obviously, all but one year has been right here at Lowe's Motor Speedway, so I just as soon we keep it here. It's close to home. It draws a big crowd and it's a great place to have a race. I know that there are other tracks that are certainly deserving of having it and fans in other areas would love to see it, but this is a pretty good place to be able to get to from about anywhere in the country, so I'd like to see it stay here. That would be my vote, not that I have one."
Chassis 58 is the car Jarrett will use to compete in this weekend's NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. This will mark only the second time Chassis 58 has been raced by the #88 UPS Team. The car made its debut at Kansas Speedway last fall where the team finished 38th after getting caught up in an accident on the 16th lap of the race.