Dale Jarrett No. 88 UPS/Arnold Palmer: Tribute to a Legend Ford Taurus Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway CHARLOTTE (March 8, 2004) --- Atlanta is home to many of NASCAR's top sponsors including UPS, primary sponsor for Dale...
No. 88 UPS/Arnold Palmer: Tribute to a Legend Ford Taurus
Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
CHARLOTTE (March 8, 2004) --- Atlanta is home to many of NASCAR's top sponsors including UPS, primary sponsor for Dale Jarrett's No. 88 Ford Taurus. This weekend UPS will share the hood of the #88 Robert Yates Racing Ford with golf legend Arnold Palmer with the Tribute to a Legend program put together to honor Palmer's 50 years in the PGA and his 50th Masters Tournament coming up later this month at Augusta National.
While the UPS Racing Team will be honoring a living legend, Jarrett will be attempting to pick up his second career win at the Atlanta Motor Speedway which would be his first since the track was reconfigured in 1997. Jarrett won the track's last NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event before it underwent its facelift between the spring and fall races in 1997. Although Jarrett has yet to win a race on the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway, he has been the bridesmaid on four different occasions since November 1997 -- including a string of back-to-back-to-back second-place finishes between November 1997 and November 1998.
Dale Jarrett discusses Atlanta Motor Speedway
You, along with your team, are paying tribute to a living legend this weekend. How big is that for you?
"I'm sure that they could have gotten someone else to do this but they couldn't have found a race driver more appreciative of this opportunity than myself. I mean we could go all the way to the point that my middle name is Arnold and talk about whether or not I was named after him but he is someone I have looked up to and respected my entire life. The opportunity to play golf with him during our championship year in 1999 was second only to winning our championship that year. For him to be there and be the grand marshal the day we clinched at Homestead -- I could just go on and on. I mean what a really remarkable person he has been for the world of golf. As you see him and watch him you realize just what a special person he is to a lot of people. To have this opportunity to honor his 50th year at the Masters is just incredible. What a special place at Augusta, and for us to have this chance - our race team and myself personally -- is just an incredible experience that I'm really looking forward to."
This special program honoring Arnold Palmer is taking place at a track where you and the #88 UPS Team have performed well.
"Atlanta is a great race track and it is a lot of fun to race. It's a fast and fun track and is really the type of track that has everything that makes race car drivers do what they do. It's fast and there's good room for passing. We haven't won at Atlanta since before the track was reconfigured so we're about due for another win. We always run well there and look forward to qualifying on Friday especially with the special paint scheme this weekend."
Atlanta is home to UPS, as well as a lot of other NASCAR sponsors. Does that make the race team place more emphasis on the events that take place there?
"It does for us in particular with UPS and Coca-Cola both having their headquarters in the Atlanta area. It is a big race for us and one we pay a lot of attention to. It's a fun race a really good race track. Because of the importance of sponsorship and trying to please sponsors, with UPS and Coke having the opportunity to bring a lot of customers and employees right there it is a place where we want to do well."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett picked up his first and only win at Atlanta in March 1997.
* Jarrett scored a string of eight second-place finishes in Atlanta's fall NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events between 1996 and 1999.
* Since the inception of the No. 88 Robert Yates Racing Team in 1996, driver Jarrett has put together an impressive record that includes one win, nine top fives and 10 top 10s in 16 starts.
* With approximately $1,606,630 in earnings at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Jarrett is fifth on the track's all-time money winners.
* Jarrett will participate in a golf tournament at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday prior to the Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta. Jarrett will be joined in the tournament by crew chief Mike Ford, general manager Eddie D'Hondt, teammate Elliott Sadler as well as his father Ned, brother Glenn and son Jason. The golf tournament is part of the weekend activities taking place in conjunction with the Arnold Palmer special paint scheme program. More information on the activities leading up to the weekend is available at www.racing.ups.com.
* Jarrett along with Arnold Palmer will be in the infield media center at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday morning for questions at approximately 10:20 a.m.