DJ Looks for Win in UPS Backyard at Atlanta MOORESVILLE, N.C., (October 25, 2005) ----- Atlanta, Ga., is home to many of NASCAR's top sponsors, including UPS, primary sponsor for Dale Jarrett and the ...
DJ Looks for Win in UPS Backyard at Atlanta
MOORESVILLE, N.C., (October 25, 2005) ----- Atlanta, Ga., is home to many of NASCAR's top sponsors, including UPS, primary sponsor for Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS/Robert Yates Racing Team. Jarrett and company would love nothing more than to give their primary sponsor a win in their own backyard, but realize that it is a tall order with today's level of competition.
"We've come close a couple of times in trying to win one for UPS at their home track," Jarrett said. "Obviously we'd love nothing better than to do just that, but we also know that with the competition level being what it is, it is tough. We go to every race in hopes of winning it, but this being close to UPS headquarters it certainly would be extra special."
During the spring race at Atlanta, Jarrett started 36th, but a fast race car on long runs had allowed him to close to within the top 15. Jarrett led a lap before making a green-flag pit stop. A speeding penalty on pit road dropped him down two laps and the team was never able to recover.
"We had a pretty good car in the spring," Jarrett said. "It wasn't particularly fast at the beginning of a run, but it was pretty good on a long run. We just were never able to get back on the lead lap so that kind of hurt us. We're not taking the same car we had in the spring, but if we can use what helped us out on the long run, and find some speed at the start of a run, then we should be in OK shape."
Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Atlanta
Does what the team learned at Charlotte apply for this weekend's race at Atlanta?
"I'm not sure that anything we did at Charlotte will work anywhere but there. Charlotte was extremely fast and we pretty much were dealing with 30-lap runs all night long. Some of the things we did as far as aerodynamics are concerned I think we'll be able to take advantage of this weekend. The tracks are obviously similar in that they're 1.5-mile tracks with a pretty good amount of banking. Atlanta is a very fast track, but it is a multi-groove track and we'll probably see some side-by-side racing -- more than we saw at Charlotte. So some set-up things we did at Charlotte may help us for devising a starting point for this weekend, then we'll work from there."
Does starting position matter as much at Atlanta as it does at other tracks?
"We certainly want to qualify to where we can be up front and not have to worry about working through traffic all the time. It makes it a lot easier at the beginning of the race. I think it lets you gauge yourself a little bit better as well. Those guys that are up front are going to be the ones you're going to have to compete with most of the time. These guys are the ones that you judge yourself off of at the beginning of the race to see what adjustments you need to make, how fast you need to go and how much you need to adjust on the car to get better. It's just a lot easier racing from there than it is when you find yourself in the middle of the pack and you're not only concerned with trying to move forward but all the stuff that goes on around you. The way the season has been, we know there will be accidents and the best way to not be in an accident is to not be around it when it starts. More often than not, they start from about mid-pack and back."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett does have one win at Atlanta. He scored the win during the track's spring race in 1997, prior to the track's re-configuration to its current 1.5-mile status.
* In 35 career starts at Atlanta, Jarrett has scored 11 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in addition to the win he scored in 1997.
* Jarrett is one of the Coca-Cola Racing Family of drivers that will be making appearances in conjunction with the soft drink's weekend activities. He'll appear at the Coca-Cola Racing Family Reunion at the track on Friday night following the qualifying session to sign autographs and participate in a question-and-answer session.
Chassis 54 is the car Jarrett will race during this weekend's race at Atlanta. This is not a new chassis for the UPS Team, but this is the first race at which the car will be raced. The team has taken it to various tests, including a recent test at Kentucky Speedway.