The following quotes are from the Todd Parrott-Dale Jarrett post-race press conference that were not included on the quote sheet immediately following the race. DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- WHAT WAS ...
The following quotes are from the Todd Parrott-Dale Jarrett post-race press conference that were not included on the quote sheet immediately following the race.
DALE JARRETT --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN THE DRIVER'S MEETING TO BE CONGRATULATED BY THE OTHER DRIVERS? "I've said this week that if there's anything that means as much as my family being there with me and being a part of this is that we've been able to receive congratulations from a lot of our peers. It's the people that we work with here week in and week out in the garage area that you compete against and a lot of those people made special efforts this week to either call or to send something to Kelley and I or the race team. Those are the type things that mean a lot. And then when we were in the driver's meeting today, which was really the first opportunity for me to see a lot of the people because we got tied up last week obviously and didn't get to see a lot of people and then during the week it's been difficult too. But, I think everybody made an effort to come over and those are the type of things you'll always remember." ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED YOU DIDN'T WIN MORE RACES AND DO YOU THINK THAT GREAT CONSISTENCY IS GOING TO BE THE KEY TO FUTURE CHAMPIONS? "You'd always like to win every week, but to say that we're disappointed we didn't get into victory lane more -- no. We're not disappointed. We did our jobs. We know what Winston Cup racing and racing for a championship is about and, if you're gonna put yourself in a position week in and week out to try to make it into victory lane, then you're taking chances not only with the chassis but on the engine side of it. And you're probably putting yourself into positions on the race track doing some things maybe chassis wise that are gonna get you in trouble in the long run and that's not how you win these championships. We certainly don't feel like we've slighted anybody by only winning four races. We've done our job and I'm very proud of what we've been able to accomplish. If you told me next year that we were only gonna win one race, but we could win the championship I'd take that too. This championship is what it's all about." ALAN JACKSON WAS IN YOUR PITS TODAY. DID HE GIVE YOU ANY ADVICE ON THE RADIO? "No. Alan has become a friend. Obviously, his involvement with Ford Motor Company and the relationship that we have is something that we both are proud of. A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to spend about four hours with Alan Jackson in Nashville at his home and it was a pretty neat experience. That week we were racing in Talladega and after I finished second he called me on Monday night at my house and congratulated me on that and wished us the best in the championship. Then when we won last week, Alan called on Monday or Tuesday and expressed an interest to come here. So it was great to have him here. Anytime you can have people that are at the top of their field being a part of your business it's kind of special, so our guys were excited about Alan being there and being a part of the race today." ASIDE FROM A GREAT CREW IS THERE ANYTHING YOU NOTICED IN DRIVING THIS CAR THAT HELPED IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "I get a lot more credit for this because it's called the Winston Cup champion, but I was just the lucky guy that got to sit behind the wheel of these incredible cars that Todd and our guys prepared week in and week out. It makes my job a lot easier. If there was anything you can look at the championship and say this is what we did better than anyone else and that's that we had no mechanical failures. For 34 races we didn't have any mechanical failures. I wrecked at Daytona and wrecked at Bristol. Other than that, we didn't have anything really basically happen. We had some cut tires and we had some days that we struggled with the handling a little bit but we still made top fives and top 10s out of that. But the one thing we did better than anybody else was not to have any problems. I've been saying it for three or four years or longer than that, but that's what the Winston Cup championship is about -- the team and the driver that has the fewest amount of problems is going to be the one to beat." HOW LONG DO YOU GET TO SAVOR THIS TITLE BEFORE WORRYING ABOUT NEXT YEAR? "We're gonna enjoy this. Myself, I'll probably get to enjoy it a little bit more. Todd and the guys, they have a couple of days here that the people at Ford and Quality Care and Ford Credit are giving them a little vacation for a couple of days, but then we start thinking about 2000. Actually, they've already been thinking about 2000. We've done a lot of work with the new pieces for the 2000 Taurus, so we'll enjoy this. We've got Thanksgiving this week and then it's on to New York and we'll enjoy that time, but, really, as soon as we come back from New York everything is full speed ahead for 2000. If there's anything, I'm sure, that's tougher than winning the first championship is trying to repeat, but that's something we would very much like to do."
TODD PARROTT, Crew Chief --88-- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? "Tired. I feel like an old wore out dog. It's been a long year. I look back to Daytona where we started. We had a great car and had some trouble, but we knew that we had a great championship team and that we'd pull together and it showed. It showed what caliber of a race team we were today. The driver, not really the race team, but why we're the Winston Cup champions is because of the heart of the guy that's driving that 88 car. He's had that never give up attitude ever since me and him hooked up in 1996 and that's why this is so special because you get with a guy that gives his heart, his soul, drives 110 percent and probably 150 percent better in the last five laps. I think that was some of the best racing we've probably seen all year long and that was just fighting for one position. I'm just tickled to death, just very blessed and very fortunate to have the group of guys that we have. Robert gave me a chance in 1995 when he called and asked me and said, 'Are you ready to do it?' And I said, 'Well, I don't know if I'm ready or not, but you're probably not ever gonna call back again if I don't take this job.' Not that he wouldn't call back, but it's just the opportunity. I hired guys and, thank the good Lord that most of those guys are still with me today. That's what championship teams are made of is a group of guys that stay together for a long time. It takes a good hard group of guys to keep a good group of guys together. This sport is very hard, the hours that we're gone from home, the time given up with their families, and the guys just work endless hours. But hey, this is what it's all about, coming to Atlanta and riding around that flat-bed trailer out there with music playing and all the race fans. It's just cool. The only thing I could think of was, 'Man, you've got to wait another year to do this.' So, I'm really looking forward to coming back and trying to defend this championship." WHAT ARE GOING TO DO TO ENJOY THIS BETWEEN NOW AND DAYTONA? "I guess we're gonna start out by saying our sponsors -- Ford Quality Care and Ford Credit, the people that have been so good to us for four years -- tonight, as soon as all this stuff is loaded up every one of these guys is going up to Road Atlanta, just up exit 48 to Chateau Elan. Our sponsor has put every guy on our team up for two nights to play golf tomorrow and to enjoy this. We've got a big dinner to go to, so we're gonna start off there. The rest of the week is to give thanks for all the things we're thankful for. I'm thankful for a lot of things and very fortunate. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world and I'm just very blessed. I don't know, it's just really cool. We'll get back to work. We've got a lot of work to do. In 2000 we've got new noses, hoods, tail sections and we don't have any cars built yet. The reason we don't have any cars built yet is I wanted to make sure we got that trophy in our hands before we put any thoughts into anything else and took our concentration and our focus off of it. So, we've got a great bunch of guys. I didn't do all the work, but I worked closely with Jimmy Fennig at Roush and Penske Racing on the car, so we've got some good ideas on where to start and we've just got a lot of work to do. I'm gonna enjoy this. You don't win this thing very often. I know you don't win it very often because I was with a guy in 1989 that won it right here (Rusty Wallace) and he hasn't won it since and I know what a great race car driver he is and what a great race team he's been with, so I'm gonna enjoy this because you never know, this may be the last one. I hope not, but we're gonna enjoy it." DID YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO SHARE THIS MOMENT WITH YOUR FATHER THIS PAST WEEK? "We haven't really had a whole lot of celebrating or anything like that. We have talked about it. I had dinner with him last night over in the motorhome lot, along with Robert and Carolyn and Doug Yates and my wife. He's really proud of me and I'm proud of him because if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be here. He's the one that, I guess, all his genes fell in my lap so to speak. I guess all the God-gifted talents that he's got, I've been fortunate enough to have also as far as working with people, being a cheerleader, keeping the driver pumped up -- all those sorts of things. He didn't win the championship or never has been a championship crew chief but he has because I have. This championship is not only for my team, but for my dad and my family because I worked hard this year to be able to give my dad something that he's given me."