Conquering Bristol takes patience and speed BRISTOL, Tenn., March 19, 2002 --- The very notion of Bristol Motor Speedway conjures up images of 43 cars battling in close quarters for 500 laps with the result being more than a few teams going home...
Conquering Bristol takes patience and speed
BRISTOL, Tenn., March 19, 2002 --- The very notion of Bristol Motor Speedway conjures up images of 43 cars battling in close quarters for 500 laps with the result being more than a few teams going home with bent-up sheet metal. The NASCAR Winston Cup race at Bristol is often referred to as a survival of the fittest. Team UPS has one win and a host of top-10 finishes at the half-mile bullring. Dale Jarrett looks to get his 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season jumpstarted with the "Bristol 500 presented by UPS" this weekend. The 500-lap event will broadcast live on FOX with action beginning at 1 p.m. EST.
Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge Considers Bristol A Favorite:
"Bristol Motor Speedway is a pleasure for some while being a nightmare for others. UPS Racing Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge has fond memories of the half-mile track and looks forward to the two events Bristol hosts during the Winston Cup season. One of Elledge's favorite racing memories is the 1995 fall race when he worked with former boss Andy Petree on the #3 car of the late Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt finished a close second in that race to race winner Terry Labonte.
"I think it's a cool place because it's a short track with high banks and there's really no other place we race that compares to it," Elledge explained. "Handling comes into play a lot. It's probably 75 to 80 percent of the battle. You have to have a good handling racecar because there are 43 cars on that small track and you have to have a car that's handling well enough so the driver can get around them. Now other issues like down force aren't as critical at Bristol because it is a smaller track. You have to have a driver who's smart enough to be able to know when to press the issue and when not. It just takes a lot of patience and concentration."
Jarrett And Team UPS Work To Return To Victory Lane:
Since the start of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, Jarrett and the #88 UPS Team have been working to return to victory lane. The team has had strong performances but lack the finishes that show the team's efforts.
"I'm not disappointed with the way we've run but I am disappointed with the way we've finished," Jarrett explained. "We had a car capable of winning at Rockingham and we ran good at Daytona and Atlanta, but we don't have the finishes to show the way we've performed. We're concentrating on getting things together and winning races. Until we can get back to where we are in the position to win each and every week then we can't worry about the championship. Right now we're worrying about getting back to victory lane and when we do that then the championship stuff will fall into place."