Bristol II: Dale Jarrett preview

UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest Dale Jarrett has made a total of 40 career starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. In those 40 starts Jarrett has earned 19 top-10 starts. He also has one win and nine top-five finishes. This weekend's Sharpie 500...

UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest

Dale Jarrett has made a total of 40 career starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. In those 40 starts Jarrett has earned 19 top-10 starts. He also has one win and nine top-five finishes.

This weekend's Sharpie 500 will be Jarrett's 20th start in the fall race at Bristol.

Jarrett scored his lone Bristol win at the track's annual night race during the 1997 season. He started third in that event and led 210 laps in route to the victory.

Jarrett has been running at the end of every Bristol race since 1995 for a string of 23 Bristol races without a DNF. Jarrett failed to finish the night race at Bristol in 1997 after being caught up in an accident on lap 388. He had led 19 laps in that event before retiring early.

Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway

Is Bristol still the best show on the Nextel Cup Series schedule?

"I don't think there's any doubt that it is at the top of the list for fans and competitors. Maybe the restrictor-plate races at Daytona and Talladega are close as far as the fans are concerned but there isn't anything quite like a race at Bristol and I think most people will agree with that. As a driver, it's a hard 500 laps around here, but at the end of the day you look back and say most of the time that you had a lot of fun. Everybody that you talk to no matter where you go -- from the east coast to the west coast -- they talk about wanting to go to Bristol to watch a race. That's why I own six tickets of my very own. You can't get tickets to Bristol and everybody wants them, but a number of years ago Wayne Estes called and said, 'Look, I know you're always looking for tickets here. I've got six that have come open. Do you want them?' and I grabbed them up. We own those and we have a lot more requests than that, but this is just a phenomenal place. You can't explain what it used to be here, but you don't even have to do that because it's such a great place to race on and for people to watch. I don't know, when I retire in a few years what races I'll go watch, but this will probably be one of them. It's the most exciting show anywhere."

What is it like to compete on a track that is as small and yet as fast as Bristol?

"The thing with Bristol is the track is a small piece of real estate to begin with and over the years, the preferred groove has become an even smaller piece of real estate. Everybody wants that piece of real estate and trying to maintain that piece for yourself or keep someone from taking it is difficult. You can get a little impatient whichever side you're on. If you're the guy in front, you get a little bit tired of the guy beating on you from behind trying to take that away, especially in the early and middle parts of the race when it's 500 laps. If you're that guy behind it's like, 'Why don't you just give me that and we'd both be a lot better off,' but you know here it's easy to lose. If you give up one spot, a lot of times you're liable to give up 10 spots and then that's difficult to make up because you know the leader is in open ground there and he's making his way. It's a tough balance. It's a fun place to race, but can get frustrating at times and trying to keep those emotions in check is the hardest thing that you'll do out there. It's even harder than trying to find the balance of your car. It's trying to keep all of that in check. I've been frustrated here when I had really good cars and you get even more frustrated if you don't have a good car, but keeping that in check -- you have to realize that if you can go out there, race hard, and keep your nose clean that you have a good chance of finishing in the top 10 at Bristol."

-credit: ryr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett