DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus "It feels good. That's just kind of the way things go in this sport. When things are going well, you have to take advantage of that time. When you have a good race car, you kind of ride that horse as long as you...
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus
"It feels good. That's just kind of the way things go in this sport. When things are going well, you have to take advantage of that time. When you have a good race car, you kind of ride that horse as long as you can, and when you get to race tracks that you enjoy, that you like to perform at and that you have done well at, when all of that kind of comes in an order, then things are good and they are good for us right now. We ran well at Dover, but that's a place we usually run well at. We won at Pocono last week and that's a good track for us and Michigan falls right in line with that. I tell people all the time when I get asked the question, 'what's your favorite race track,' and this is it for me for a lot of reasons. I've had a lot of success here. I won my first race here, but more than anything else, it's just a great racing facility. It's great for the drivers to get out and race on and that's what we really look for."
WAS IT HARD TO WAIT THROUGH THE RAIN? "Actually, I had been watching the U.S. Open most of the time, so it didn't really bother me. It gave me a chance to do that. Tiger's got 'em whipped. He's got about a six-shot lead right now. I was back and forth between that and qualifying, but, yeah, I wasn't really nervous about it. I'm in the Bud Shootout because I've won it in the past, so I've got that. You want to win the pole, certainly, but I knew we were gonna have a good starting spot that was gonna get us a good pit selection, so we had that much out of the way. If somebody were to go out there and beat us, then I knew that they were gonna have to run a really good lap. I didn't make turns one and two as good as what I could have, but made up for it in three and four. It was fun sitting there watching TV when I was watching the qualifying part. Fox has got a pretty neat thing to show how people compared to me on the track from one and two and down the backstretch, but I think it showed just how good our car performed in turns three and four and back to the start-finish line."
HOW DIFFERENT IS THE SETUP FOR SUNDAY COMPARED TO QUALIFYING? "So totally different. We look at that now and probably laugh at that setup versus what we're gonna run on Sunday. There is nothing anywhere close. I mean, the swaybar, the shocks, the springs, there's nothing close. There's not a spring that's anywhere close. The shock package is totally different and the swaybar that we'll run is totally different. The only thing that's gonna be about the same is when I won my first race that was in a Ford and I'll be in a Ford again, and I had Goodyear tires on and I'll have them on again, so that's about the only things that will be the same."
HAS THE TRACK CHANGED THROUGH THE YEARS? "That's the one thing that hasn't changed, even as we've changed all of this, the way that you drive this race track hasn't really changed that much. You'll change the way that you drive this track throughout the 400 miles on Sunday. There are gonna be times that the bottom of the race track is gonna be the quickest way around. You're probably gonna move up to about the middle of the track, and then possibly the quick way around might even get to the very top of the race track. That didn't seem to be the case last year for the cars that stayed right in the front, but a lot of cars did pick up by moving to the top. Maybe you drive it in a little bit further. Obviously, our speeds are a little quicker than what they were back then, but the way that you drive and the things that you do are pretty much the same."
WILL THE WAY YOU GOT THROUGH THREE AND FOUR TRANSLATE TO SUNDAY? "I can only hope, but I doubt it. There are things about this race track that I think you learn. This holds true at a lot of places, but when you have an engine and a package like what I have, you try to use that to your advantage as much as possible. Something I have to remind myself at times is that if I get through a corner really good, then when I get to the end of that straightaway entering the other corner, I'm running quite a bit faster than what somebody else is or what I've been running when I didn't get through that corner as good. That's what happened to me coming to the green. I got through three and four really good. I wind up going faster down there than I have been all day. I thought I let out at the same spot, but I was already running faster so I had to wait longer to pick the throttle back up. That's just something you have to continuously tell yourself. You can overdrive this place. It's really easy because with the banking, the corners the way they are, the asphalt as good as it is and as good as the tire is, you feel like you could almost drive this thing wide open, but you'd just find yourself in trouble. It's a lot better if you'll be patient and the best way for me to use this horsepower that I have is not to drive it off in the corner, but pick the throttle back up as soon as I can, so that's how I win races in these things and that's what I'm gonna be looking to do Sunday."
IS THIS A VETERAN'S TRACK OR A YOUNGER GUY'S TRACK? "I think the case could be made that experience here can count for something because, just as I mentioned earlier, you have to move around on this race track some. You might get your car hooked up on the bottom all day long and it doesn't matter if you're 25 or 45, if it's hooked up down there, that's where you want to stay and you might run there all day. But, most of the time, the track changes and you have to kind of search. If you haven't been here in a 400-mile race before, you don't really know when that time is there and when to start changing and searching for a different lane, instead of just running around the bottom or running your middle groove -- whatever it may be. Traffic is something you have to negotiate and know what you're doing, but these young guys have a lot of experience at this already. Most of them have either raced here in this series or have run in the Busch Series here, so they have those same ideas. But I would look for somebody that has raced here for a number of years to be up front on Sunday."