DJ Looks to Keep Consecutive Win Streak Alive CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Oct. 12, 2004) ---- Only six races remain in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, which means Dale Jarrett and the ...
DJ Looks to Keep Consecutive Win Streak Alive
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Oct. 12, 2004) ---- Only six races remain in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season, which means Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team have six more opportunities to pick up a win. The UPS Team is looking for its first point win of the season. Jarrett and company are coming off a third straight top-10 finish with an eighth-place effort at Kansas. This weekend's UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway may be the place where Jarrett is able to pick up career win 32, and to stretch his streak of at least one win a season to 12 consecutive seasons.
"That's an important goal for this team," Jarrett said of picking up a win in 2004. "You always want to win at least one race a year and it would be nice if we could keep that particular streak going. I think we've got a few good chances coming up, but, sure, that's important to us. If you look at it, the best chances for us to pick up a win would be Charlotte, Atlanta and probably Homestead. I think there are at least three good opportunities out there. We're planning to test at Phoenix before Martinsville so that should help us out at those two tracks as well."
Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Lowe's Motor Speedway
You guys are taking a new car to Charlotte this weekend. Do you feel good about taking this car to Charlotte?
"I think we'll see some good results from this car. It's brand new. We had planned to race our Dover car, but we tested this new car at Kentucky last week, and if we had enough time to get it turned around and ready for Kansas we probably would have raced it last weekend. That's how good the car is. The guys in the chassis shop have built some great chassis and that really gives me a good feeling about the rest of this season, and especially getting ready for next year."
Do you expect to see the same temperamental LMS this weekend?
"We probably will see a lot of the tendencies Charlotte is famous for Saturday night. It's probably one of the most, if not the most, temperamental tracks we race. Since this race takes place at night, we probably won't see the weather playing as much of a role in how the track conditions change over the course of 500 miles. This is just a really tough track that is so sensitive to environmental changes. A driver and team have to be on their toes and ready to adapt to those changes. That's how racing at Charlotte is. But it's also a lot of fun because we're at home and the track is conducive to side-by-side racing. I personally enjoy racing this track."
This team has made huge progress from where it was a year ago. How has it felt to watch something you helped create in 1996 ride a roller coaster from the highs to the lows?
"It has been difficult. Once you reach a level of success, you get accustomed to that and you like to think that you won't ever go down the other side. I've been around this a lot and have seen that happen to a lot of really good drivers and drivers much better than myself, so I can understand that it's out there and can happen to anyone. It's also helped knowing that we have sponsors and I have a car owner like Robert Yates that is going to do anything that he possibly can to help us get back. As much as anything during the last couple of years, having Elliott (Sadler) as a teammate, has probably helped as much or more than anything for a couple of reasons. One, he's just great fun to be around and he knows when to be serious and when to have fun. He's been a good friend as much as he's been a teammate and the other side of it is that even whenever we were struggling and couldn't make it happen, I could see progress in Elliott. Not that I'm trying to take credit for anything that they've done, but we have talked a lot. He gives me a lot more credit than what I deserve in helping him, but it's been fun to watch that and be a part of that, too. I knew I wasn't going to give up and I think the inspiration - a lot of things that a lot of us say and do but, in particular, myself - is I go back to Dale Earnhardt. I know that just two years before his accident people were writing him off, too, and there he was in 2000 just having another great year. I know that if it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone. I remember talking to him about it and all you can do is work hard and, hopefully, you'll make your way back. I think that's the direction we're heading."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett has three career wins at LMS. Two of the three wins have been scored with the #88 UPS Racing Team. Jarrett's first career win at LMS was scored while he was driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in 1994.
* In addition to three career wins at the 1.5-mile LMS, Jarrett has posted 11 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 35 starts.
* Jarrett will be making a variety of appearances around Charlotte while the NEXTEL Cup Series is in town. On Friday, Oct. 15th, Jarrett will sign autographs at Dale Jarrett Ford in Indian Hills, N.C., from 12 to 2 p.m. He also will sign autographs for fan club members at Dale Jarrett Inc., in Hickory, N.C., at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16th.
Chassis 40 is an in-house car at Robert Yates Racing and has not yet been raced in 2004. The UPS Team put some laps on the car at Kentucky Speedway last weekend, and has prepared it for the 500-mile race at LMS Saturday night.