Darlington: Dale Jarrett preview

UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest * Dale Jarrett has a total of three career wins at Darlington Raceway, scoring all three wins in the 400-mile event that used to be recognized as the track's spring race. * Among active drivers ...

UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest

* Dale Jarrett has a total of three career wins at Darlington Raceway, scoring all three wins in the 400-mile event that used to be recognized as the track's spring race.

* Among active drivers competing in this weekend's Dodge Charger 500, Jarrett is second on the Darlington win list with three wins at the 1.366-mile oval. He is behind Jeff Gordon who has six wins at Darlington.

* While Jarrett has yet to win the 500-mile event at Darlington, he has started from the pole in that event twice (1998 and 1996). Jarrett also has a pole from Darlington's old spring event, starting first there in 1997.

* Jarrett is the last driver to win a race from the pole at Darlington, accomplishing that feat in the 1997 TranSouth 400.

* In addition to three wins and three poles, Jarrett's career statistics at Darlington includes 11 top fives and 13 top-10 finishes.

* Jarrett is second on the all-time money won list at Darlington Raceway with earnings that total $1,984,854. He is second to Jeff Gordon who won the Winston Million at Darlington in 1997.

Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Darlington Raceway

Is Darlington still a special race for you?

"Yeah, I think it is for a lot of people. It's been a very good track not just for me but for my dad too. I love racing there. It is such a unique track and a lot of fun. There's just nowhere else on the schedule that compares to that track. I think it takes on an even deeper meaning once you've won there because everyone knows how difficult a track it is so when you walk away with a win you know that you have really accomplished something. I usually mark that on my calendar well in advance knowing and anticipating when we're going to Darlington."

What is it about the track that it earned the phrase "too tough to tame?"

"Well it's the kind of track where you have to race the track as much as you do the competition. It's probably the only track left on the schedule like it, not that the other tracks don't present their own challenges but they are definitely different. Darlington is in a class all by itself. The only track that used to compare was Rockingham. Darlington is a tough, old track and a driver has to not only concentrate but he has to also race smart and be smart about decisions made on the track. You have to be calculating in the moves you make on the track and understand the limitations of the car and its handling. That's probably why I like the track so much. A driver with a good handling race car can end up with a bad night if they're not smart about their decisions on the track."

Chassis 54

Chassis 54 is the car the UPS Racing Team will compete at Darlington with this weekend. This weekend's Dodge Charger 500 will be the sixth race in less than a year for Chassis 54 which made its debut at Atlanta last fall with a 14th-place finish from the ninth starting spot. A 12th-place finish at Texas last November is the car's best outing to date. It's most recent race was the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas in April where Jarrett finished 14th after qualifying ninth.

-ryr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett