Daytona 500: Dale Jarrett preview

UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest * Dale Jarrett makes his 20th and final career start in the Daytona 500 this weekend. * Jarrett is a three-time winner of the Great American Race, winning the Daytona 500 in 1993, 1996 and 2000. * Jarrett...

UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest

* Dale Jarrett makes his 20th and final career start in the Daytona 500 this weekend.

* Jarrett is a three-time winner of the Great American Race, winning the Daytona 500 in 1993, 1996 and 2000.

* Jarrett won the 2000 Daytona 500 after winning the pole for the race.

* Jarrett has made 41 career starts at Daytona International Speedway, winning four times and scoring nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. He has also won four poles for races at Daytona.

* Jarrett will leave Daytona Beach on February 12 to attend senior night activities at the Hickory High School women's basketball game for his youngest daughter, Karysn.

Dale Jarrett Discusses the 50th Daytona 500

What would it mean to win the 50th Daytona 500 which also happens to be your last 500?

"With this being my last Daytona 500, it would be perfect to get that win. Those are storybook endings and we know those don't happen a lot, but we're in a lot better position this year to even discuss something like that so that makes it a lot more fun. A year has gone by and a lot has happened in that amount of time to make us much better. The Toyotas do have good speed and they've worked hard on this program to make the cars better. In the three Daytona 500s that I won, it wasn't necessarily the best driver that won but it was the best car. I'm pretty sure if you talked to every other driver that's won this race they would tell you the same thing."

What are your thoughts on Thursday's qualifying races?

"We knew the chances of us having to race our way in Thursday were greater than not having to do so. That's the way that we've come here. We knew we needed to either run fast enough during qualifying on Sunday, or be racing on Thursday. It's another thing you have to do, and as a driver it's a challenge that you have. It will be an interesting day, but it's the position we put ourselves in."

How has the handling changed here at Daytona with the new car?

"As crazy as it sounds, we used to run a ten-degree spoiler -- so you basically didn't have any down force on the back of the car and they moved around a lot. I'm not sure I would have wanted to drive it if I would have seen how much it was moving around. But, that's what we do -- we learn to deal with that and work with that. That's not saying that it's going to be bad because I think what you're going to see will be a great race, but what you'll see will be a different race. I think you're not going to see just double file racing and then making it three-wide all the time. I don't think you'll see that here because it's too much of a handling race track and there are too many bumps out there. We have to figure out how to deal with that car over all of these bumps and not run into the guy right beside us or right in front of us. I think what you're going to see is more of just setting someone up and passing them by getting them a little loose in the corner, getting them up the race track, and then you and your buddy behind you will be able to fall in line. Or, if the guy in front tries to protect that bottom line, then you'll have to go around on the outside of them. I think you'll see a different race, but that's not to say that it won't be exciting. I think you're going to see an extremely exciting race, but it is a totally different car and a totally different feel. You have to have an open mind because if you come here thinking that you can just do what you've done in the past then you're going to be in trouble."

-credit: mwr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett