MOORESVILLE, N.C., (October 5, 2005) ----- Fresh off their victory at Talladega Superspeedway Dale Jarrett and the UPS Team travel to Kansas Speedway looking to improve on the team's down force program. The UPS Team spent Tuesday morning at...
MOORESVILLE, N.C., (October 5, 2005) ----- Fresh off their victory at Talladega Superspeedway Dale Jarrett and the UPS Team travel to Kansas Speedway looking to improve on the team's down force program. The UPS Team spent Tuesday morning at Kentucky Speedway testing the car they will be racing this weekend and hope to make improvements on their intermediate track program.
The UPS Team finished eighth at Kansas Speedway one year ago. After starting from ninth place in the 2004 race at Kansas, Jarrett raced in the top 10 throughout the event and was a contender for the win before making a late race pit stop for fuel.
"Kansas is a great race track with great fans," Jarrett said. "This track seems to get a little better each time we have been back as far as the racing grooves developing so I have to believe it will be even better this time around."
Jarrett Discusses This Weekend's Race at Kansas Speedway
How has the past week been after the win?
"It's been great. We've had a lot of fun enjoying that this past week and the accolades that go along with winning a race. It's been good for me, personally, but it's been great for our sponsors. UPS is the best sponsor in the sport and they have been extremely supportive the last couple years so it feels really good to get them back to victory lane. It's been good for the fans too because they have continued to be supportive whether they were calling and leaving messages with the fan club, sending letters and emails -- they just kept showing their support so it's been really special to be able to get this victory. It's been a while so we have been really making sure to enjoy it."
The team's performance at Kansas isn't really reflected in the finishes you've had there is it?
"No, it isn't. Until last year, we hadn't had any kind of finish there to speak of, but it's not because we have went there and just completely missed the set up. I think we were running in the top 10 in the first race there when I was caught up in a pretty big accident. We never really had a chance to see where we were in 2002 because we lost an engine pretty early in the race. The last two years we've went there, and led some laps so we know we're capable of running well at Kansas. I know we lost an engine in the final laps there in 2003, then last year we finally were running at the end and we finished in the top 10. We're taking a new car there this weekend that we believe is going to be a good car for us as far as handling well in traffic. From what we saw at Kentucky, I was able to do some of the things in the corners that I haven't been able to do at all this year."
With a win under your belt, does this team continue the course of preparing for 2005 throughout the final seven races?
"Oh, without a doubt. Getting a win this year was an important goal for us. We'd like to get another one, and we want to see our teammate Elliott Sadler in victory lane. Even with the win, we have a ways to go as far as getting our down force program where it needs to be to compete with Roush cars. Obviously we feel like our plate program is where it needs to be but we now have to focus our attention on the rest of the program. We feel like we've made some improvements with the changes we've made in the past move and hopefully this weekend's race at Kansas gives us a good indication of whether we're going in the right direction so we can start with that as a base and move forward."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett has competed in all four NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events to have taken place at Kansas Speedway. Last year's race at Kansas Speedway, however, marked the first time Jarrett finished a race at the 1.5-mile speedway. Jarrett was eliminated from competition in the inaugural race at Kansas in a late-race accident. In 2002 and 2003, the UPS Ford retired from the races with engine failures.
* Following practice on Friday afternoon Jarrett will travel back to his home in Hickory, N.C., to attend the homecoming festivities for Hickory High School. Jarrett's oldest daughter, Natalee, is a senior at Hickory High School and has been selected to the school's homecoming court. She is one of the individuals who have been nominated for the school's homecoming queen. Jarrett will travel back to Kansas for Saturday's qualifying activities on Saturday morning.
Chassis 58 is the car Jarrett is racing this weekend at Kansas. It is a new chassis for the UPS Racing Team. The team took the car to Kentucky Speedway prior to the race weekend at Talladega, and they tested at Kentucky again this Tuesday to shake the car down and make sure it is ready for Sunday's 400-mile race.