Long Pond: Dale Jarrett preview

Jarrett looks to keep top 3 streak going. POCONO, Pa., June 4, 2002 --- Pocono Raceway is the next stop for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series as part of the 2002 season. With its varying degrees of banking and long straights, Pocono Raceway can be a...

Jarrett looks to keep top 3 streak going.

POCONO, Pa., June 4, 2002 --- Pocono Raceway is the next stop for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series as part of the 2002 season. With its varying degrees of banking and long straights, Pocono Raceway can be a bit tough to maneuver. Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team look forward to returning to the 2.5-mile oval where they haven't finished outside the top three in the spring race since 1997. Racing action begins with qualifying on Friday, June 7th, with the Pocono 500 starting at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, June 9th. FX is scheduled to provide live racing coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST.

Pocono Is Oval Track With Road Course Tendencies
"Pocono is a tough track because the corners and straight-aways are all different," Jarrett said. "The front stretch at Pocono is probably the longest straight of all the places we race. Turn one comes up while we're going 204-205 mph and you have to shift gears to get ready to get into that turn, which is fun. Turns two and three are banked nearly half of what turn one is banked. When you go into turn three that's fairly flat and sharp and you end up driving it almost the same as you would at a dirt track getting in and out of the gas to get through it. It's just a place that's equally tough on drivers and equipment."

Jarrett's consistency at the 2.5-mile oval since 1997 has produced five straight top-three finishes in the track's spring race. In 1996, he finished 38th due to engine failure. Jarrett's average finish since the #88 team was formed in 1996 is eighth.

Team UPS Prepares For Duration of 2002 Season With Aggressive Testing The 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season has been anything but pleasant for Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team. With only two top fives and five top 10s, the 2002 season has fallen well below the Robert Yates Racing standards of success. The team is preparing to start an aggressive testing schedule at various tracks with the first stop being the Kentucky Speedway. Although Winston Cup teams don't currently race at the track, the test will give the team the opportunity to try new set-up ideas.

"We haven't used our testing very well the last year or so," Jarrett said. "We go there and we're not willing to deviate from what we know has worked in the past. We did kind of the same things -- the same shocks, the same springs, the same spring rubbers. We just haven't given it a fair chance at trying some new, fresh ideas and that's what we've got to do. We've got a whole list of things and we're going to be very busy."

Getting On Track In 2002
Diligence and team work paid off for the #88 UPS Racing team's efforts in the MBNA Platinum 400, as Jarrett lead 15 laps en route to his fifth-place finish on Sunday - something the team needed.

"My team does a good job week in and week out, but today they were especially good," Jarrett said. "We made up a lot of positions in the pits every time and all the credit goes to them. We made the car a lot better throughout the weekend and made it competitive. That's what we're after right now. If we can get competitive, then we can work on the little things. That's what we need to do - have days like this."

For Race Fans Only - QVC Is Big UPS Customer Pocono Raceway is a short hop from QVC Studio Park in West Chester, Penn., home to "For Race Fans Only" on Friday nights at 8 p.m. EST. Last week, the show celebrated its tenth anniversary for sales of the hottest NASCAR merchandise, die-cast cars and apparel. QVC is one of UPS's largest customers with nearly 38 million packages shipped each year, crossing the threshold of 500 million packages delivered last fall.

-ryr/ups-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing