Martinsville: Dale Jarrett preview

Jarrett looks to continue top-10 streak in Martinsville. "Getting around Martinsville is a matter of getting your car right and trying to keep the fenders on your car without overworking your brakes or your engine. I think that's what you spend...

Jarrett looks to continue top-10 streak in Martinsville.

"Getting around Martinsville is a matter of getting your car right and trying to keep the fenders on your car without overworking your brakes or your engine. I think that's what you spend the first 300-350 laps doing -- making those adjustments on your car to where you think you've got it the best that you can be and, again, not abusing your car so you have something to race with when it gets down to those last 50."
    *Dale Jarrett on racing at Martinsville Speedway

DJ Looks Forward to NASCAR's Shortest Track . . . Martinsville Speedway is the sight of Dale Jarrett's last win on a short track. At .526 miles, Martinsville is the shortest track visited by the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Racing a short track means teams anticipate a race day that is going to be hard on equipment. One of the first things that can go on a car at Martinsville is the brake system.

"What you do is try to get your car to handle better through the corners where you don't have to get on the brakes too much," Jarrett explained. "That's what we've done the last couple of times we've raced at Martinsville, we've made our car better, therefore, we've been able to save the brakes in that respect. As you're rolling through the center of the turn, you're not having to get on the brakes there. It's not that you drive the car in any further or anything like that, it's just a matter that if you're still on those brakes down in the center of the corner because you're car is not handling well, then that's putting extra wear on those brakes. If your car drives good, you don't have to use the brakes as much."

"By the time you realize the brakes are going it's usually too late," Jarrett continued. "The bad thing about our braking system is it doesn't give you a lot of warning. You feel the pedal start going away and getting soft and you know at that time you're abusing the brakes, so you better start getting off of them. When they go, there's not a lot of warning at that point in time and then there's nothing you can do."

* Jarrett has scored eight straight top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway, going back to an eighth-place finish at the .526-mile speedway during the 1999 spring race.

* Jarrett has scored five straight top-10 finishes during the Martinsville spring race, including the win in 2001. Those five top-10 finishes include four top fives.

Getting in Position is Key at Martinsville . . . Starting up front at a race like Martinsville is advantageous, but getting and staying up front is possible through good pit work and patience on behalf of the driver.

"Getting in position does matter at Martinsville because what you try to do is get yourself positioned," Jarrett explained. "You have to be really calculating in your pit stops and know what you want to do towards the end of the race. You get to a point where you're going to say, 'OK, we're not coming in anymore -- it doesn't make any difference.' We're going to stay out on that set of tires until the end of the race. Obviously, caution flags dictate what you do, but you certainly want yourself positioned near the front of this field toward the end because if you get a restart in the last 50 laps, the top three or four guys really have a big advantage of clearing traffic and getting out in clear race track. It's hard to make that ground up."

-ryr/ups-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett