UPS Team Travels to MIS in Hunt for Chase Position MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 16, 2005) ----- Dale Jarrett and the ...
UPS Team Travels to MIS in Hunt for Chase Position
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 16, 2005) ----- Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team travels to Michigan International Speedway (MIS) this weekend in a tie in the point standings with their teammate Elliott Sadler. This weekend's GFS Marketplace 400 could prove to be a pivotal turning point not just for the Robert Yates Racing teammates but for all the teams in positions sixth through 14th, as that group of drivers is separated only by 169 points.
Jarrett and the #88 UPS Team returns to MIS in hopes of improving on its 24th place finish it posted at the two-mile track in June. Since the #88 Robert Yates Racing Team was formed in 1996, the team has made 19 starts at Michigan, picking up three wins, two Bud Pole awards, and13 top-six finishes and 14 top 10s, along the way. Jarrett picked up his first career NASCAR Cup win at Michigan 14 years ago and considers the two-mile track his own personal favorite of all the tracks visited by the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
"I don't think I'm alone in saying that Michigan is my favorite track," Jarrett said. "I think a lot of guys would say this track is a favorite. It's just an ideal track because it is wide enough for two and three-wide battles. As the race goes on the track changes a lot and you'll find yourself changing the racing groove in which you're running. So, while it does require a good handling car, it also takes a driver that is able to adapt to those changes that happen over the course of a 400-mile race."
Jarrett Discusses Racing at Michigan International Speedway
How did the test go for the UPS Team at Michigan a couple weeks ago?
"We learned some things. The first day was a little bit of a struggle for us, but the second day of testing went OK. Michigan is a track that's been very good to our race team. Our goal was to work on what gave us trouble in June and see if we can learn some things that will help us at the other down force tracks like California."
How important is this weekend's race?
"It's very important for this race team in particular. Michigan is one of the places where we've performed well at historically. When we were at Michigan in June, we were anything but competitive. On a whole we've struggled on the 1.5 and two-mile tracks this year, and those tracks have always been our bread and butter. If we can leave Michigan with a decent finish then that will hopefully translate into a setup that may work for us at California as well. All of the next four races are obviously important, but we really need to try to get things started this weekend. Provided we don't have any kind of mechanical problems or get caught up in an accident we feel like we have a little more control of our own destiny at those two tracks. We knew going into Bristol that that is a race where anything can happen, so we really need to be competitive this weekend. I said a few weeks ago that we can't have any finishes outside the top 12 and with what happened last weekend, we really need to put together a string of top-10 finishes if we want to put ourselves in contention to make the Chase going into Richmond in a couple weeks."
How difficult was the race last weekend for this team as far as momentum goes?
"I mean it was tough because we lost quite a bit of ground. We knew going into Watkins Glen that it was going to be a bit of a wild card race, especially for us because road courses aren't exactly where we excel. We know that anything can happen at Bristol so that's another race where it's kind of hard to control your own destiny. It was just disappointing to get wrecked 17 laps into the race last weekend. We were able to get back to 22nd place, but we lost some ground so that was tough."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett picked up his first career NASCAR Cup win at Michigan in 1991. He has since won at the two-mile track three more times for a total of four wins at Michigan. Jarrett's picked up his most recent win at MIS in August 2002.
* In 37 career starts at MIS, Jarrett has scored four wins, 15 top fives and 20 top 10s. Additionally, he has started from the pole twice (spring races in 2002 and 1997).
* A win by Jarrett or his teammate Sadler would give Robert Yates Racing its seventh win at MIS. It would move car owner Robert Yates to third on the list of all-time winning car owners at Michigan.
Chassis 38 is the car Jarrett will race this weekend at Michigan. Chassis 38 has been raced by the UPS Team three times in 2005. It's the car Jarrett started seventh with at the Coca-Cola 600 in May, and finished eighth. Additionally, Jarrett raced it to a sixth-place finish in the All-Star Challenge. The best finish for this particular chassis is a fourth-place finish at Dover Downs International Speedway in September of 2004.