"Road-course racing is not the type of racing where I have performed exceptionally well at in the past, but it is very challenging and that's the part of it that I enjoy as a driver. I think the thing that makes it so tough is that we don't road...
"Road-course racing is not the type of racing where I have performed exceptionally well at in the past, but it is very challenging and that's the part of it that I enjoy as a driver. I think the thing that makes it so tough is that we don't road race enough to really hone our skills. We only race on road courses twice each year and Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen are such totally different tracks that you can't really compare the two. I do look forward to going to the West Coast and visiting that part of California, and hopefully we'll be able to put together a good race package that will help us enjoy the upcoming weekend off before we start out on that 20-race stretch."
--Dale Jarrett on Infineon Raceway
Team UPS prepares for Infineon Raceway
Infineon Raceway Offers Challenges
Infineon Raceway offers is the first of two road course races that NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers will participate in during the 2003 season. The two-mile, twelve-turn road course in Sonoma, California has proven to be quite the challenge for Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team. With three top-10 finishes at Infineon Raceway, Team UPS looks forward to the opportunity of improving on their past performance in Sonoma.
"This track is probably the track that I consider the hardest to race at of all the tracks we visit," Jarrett said. "Infineon is extremely challenging, and it's a place where I've struggled in the past. Obviously the track has changed a lot. It was a little difficult last year with the changes that had been made, but I think the changes were good and now that I have raced that lay-out one time it should help us out going back this year. We built a brand new car for Sonoma and we took it to Virginia International Raceway before Michigan to shake it down and get me thinking in that road racing mindset."
Team UPS Tests VIR in Preparation for Infineon
Road course races are a different beast and in preparation for that challenge, the #88 UPS Racing team spent one day at the road course of Virginia International Raceway preparing for this weekend's race at Infineon Raceway. Crew chief Shawn Parker is looking forward to the road racing challenge and hopes to get the team turned around.
"We went to VIR primarily to shake the car down and to get DJ into a good rhythm for that kind of racing," Parker said. "It really requires a good rhythm to get around a road course. We want (Dale) to be comfortable and get used to shifting, breaking and turning all at the same time. Since we only do this type of racing two times a year it takes some forethought in order to get prepared."
"I think the biggest thing about getting around Infineon is being smooth," Parker continued. "We need the car to be durable enough to make it around there for 350 miles. It's a matter of having the best brakes, transmission and whole package. We have to get the driver prepared and comfortable to where he can be fast and not drive too hard into the corner and end up wheel hopping. Reliability is going to be the key on Sunday."