Talladega II: Dale Jarrett post-qualifying interview

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 3rd) "We worked extremely hard on this part of our program. For a lot of years it was kind of our bread and butter and then we seemed to fall off a little bit, so we've been working extremely hard on...

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus (Qualified 3rd)

"We worked extremely hard on this part of our program. For a lot of years it was kind of our bread and butter and then we seemed to fall off a little bit, so we've been working extremely hard on that. Hopefully, we can find that things that we've done, you know we've qualified well before, but it seems that when we untape these Fords that it becomes a little bit of an issue and we have a hard time leading laps. Elliott led a few here in the first race, so we tried to duplicate a car like he had here and, obviously; they did a good job with that. The engine room always works hard, so the guys are to be commended for the hard work and effort that they've made to try to get our program back. I hope when we get in drafting practice tomorrow that the car drives as good as it did today and that we can have something that we can race with and have a lot of fun with on Sunday."

FORD IS LONG OVERDUE TO WIN A PLATE RACE.

"It's been a dry spell for the Fords. That's a long time going at a race track without a make of car winning a race. I don't know like it's been that close for anybody. I know Kurt Busch has had some success here and Elliott has had a couple of good runs here and there, but we've just had a hard time leading. These guys know that in these other cars, so that makes it more difficult then to get the drafting help that we certainly need, but I think we've made gains in that direction. Yeah, it would be nice, especially since Ford is a sponsor of the race. I think that was part of the plan that maybe we could somehow move some magic over here to help the Fords. It'll be interesting to see if it works."

IS YOUR CREW CHIEF SITUATION INTERIM, TEMPORARY? WHAT'S THE DEAL?

"We're always trying out. I don't know that there's a secure job over there. We're all auditioning all the time. We're just trying to find something, there again, as we said last week - trying to find and exhaust all the opportunities within our organization right now because there are no opportunities that you're gonna go out and get the person that you may want, if indeed we do need someone else at this point in time during the season so we need to exhaust that and see if the combination of Todd and myself and some new engineering, if that can be something that could work. Todd and I have a good relationship and it would mean a lot to me if we could make that work for these next couple of years, but, again, we're all fighting for our job."

EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE NOT IN THE CHASE THIS IS PROOF YOU HAVEN'T GIVEN UP.

"It's never been any different than any other year. If you were outside the top 10 or wherever you were in years past, you don't give up. We get paid to race and race hard, regardless of the circumstances. We're fighting all the time to try to make things better and I know we haven't won a race in a while, so we're gonna use this opportunity if we can possibly do that to try to get ourselves back to Victory Lane."

DO YOU FAVOR A STRICT INTERPRETATION OF THE NASCAR RULE BOOK WHERE THINGS ARE EITHER YES OR NO, OR DO YOU THINK NASCAR IS RIGHT TO HAVE A COMMONSENSE APPROACH WHERE THEY ALLOW THEMSELVES SOME ROOM TO TRY TO FACTOR IN LOGIC TO MAKING A DECISION?

"I'm glad you asked the question because if that was gonna be the last question I was gonna ask you all why the week before at Loudon when everything went on that's all you read in newspapers, that's all that you heard on TV. It didn't make any difference. I think it was on the Oprah show. I'm not positive about that, but that was such a big story of how we're so out of control as drivers, and then an issue comes up where the first two cars last week are so obviously doing something on the race track that is of benefit to them, the roll through inspection, they don't pass inspection, they're allowed to sit there and jump up and down on their cars and whatever they need to do to get it, and I'll be damned if everything I saw was either on the back page or the next-to-the-last page. So I'm sorry, I'm not understanding what you all are doing here."

ON THE FACT THE CAR THAT WON LAST WEEK HAD ALREADY BEEN THROUGH THIS ISSUE.

"Yeah, both of the cars. I think at Las Vegas were they not both? You talk about rules, if you're gonna have height sticks and requirements that you have to have, you roll through there - I didn't realize they had a 24-hour period they could wait for these damn things to settle down. I'm fired up about this. I don't understand it. I wanted to say a lot more on the TV show yesterday, but I wasn't allowed to. Not that it does any good. I'm just venting right now. My wife and kids have heard this all week, so now you all have to."

UNTIL WE GOT HERE TO TALK TO NASCAR PEOPLE WE COULDN'T GET ANYBODY TO CALL US BACK?

"So does that tell you what sells tickets now? They feed you all the information you wanted the week before about fines and all of that. No, I do think that we need rules. We've got to have rules. We've got to go by that. Hey, don't get me wrong, I applaud them for the ingenuity and for being innovative there to find out what they needed to do that they could certainly take advantage of all the aero rules that you could possibly do, and what they were doing, there's nothing illegal about what they did. I don't mean to say that. There was nothing illegal as far as that goes as long as they pass inspection after the race is over. Again, to those guys that was pretty cool. I'm sure they couldn't see out their back window - not that they needed to because there wasn't anybody close (laughter). You have to applaud them for that, but I think you still have to pass inspection when it's over."

-ford-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Kurt Busch