UPS Team Looks for Continued Consistency MOORESVILLE, N.C., (August 9, 2005) ----- The second road course race of the season is up next for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, and it is quickly becoming a critical event for all drivers vying for a ...
UPS Team Looks for Continued Consistency
MOORESVILLE, N.C., (August 9, 2005) ----- The second road course race of the season is up next for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, and it is quickly becoming a critical event for all drivers vying for a position in the 10-race Chase for the NEXTEL Cup Championship. Several drivers and teams tested at the BLANK-size road course prior to traveling to Indianapolis last week. Dale Jarrett was one of the drivers to travel to Watkins Glen for a little seat time behind the wheel of the NASCAR Busch Series car fielded by Robert Yates Racing. Getting accustomed to the road course way of life, was the primary reason for the one-day test.
"We wanted to test the Busch Series car and make sure we were in good shape for that especially since the Busch cars haven't raced at Watkins Glen since 2001," Jarrett explained. "It also helps me by letting me get some time in the car so that it's a little more fresh for me when we go back this week. I was able to go and get some laps. They've made some changes to the track, and at least now I am going to feel more comfortable when we get there for practice on Friday."
This weekend's event will mark the 19th time Jarrett has raced at Watkins Glen. In his previous 18 starts at "The Glen," Jarrett has started from the pole one time and posted three top-five and five top-10 finishes. Jarrett is coming off a fifth-place finish at the road course race at Sonoma in June.
Jarrett Discusses Racing at Watkins Glen
How do you feel about racing at Watkins Glen? "I love to race there. I've had a lot of fun racing there over the years. It's probably the closest thing for a road course for stock cars that's ever been built. I know that when the Glen was built, it wasn't built with stock cars in mind. But it's probably the best place that we've ever raced that stock cars could really race. It's fun and very challenging. We tested there and I look forward to going back this week. It's a road course and track position is important, but it's still a track where we're able to make passes and race hard.
What's going to be the most important thing for gaining the most points during this weekend's race?
"The main thing is to not have any problems and to be around at the end of the race. We saw a lot of guys have problems at Sonoma in June due to mechanical issues, engine issues or just getting some damage to the race car. Obviously, I know I'm not the best road racer out there, but this team has proved this year that we're able to make good decisions about when to pit and what scenarios are going to play to our favour. Obviously, we'd love to go there and win, and that is our goal every week, but I think realistically, we'd just love to leave there with a solid top-10 or even top-five finish."
Is gaining as many points as possible the strategy then for this weekend?
"Absolutely. Ideally, we'd like to get a good starting spot because, especially nowadays, track position is so important. We were able to use strategy to our advantage in Sonoma and that will still be a factor this weekend, but the ideal situation is to get a decent starting spot and pick off enough positions to get ourselves in position for a good finish."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett sat on the Bud Pole for the race at Watkins Glen in 2001. Jarrett led the first 17 laps before going off course in turn one, and getting stuck in the sand trap for a couple laps. He finished the race in 31st place.
* Jarrett and his teammate Elliott Sadler will both compete in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Watkins Glen, in an effort to get more seat time in preparation for Sunday's event. Jarrett will drive the #90 CitiFinancial Ford, while Sadler will race a specially-designed #08 Robert Yates Racing Ford. The car will be a tribute to all of the RYR sponsors, featuring a split design with UPS on the passenger side of the car and M&M'S on the driver side of the car.
* Jarrett continues to thrive on the consistency factor in 2005. He has completed 6,042 laps during the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, only 11 laps shy of the total that has been run by the series this season.
Chassis 48 is the car Jarrett is racing this weekend in Watkins Glen. Chassis 48 is the same car the team raced earlier this season at Sonoma. After starting the race from the 30th position, Jarrett climbed as high as third in the running order before finishing the race at Sonoma in fifth place. This will mark the second time Chassis 48 has been raced by Team UPS.