Jason Jarrett - Talking Dirt-Trackin.and Series Points! Hickory, NC - 8/14/03 As the ARCA RE/MAX Series prepares for the running of the Allen Crowe Memorial ARCA 100 being held this Sunday, August 17th at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, we...
Jason Jarrett - Talking Dirt-Trackin.and Series Points!
Hickory, NC - 8/14/03 As the ARCA RE/MAX Series prepares for the running of the Allen Crowe Memorial ARCA 100 being held this Sunday, August 17th at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, we managed to get Jason to sit down and talk with us about what it's like to run on the dirt.
Okay your previous results at Springfield; it's kind of interesting - the first time you were there (2001), you started 2nd; finished 3rd; thought you didn't know what you were doing on dirt at the beginning?
"I think that had a lot to do with it. I just went out there with really no expectations and, I shouldn't really say any expectations because I wanted to do just as good as the next person. I guess I didn't know what to expect, so I didn't go in thinking I was going to be the worst one there, and I didn't go in thinking I was going to be the best one there."
"We really didn't mess with the car; we worked on me going out there for five or ten laps at a time and then when it came time to qualify, the track was in real good shape and really sticky, and we got a good run. It just seemed like last year the track was totally different from what I had in my mind and we didn't do as well."
"We may have needed to work on the car a little bit more, or just the opposite, maybe we should have worked on the driver again last year instead of making changes to the car. We should have worked on the line I was running and how I was going about getting around the track instead of the car because it was totally different."
In 2002 you started 3rd and finished 10th; what was different?
"We didn't qualify; we lined up on points. We really didn't race that good. I was really lucky to get back to the top ten. I think I passed Kevin Belmont maybe on the last lap or something."
"I was talking to my granddad last night about going back there. Springfield seems like it gets really dry and slick. He won probably over half of his races on dirt, and he told me that when it gets like that to just drive it like a slick asphalt track. The straighter you can go when it's like that the better off you can go. At DuQuoin, the track will probably be a little tackier and you actually get up on the cushion and run sideways."
"I'm going to go in kind of with the same attitude I had the first year; its going to be one of those places where if I'm going to gain anything on Frank or not let him gain as much as what he usually does on the dirt, I'm going to have to be in the top four or five cars."
What car are you taking?
"It's a Chevrolet. It's a car that we put a new body on it after the first year we ran the dirt; I don't know, it's an older car that we have; probably the oldest car that we have at the shop."
It doesn't matter on the dirt, does it?
"No I think. I think that's why everybody continues to get better both years I've been back and I think the competition level kind of equals out. It's like going to the short tracks; there are quite a few guys in ARCA that have dirt experience, and you see the field kind of tightening up."
You do have to drive a dirt track entirely different; it must be difficult to transition?
"Last year I think I put too much emphasis on how this person was running or that person, the first year it was like, well, the heck with it, I just going to do whatever it takes to run good."
The points race; at this point in the season, Frank is almost impossible to beat; is that still sticking in your mind?
"Yeah, it's hanging in there right now. I think it's not necessarily from the point of catching Frank but more for holding on to second place. Shelby's been running good and Billy's been running good on the short- tracks, and we have Winchester and Salem coming up."
"We really have to, I don't want to say protect our position, because we always want to look forward instead of back, so that it's like we try to do every week; we try to win the race and get the most amount of points."
The race is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.; check back at www.jasonjarrett.com for the latest race results.
Jason Jarrett is the driver of the #67 ML Motorsports Chevrolet sponsored by Biomet and Damon Motorcoach. Jason is also a member of the Coca-Cola Family of Racing.