THE NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES RETURNS TO THE SHORT TRACKS AS BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY HOSTS THE GOODY'S 500 SATURDAY NIGHT. FORD DRIVERS TALK ABOUT RETURNING TO THE HALF-MILE FACILITY AND THE SPECTACLE OF RUNNING UNDER THE LIGHTS. DALE JARRETT,...
THE NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES RETURNS TO THE SHORT TRACKS AS BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY HOSTS THE GOODY'S 500 SATURDAY NIGHT. FORD DRIVERS TALK ABOUT RETURNING TO THE HALF-MILE FACILITY AND THE SPECTACLE OF RUNNING UNDER THE LIGHTS.
DALE JARRETT, DRIVER OF THE NO. 88 QUALITY CARE SERVICE/FORD CREDIT TAURUS, EARNED HIS FIRST CAREER SHORT TRACK VICTORY LAST AUGUST AT BRISTOL. THAT IGNITED A STRETCH THAT SAW JARRETT WIN FOUR TIMES IN THE FINAL 11 RACES OF 1997.
DALE JARRETT -88- Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Taurus -- YOU REGISTERED YOUR FIRST CAREER SHORT TRACK WIN AT BRISTOL LAST YEAR. HOW DID IT FEEL? "It did mean a lot. Obviously, as a race driver you want to be able to win at all the different types of race tracks and we have done that except for road courses. That's something we're gonna have to work a little harder at and only getting two chances a year, that makes it more difficult. But winning at Bristol was special. It's a tough race track and a driver knows that he's done a night's work. That makes it difficult to win there and I think that victory meant as much as anything that I've accomplished."
JEFF GORDON SAYS IT'S LIKE RUSSIAN ROULETTE AT BRISTOL. HOW DO YOU FEEL? "He's a perfect example. He had a great car there last year and it looked like we weren't gonna gain any points, we might lose because he was leading the race, and he gets caught up in an accident. That was kind of our start of a little bit of a comeback. We were able to go on and win, so it's just a case where I've been there and had great cars and got caught up in somebody else's accident or something else happens. You just don't know. I mean, it's for 500 laps like that and you just sit there and run as hard as you can, but you also have to realize you have to use a little bit of caution in certain times."
IS IT HARD TO BE PATIENT WAITING FOR YOUR LUCK TO EVEN OUT. IT SEEMS YOU'VE HAD A RUN OF BAD LUCK? "I guess it can be bad, but all things considered the things that are happening to us aren't real bad. It's not like we're falling out of races or wrecking or anything like that, so you just have to understand there are gonna be good times and bad times in this. You just have to weather through. Obviously, there are a lot more of the down times than there are the good ones, so you just have to kind of stay on an even keel and make the best of all the times."
RUSTY WALLACE, DRIVER OF THE NO. 2 MILLER LITE TAURUS, WON THE GOODY'S 500 IN 1994 AND 1996. HE WAS THE DOMINANT CAR IN THE FIRST BRISTOL RACE EARLIER THIS SEASON, LEADING 220 LAPS BEFORE SUFFERING ENGINE PROBLEMS DOWN THE STRETCH AND FINISHING 33RD.
RUSTY WALLACE -2- Miller Lite Taurus -- DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS AT BRISTOL? "I've had some really good luck at Bristol and some really bad luck at Bristol and to go there and finish second like I did last year (in the spring race), I feel like I've got a little unfinished business. I want to go back and try to win that thing. We're taking the Elvis car to Bristol, which is gonna be a cool deal. There's a lot of promotion behind that. It starts out in Memphis and they're doing a tour from Memphis to Nashville; Nashville to Knoxville and Knoxville to Bristol where we end it up with a big bash. It would be cool to win that race driving the Elvis car. The car we're taking is the car named Snake. It's one of our favorite cars, so it should be a cool race."
WHERE DO YOU FEEL BRISTOL COMPARES TO OTHER NIGHT RACES? "It's awful close to Richmond. Everybody at Richmond knows I love those guys and that Richmond is a great race. Honestly, Bristol outdoes it by about 10 percent. It's just a little more sparks and a little closer racing, but, man, to me I put Bristol and Richmond right at the top of the list for the most exciting races."
YOU'VE WON THIS BRISTOL RACE TWICE SO YOU HAVE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR CHANCES, RIGHT? "Absolutely. I'm excited about getting there. I'm pumped up. I've got my whole entourage ready to go. I've got a couple car dealerships up in the Moorestown, Tennessee area and I get all my friends and people going there with us."
AT BRISTOL YOU CAN GET IN TROUBLE REAL FAST AND IT MIGHT NOT BE OF YOUR OWN MAKING, RIGHT? "Well, that's right. Gordon and I got together and I finished second that time after I was leading going into the last corner. I'm sure he doesn't remember it and I won't either."