#88 Team looks to improve Bristol performance
"Bristol is a lot of fun but it can also be really frustrating. I don't think you can put a large enough emphasis on track position there. At a fast, half-mile track like Bristol it doesn't take long to go a lap down unless you're starting up front or running up front. I don't think there's a track where you have a larger premium placed on track position than at Bristol."
--Dale Jarrett on Racing at Bristol
Bristol Is Give-and-Take Kind of Track . . .
Bristol Motor Speedway has not been kind to Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team over the course of the last two years. In the last five starts at Bristol, Jarrett's best finish has been a sixth-place run during the 2001 August race. Jarrett is going to rely on a good-handling race car and a little luck at Bristol.
"Obviously the most important thing to finishing a race at Bristol is keeping the fenders on the car," Jarrett said. "That's something we haven't done in our last three starts there. We've been caught up in accidents that weren't necessarily of our own doing, but that's what you run into when you don't qualify near the front at a small track like Bristol. We've made some changes to our Bristol program and hopefully that will help us out in qualifying. But, if something happens and you do have to start toward the back of the pack, we know that we're still capable of getting a good finish if we're able to put together a good race package and get a little luck on our side when it comes time to race Saturday night."
One of the things Jarrett looks forward to is the excitement that seems to permeate the atmosphere of the Bristol Motor Speedway during a Saturday night race.
"Night race is always a little more exciting but it seems even more so at Bristol," Jarrett said. "You can literally feel the electricity in the air. It's a combination of anticipation and excitement but the fact that Bristol is a more nerve-wracking race also adds to all of that."
Parker Takes New Approach at Bristol . . .
Shawn Parker, crew chief of the #88 UPS Ford Team, looks forward to the challenge that lies ahead at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Parker plans to take a car that will be a little different for the team this weekend.
"We're actually going to take the car we raced at Fontana," Parker explained. "It's a more common car that we think will help us out in the corners. We know going in that the biggest thing is getting a car with good ground clearance so that it doesn't bottom our in the turns. This car has enough CG where we should be able to keep it from bottoming out. A lot of times when teams have a problem with a car bottoming out, they raise the car higher and that can cause balance problems. So, we hope to be able to run our springs soft enough so that the car doesn't bottom out, but we want the car to be mechanically sound enough to maintain grip for 500 miles."