DALE JARRETT (Finished 3rd) - No. 88 UPS Taurus "The car was great all day. We made a lot of gains early, and then right after our green-flag stop we went back out and the car was just driving great, and went down into turn one and about spun...
DALE JARRETT (Finished 3rd) - No. 88 UPS Taurus
"The car was great all day. We made a lot of gains early, and then right after our green-flag stop we went back out and the car was just driving great, and went down into turn one and about spun out, so I took about two laps and figured out that I had a right-rear tire going flat, so put us almost two laps down. Tony was in my mirror to put me down a second lap, and we were fortunate to get the caution and then, and since we didn't have many laps on the tires, we stayed out and re-started on the tail-end of the lead lap, and that's when they wrecked at the front of the field. So, that got us back on the lead lap. From there we just kept adjusting on the car and making our way forward, and it was a tough day. But I think when it started getting a bit cloudy my car just kept getting tighter and tighter, so that allowed us, really, to make the pit stop that we needed there towards the end, with about 20 to go to get two tires - a great call by Mike Ford and that really let us come back up through the pack. So, a pretty good day for us. These are the kind of days that we've got to have if we entertain any thoughts of getting back in the top-10 in the points.
THIS TEAM HAS OVER COME PLENTY OF ADVERISTY LATELY. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON?
"A lot of momentum. To think that we've found a combination now that we know that we want to work with as far as chassis' and bodies, and we've got a couple of tests coming up that, hopefully, will put us in good position for a couple of these races coming up. We entertain the thoughts of getting ourselves in the top 10,a nd hopefully we can do that."
DID YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE 20 AND THE 9 ON THAT RE-START?
"No, I really couldn't. I glanced in the mirror on the re-start just to make sure that nobody was getting to the outside of me and I had Robby Gordon to the inside of me, so I was just wanting to get down in and through the corner as fast as I could. So, I have no idea, really, what happened back there. I just know that they came on the radio and hollered, 'Caution,' so I hated to see anybody have bad luck, but it was at a time tat we needed something to make up, so it worked out well for us. But I don't have any idea what may have happened."
ON RAY EVERNHAM'S QUOTE ABOUT TONY STEWART. ANY THOUGHTS?
"No. It's obviously an owner being upset, you know, his car is leading the race and something happened, so without knowing, having any idea, it would be hard to comment on that. But, you're going to have tempers flaring out here, the competition's tight, and there's a lot at stake out here. When somebody puts up the kind of money that NEXTEL's put up for a championship, everybody's racing hard, so you're going to have some hard feelings along the way."
DID THAT RE-START SEEM SLOW, OR WAS IT A NORMAL RE-START?
"Well, I was starting it, so you'll have to ask Jimmy [Johnson] that. Matter of fact, I thought I was a little bit quick because I wanted to have the speed up just a little because I had some heat in my tires and wanted to make sure that I had everything off of 'em. I didn't want to spin the tires and give anybody a chance to get by me, so it was probably a little bit quicker than what we had been going, I think."
"We started using it when we started running good, which would've been a Pocono, was the first time. We actually tested a couple of times at Kentucky, and I think that Mike saw some things that he liked about it and as a driver it has a good feel to me. The chassis is lighter than what we can go out and but, either from Hopkins or someone else, so it has a lot of good points about it. It's not like it's something new. We actually started building in-house chassis' back in '97. We've had times that we've gone away from them a few times, and then we've made some changes with them, and the version that we have right now seems to work really well. So, that's what we're going to stick with, it's what we have to take to Indy to test, a couple of in-house cars, and pretty much everything else that we're going to be racing will be that. Hopefully, that means we'll continue to run like we have been."