DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus WHAT ABOUT YOUR RUN? "It's a good race car. I didn't really know that we had the car for the pole, but we made a couple of slight changes. I think one of the keys was the tires that we went on, which were brand...
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus
WHAT ABOUT YOUR RUN? "It's a good race car. I didn't really know that we had the car for the pole, but we made a couple of slight changes. I think one of the keys was the tires that we went on, which were brand new tires. I know a number of guys scuffed theirs, but Bobby scuffed his and we're talking about hundreths of seconds difference here is all. We tightened the car a little bit for knowing that the sun was gonna be out, or thinking that it was, and it worked to our advantage. This is really a fast race track. Ricky Rudd and I were talking this morning about just how fast you feel like you're running around here. It literally feels like you're going 300 miles an hour because you're off in the corner so fast and you pick the throttle up and feel like you're hauling the mail coming out of the corner. It's a fun track to drive and I enjoy racing here, but the qualifying lap is really pretty exciting. You're glad when you're through with it and everything works out good, so we just made the right adjustments and things went well for us."
DOES THIS GIVE YOU A BOOST AS FAR AS POSSIBLY PICKING UP POINTS? "It's a good start for the weekend. The question always comes up, 'Well, does it matter where you start?' Some places yes and some place not as much. Here, pit road is kind of tight. We obviously get the first choice of pits and I can assure you we'll take that first one on this end (by turn one), and that makes a difference. You've already got a boost there and to know that you've got a good enough handling car to start with to win the pole -- a fast car -- so you put that together and it makes for a start to a good weekend. Hopefully, we can continue that. I've always loved racing here and we have a pretty good record. We have won here, but we haven't won here in a while so we'd like to do that again."
WHAT ABOUT RETURNING AFTER THE EVENTS OF THE LAST WEEK? "Let me say first off that I'm glad NASCAR made the decision they made last weekend. We did not need to be at a race track last weekend. However you look at what we do -- it's our sport and our profession -- but it's entertainment. It's not a necessity for what our United States is, but it does provide entertainment and enjoyment to a lot of people and that wasn't what we needed to do last weekend. It was great that we took that time. It gave me time to spend with my family and, to be quite honest, I learned a lot about where my priorities are and should be. It gave me time to learn some things about my kids that maybe I should have known but I haven't really seen that side of them because, obviously, we hadn't been through anything like this. It re-affirmed my knowledge of just what a wonderful person my wife is and why our kids are the way that they are. Obviously, I'm not there and she is pretty much raising them, but she does a terrific job there. She taught me a lot about putting things in perspective last week, so it was a great family time. We watched TV a lot and discussed it a lot. We also had some good times. I got to go to soccer games and watch my kids play soccer and we got to go to a movie and do things that they say normal people do. It was neat in that respect, but throughout the whole time -- a majority of that -- was spent speaking about others who were less fortunate about the victims and their families and what they're going through and just how very, very fortunate we are."
WHAT ABOUT THE HOOD OF YOUR CAR? "The people at UPS. I don't have the news release they sent me, but UPS, in some way, shape or form, is donating five million dollars. I believe it's two million in cash and three million in some form of shipping or however they're helping, but it's a total of five million dollars. That's why we're excited about being associated with UPS. They're the ones that called us and said, 'Look, we'd like to change the hood and this is what we would like to do.' You have to know our owner, Robert Yates, that would have been exactly what he was thinking. A while ago I donated the money for whatever the pole pays here to the American Red Cross to kind of get things started off this weekend. I know that a number of the teams are putting up 10 dollars a lap -- the drivers and the teams -- we're doing the same thing there so, hopefully, everybody is gonna finish 400 laps on Sunday and we're gonna raise a lot of money."
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT STARTING UP FRONT HERE? "It is important to be able to run the race that you want to run. Things happen so quickly here and you're running so fast with the banking on the straightaways, if something happens coming off the corner you get collected in that whether you were ever a part of it at the beginning or not. So it's nice to be up there to where you can kind of do the things you want to do and run the race you want to run. Again, pit selection is very important, but that track position is important too. I know it's happened where guys have come from the back because it is such a long race and you have time to do that, but it's a lot more fun to race from up front and run the race you want to -- to be able to adjust the car and get that pit selection. That makes a world of difference whenever you make your pit stops and getting in and out of the pits."
ANY DISCUSSION ABOUT CONTINUING TO GAIN POINTS? "I think the biggest thing -- we didn't really discuss the points situation other than we've got to do our very best to make sure that we have zero problems from here on out. We need to step this up a notch and that's why we went to Charlotte for two days this week. I think things we learned there helped us here today and are gonna help us for the race on Sunday. We're still committed. Until you tell us that mathematically we can't win this championship, we're still going like we can win this championship. Anything can happen at any of these races. We know Jeff had a great car at Richmond, but something happened there and anything can happen. What we have to do, for Ricky and I, is to put our cars up front and make them run hard. If you make them try to run a little harder, then mistakes can happen. Whether it's adding more timing than they need to to try to keep up with our engines, or whatever it is that we can make them do to put pressure on them, that's what we've got to do. But we've got to take care of our business and if we can do that, hopefully the points will work out."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT IT WILL BE LIKE WITH THE ANTHEM AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE WE TAKE FOR GRANTED ON SUNDAY? "I think it's definitely gonna change. I was going to the trailer, but I'll take this time to ask that we have a little bit more time between when the National Anthem is played and when we have to start our engines because I can assure you there's probably not gonna be a dry eye around here. We need to make sure that we're taking that time and taking it for what it is all about. I think all of us have a totally different perspective on our lives now that this has happened and we just need a little bit of time between that to really understand and think again about what it's all about. We take too many things for granted and because we've been so fortunate to live in the great nation that we do, these things have come so easy to us. Now let's get back to where we understand why we play the National Anthem and listen to the words about what it's all about. I hope that we can have that little bit of time. It certainly is gonna be a huge moment in this sport too. Watching Monday when Major League Baseball went back, if you could sit around and not get chills and have a tear in your eye, there's something wrong with you because that was really touching and really moving. That's what I see going on everywhere right now. Whether it's cliche or whatever, I'm proud to be an American and these last 10 or 12 days have made me even more proud. I want to make sure that we all understand that when we're here Sunday. Let's take that time and understand what it's all about."
WHAT ABOUT RACING AT NEW HAMPSHIRE IN NOVEMBER AND WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THERE'S ANOTHER RAIN OUT? "Well, first off we're gonna have to ask the Good Lord to watch over us as far as weather goes because we have nowhere for rainouts to go -- other than the next clear day and that's what will have to happen. Whether that pushes into the next race and we have to leave off a day there, that's what we're gonna have to look at. Hopefully, that won't be a situation we'll have to encounter.
"As far as New Hampshire, man, I know everybody has ideas and I'll express mine. I don't know if it's even feasible, but I would much rather see us race in Charlotte on the Sunday we're supposed to race there. The teams could leave on Monday, even late Monday for Loudon and practice Wednesday morning for an hour and get the cars ready to race Wednesday afternoon. Then, even if we have to cut a day off of Martinsville and not go in there until Saturday, we could everything we needed to get done then and race at Martinsville on Sunday. I know that's three races within a week, but that's why we have great race teams and great people that we hire. We could make that work. That's what I would like to see done. The thought of leaving my family on Thanksgiving, first off, is one that I don't like. That's at the top of the list. There's no way, as great a tire as Goodyear makes for us, there is no way we can hook up that tire on that cold racing surface. It's not gonna be very fun thinking about that and doing that. In my mind it's probably easier to think about what I would like to see happen than maybe what's feasible for TV and everything, but this is a family sport. We promote it as a family sport and if we're gonna race the day after Thanksgiving, that means we've got to leave on Thanksgiving. That's not promoting the family image very good, so that's something we need to think about. I might get in trouble for saying all of this, but I don't really care. I was gonna say it anyway, I have said part of it, so we need to think about this. We seriously need to think about it because have you talked to anybody who is in favor of being in New Hampshire on November 23rd? I can't imagine who it would be."