Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, was involved in an accident last weekend at Kansas City that forced him to be airlifted to a local hospital. Jarrett suffered a concussion and broken rib on his left side in the incident, but...
Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, was involved in an accident last weekend at Kansas City that forced him to be airlifted to a local hospital. Jarrett suffered a concussion and broken rib on his left side in the incident, but came to Lowe's Motor Speedway prepared to get back in the race car. Rick Mast will be standing by as a relief driver if Jarrett is unable to drive full-time. Jarrett spoke about the accident and what he remembers prior to Friday's practice.
--88-- UPS Taurus
HOW DO YOU FEEL PHYSICALLY? "It's not that bad. I'm sore in a lot of places -- black and blue in a lot of places. I've sat in the car, but I've honestly never been through a concussion. I've never been knocked out in my life, so I really don't know what to expect. The doctors have told me that I'm okay to try it, but I'm the judge once I get in the car. The one thing we can't simulate in any way shape or form are the G-forces you get inside of these race cars going at speed, so that's the one question to be answered. Sitting in the car, getting in is the hard part, getting my ribs past my rib protectors is the hard part. Once I get settled into the seat, I don't really have that much discomfort by what I could tell at the shop yesterday. I think I can live with all of that as long as the motion part of it doesn't bother me. We'll see about that shortly."
THIS RIB INJURY IS DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE YOU HAD HERE IN MAY? "Yeah, it's totally different. That one was on my right side. The fracture in the rib then wasn't as big of a deal as was the torn muscle. That's what created the discomfort. This is more like a broken rib. It hurts to touch it. It doesn't hurt to breathe, but to cough or sneeze, that bothers me. In the car, with it being on the left side, I'm not seeing much of a problem from that."
DO YOU REMEMBER THE ACCIDENT? "I remember making the pass, going to the outside knowing I was taking a chance, but also thinking I had enough momentum going that I was gonna beat him to the corner. Knowing the other guy was Bobby Labonte and I knew that Bobby would do everything once he saw the position we were all in, he would do what he could and I know that he did. It just probably wasn't a smart move on my part, but that comes probably for being frustrated for about 240 laps and finally getting a car that would run. Ricky was good enough to give us our lap back when we had the caution right before that and I just really had a good run off the corner and felt like that was a chance for me to make up some positions and get us into the top 10 and who knew what would happen from there. I remember the spin. I remember getting the tap. I remember spinning and standing in the gas trying to keep it from hitting the wall, but then realizing that wasn't working. I kind of said to myself, 'This is probably gonna hurt,' and then it's like somebody cut a switch off. I don't remember anything until I woke up in the hospital. How long that was from that point in time, I don't know. Apparently, I was knocked out somewhere between a minute and two minutes because apparently I came too and was telling them not to cut the roof off because that would worry my family. Kelley was telling me how sweet that was when I got home and I said, 'You know, I'd like to take credit for that, but I don't remember it.' She said, 'Well, I'm glad your sub-conscious is thinking of us anyway.' Sunday night, when I got home, she had that NASCAR show on and I saw myself walk to the ambulance but I have no recollection of that whatsoever. I don't know, there's a period of 45 minutes to an hour that I have no idea what took place. I had to ask my brother, Glenn, how we got to the hospital and I guess we helicoptered there. Apparently, I was answering questions and being as intelligent as ever, which doesn't take a whole lot, but that was the good side of it. There are still parts when I came too in the hospital that I was kind of in and out. It was like I really wanted to sleep. I was really tired, but by the time I got ready to leave, I remember sitting around in the hospital for a while as they checked me out. I remember everything from that point, it's just that 45 minutes to an hour that I have no recollection of."
RICK MAST IS STANDING BY? "Yeah, because I don't know what to expect. They said if it was a full week that I had been recovering from this, then it would probably be no problem. Four days, though, they're saying I may be pushing it. I'm cleared to drive. They don't think there's any problem, but it is up to me to decide when I get in the car if there's any discomfort there whatsoever."