Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, moved up six spots in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings after last week's ninth-place finish at Talladega. Jarrett, who comes into this weekend's race at Darlington Raceway seventh...
Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, moved up six spots in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings after last week's ninth-place finish at Talladega. Jarrett, who comes into this weekend's race at Darlington Raceway seventh overall, spoke about his position in the standings during a test session earlier this week at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Rain postponed Thursday's scheduled practice session at Darlington. Teams are scheduled to have an 80-minute practice session Friday morning before qualifying at 5:10 p.m.
DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus
IN PAST YEARS WHEN ONE MANUFACTURER WOULD DOMINATE, NASCAR WOULD SOMETIMES TWEAK THE RULES TO EVEN THINGS OUT. NOW WE'RE SEEING SOME TEAMS DOMINATE. IS THERE ANYTHING NASCAR SHOULD DO TO HELP THE SITUATION FOR EVERYONE ELSE? "No. They just seem to have everything together better than the rest of the teams. Everybody just has to work harder if you're gonna catch up."
IF THERE WAS A THIRD TEAM TO GET IN THAT FIGHT IT MIGHT BE YATES WITH YOU AND ELLIOTT IN THE TOP 10 RIGHT NOW. "Well, we're there but we're not where we want to be. We want to be contending for and winning races and we haven't gotten to that point yet. Elliott has had some good runs, but we've just kind of hung around and that's why we're in the position that we're in. But we like to think that our team can get to that point."
WHAT ARE THOSE TEAMS DOING BETTER RIGHT NOW? "I don't know. You always hear that strength is in numbers and they both have four or five race teams so that enables them to have a lot of people. There is a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of opportunity to get a lot of good people there, so you'd have to think that's an advantage. We've looked and explored that. We thought in starting our Busch team that it would help us get in that direction, so I think it's just the number of people and engineers that they have is putting them on top."
WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE BETWEEN YOU AND MIKE TO GET THINGS TOGETHER AND STAY IN THE TOP 10? "I don't know that it's a matter of us getting more together, I think it's just getting our program together. As I said earlier, neither one of our programs are where we want them to be. We know that we have to become more competitive to where we're leading laps and contending to win races, so we just have to keep pushing forward. I felt like we needed to work on our aero program and we're addressing that, and then there are some chassis issues that we're looking at, but we've just got to continue to work. That's the only thing that's gonna help us get better."
IT MUST BE NICE TO WORK HARD WHILE YOU'RE IN THE TOP 10, INSTEAD OF 15TH OR 20TH LIKE A LOT OF GUYS. "It's nice to be in that position, but you can also look and see that where I sit back to 17th or 18th it's less than 100 points so you know that could go away if you should have any problem. But we came into the year trying to minimize those mistakes and problems, and even though we've had a few in these first few races, we've been able to make up the difference. So it's nice to be inside of there looking to the back, instead of in the back looking towards that top 10."
YOU'VE BEEN GOING TO DARLINGTON SINCE YOU WERE A KID. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT RACING THERE AT NIGHT? "It's gonna be fun, I think. I tested the Busch car there last week and I was a little surprised. It's the first track that I've seen that actually had a shadow from the wall and the lights. There was about a three to four foot shadow coming off the wall, but everywhere else that we race we don't race against the wall like that. Maybe it's up there and we just haven't noticed it, but there is a definite shadow. Matt Kenseth and I were talking on Sunday at Talladega before the race and I think we agreed that it didn't bother us as much in one and two as what it did in three and four. That could become a little bit of a trouble spot because you're relying so much on what you can see right there in trying to get around the corner, but it's still pretty cool. To be there at night, I think it's gonna be a great show for the fans."