MOORESVILLE, N.C., (June 28, 2005) ----- Dale Jarrett and the ...
MOORESVILLE, N.C., (June 28, 2005) ----- Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team return to Daytona International Speedway looking for redemption and a solid finish during this weekend's Pepsi 400 under the lights. Jarrett won the pole for the Daytona 500 in February, but failed to lead a lap with the handling on the UPS Ford not being quite right in race trim. Jarrett managed to secure a 15th-place finish but the UPS Team is looking for more this time around at Daytona.
In preparation for this weekend's 400-mile superspeedway race, the team did some body work to the car the UPS Team is fielding this weekend. Chassis 8 is the same car Jarrett raced at Daytona in February, as well as Talladega in May. The team worked on the nose and quarter panels of the car, trying to achieve a better aerodynamic balance for this weekend's race at Daytona. Additionally, the car has been taken to the wind tunnel for testing three times since it last raced at Talladega in May.
Jarrett Discusses Racing in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona
What is it like to race on a track of Daytona's size at night?
"It's pretty incredible when you think about the fact that we're racing on a 2.5-mile track that is fully lit. I, for one, really enjoy the night races for a lot of reasons. I think it is certainly a lot more exciting for the teams and especially the fans. The other thing is that the lights just seem to intensify everything. Everything just appears a little crisper and a little clearer. I think it improves visibility from the driver stand point."
How different is it going to be racing at Daytona with the impound procedure?
"It is certainly going to be something that we aren't accustomed to on the restrictor-plate tracks. I think ultimately, it will be good for us. I think you'll see teams give up a little something in qualifying to make sure their cars are going to get the job done in race trim, but this is one of those races where you can do that because if you have a car that handles well, then where you start doesn't tend to matter a whole lot. Cars will go to the front and back multiple times during the course of a race at Daytona. But I really don't see the end result being a lot different than what we've done at the other tracks where the impound rule has bee in effect."
How much does racing at Daytona differ than racing at Talladega?
"Daytona is way more of a handling track than Talladega. At Talladega, you want a fast race car, not to say that handling isn't important there, but it doesn't have quite the same impact at Talladega that it does at Daytona. I think our race in February is a great example of that. We had a fast race car, but it just didn't do well in traffic and at Daytona, you see the cars stay bunched up a lot more than you do at Talladega where things tend to get more spread out.
Do the RYR cars have anything for the Hendrick and DEI cars?
"Well, it's kind of hard to think that especially considering we've had like one Ford win at Daytona in the last four or five years. Those teams are certainly going to be the ones to beat going into this weekend's race. We've made some changes to our race cars that hopefully will help us this time around at Daytona, especially in the handling department which is where we really struggled in the draft in February. We know the motor is going to be there so if the handling is there, then anything can happen. The big picture for us and everyone at Robert Yates Racing is getting our cars back to victory lane at the restrictor-plate tracks and we've been taking steps toward accomplishing that since leaving Daytona in February."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett has one win in the Pepsi 400, finishing first in the annual July race in 1999. Jarrett has also started from the pole one time for the Pepsi 400, winning that award in 2000.
* The UPS Team spent Tuesday prior to this weekend's race at a test session at the Chicagoland Speedway, working on their down force program in preparation for next weekend's race there.
* Jarrett is one of five NASCAR drivers that will be featured in an upcoming special on the Golf Channel, the Big Break All-Star Challenge. The show airs on Tuesday, July 5th at 9 p.m. EST.
Chassis 8 is the car Jarrett will racing during this weekend's Pepsi 400 at Daytona. It is the same car he won the pole with for the Daytona 500, as well as the same car he finished ninth with at Talladega in early May.