UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest * Since 1996, the ...
UPS Racing Team Notes of Interest
* Since 1996, the #88 UPS/Robert Yates Racing Team has competed in 20 events at the one-mile Dover International Speedway. In that 20-race stretch the team has posted one win, 10 top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. The team has been running at the end of all 20 races but three (engine failures in 2003 and 1997, accident in 1996).
* Dale Jarrett is a former Dover winner, visiting the Monster Mile's winner's circle in 1998. Jarrett led only eight laps that day but they were the most important as they were the final eight laps.
* Jarrett's overall record at Dover includes 38 starts, one win, one pole, two outside poles, 12 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes.
Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Dover International Speedway
Is it still the same old Dover?
"Yeah, it is still a tough, physical track that is probably one of the most brutal as far as equipment. But, it's a handling race track. Over the years, a lot has changed. I raced when it was asphalt and now we have the concrete. It's a difficult track. I enjoy the challenge. It's very fast, very physical, but that's two things that I enjoy. I think the only problem, a number of times when we have had problems, has been getting caught up in somebody else's problems. So, that's just something you know is a possibility here, and you try to stay out of those situations."
Is there a little bit of an unknown as far as the tire goes?
"Well we've kind of dealt with that all year since we no longer get our tires a week in advance this year. Things have changed a lot as far as setups go, as far as tires go. But if you go on past experience, then you know going in that Dover is a very difficult race track on tires. Tire management is very critical. I think the guys that have that somewhat figured out are the ones that you have to beat."
How important is starting up front at a track like Dover?
"You always want to start up front because there's less work involved on the part of the driver unless you get behind. But starting mid to back of the pack here certainly keeps you on your toes. It's difficult starting in those positions at the beginning, but if you can get 25 or 30 green-flag laps where things get strung out, that makes it a lot easier. But as long as it stays bunched up and if we have any cautions early, obviously, trying to miss something at Dover is hit and miss. You hope that you miss it, but things happen quickly at Dover and there's very little room to take evasive action. You just hope you can get through it, but if you can get through those initial few laps, then it's not that bad."
When a caution comes out do you kind of "take cover?"
"Well as best you can which usually means going to the outside and that's your first instinct. Common sense tells you that the outside is a better option, but that doesn't work all the time. Cars will get stuck up there or will go up to the top and it just depends on where you are and how quickly it happens in front of you. Going outside is your first instinct, but it isn't always the right one."
Chassis 54 is the car Jarrett is racing in this weekend's 400-mile event at Dover. This will be the fourth race of 2006 for Chassis 54. The car's best finish this year is a 14th-place effort at Texas Motor Speedway in April. The car has six starts all together going back to the fall cup race in Atlanta. The car's best finish to date is a 12th-place effort at Texas last November.