UPS Team Looks for Dover Dominance CHARLOTTE, N.C., (September 21, 2004) ---- Only nine races remain in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season and Dale Jarrett and the ...
UPS Team Looks for Dover Dominance
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (September 21, 2004) ---- Only nine races remain in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season and Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team are looking at each race as an opportunity to win. The forward thinking UPS Team has taken a "nothing to lose" attitude, and hope to be a threat to win at each of the nine final races in the season. More importantly, the team is looking to build on good performance to use that as momentum to begin preparations for 2005 and beyond.
"We've accomplished a lot this year already in comparison to where this team was a year ago," Jarrett said. "We think we can be a threat for the next nine weeks, but we also hope to learn some things that will help us in the off season in getting ready for next year. If we can finish this year on a high note, then we can use that to our advantage in gearing up for 2005."
Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Dover
Dover is considered one of the tougher tracks on the schedule, why is that?
"Well for one thing it is one of only two concrete tracks where we race and concrete, obviously, can be very unforgiving. It is a very physical track, at least more so than many of the other tracks we visit. You hear the term "self-cleaning" applied to Dover many times, and that is in regards to the fact that if an accident happens it typically will end up to the bottom, inside of the track so the thought process is to always go high when you're coming up on an accident. Most of the time that works, but it doesn't work all the time. For the most part, when we have had problems at Dover in the past it was a result of getting caught up in someone else's accident. So we always go into this race knowing that is a possibility and we try to stay out of those situations by just being aware of who you're racing around."
How do you negotiate this track?
"At the end of the day, it comes down to the same thing -- handling. This track is particularly tough because it has changed so much over the years. I raced when it was asphalt here, and now we have the concrete. We've done a lot of different things in regards to race set-up especially in the last couple years. Things have also changed a lot as far as tires go and it's still a very difficult race track on tires. Tire management is very critical. It's a real challenge. We're running so much faster here now than what we did when I first started out running here and that just makes the race track even more difficult. I couldn't imagine coming here for my first time and making my first start in a NEXTEL Cup car at this particular race track. It's definitely one of the toughest that we have. But, if you have a good race car, it can also be a lot of fun. Hopefully that will be the case for this #88 UPS Team on Sunday."
What is the key to winning at Dover, or at least putting together a top-five effort?
"For starters you need a great handling race car that adapts to the changing track conditions. You have to be smooth around this place because it's easy to overdrive this race track. Generally, you want your car to handle well enough to where you can make the track as short as you can and that's running right along the bottom. You typically end up making a diamond out of the track with the racing groove. You've got to have a good handling car and know that when you're down there along the bottom of the track that you're not abusing the tires. I think this is a race track that throughout the 400 miles you have to play a little bit with. You'll be on the bottom at times, maybe move up a lane or two and I have seen guys that run really well, get up a couple of lanes here. It's always interesting to see how things play out and the different strategies, and we could see a few different scenarios play out with this weekend's race."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett only has one career win at the one-mile Dover International Speedway on top of 11 top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 35 career starts.
* Jarrett has led at least one lap in 11 different NEXTEL Cup events at Dover for a total of 614 laps led in competition.
The UPS Team is racing Chassis 38 this weekend at Dover. Chassis 38 is an in-house chassis for Robert Yates Racing, and this weekend's race marks the first time the car has been used in competition.