UPS Team Looks to Start of NASCAR Season CHARLOTTE, N.C., (February 22, 2005) ---- With the completion of Speed Weeks at Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series community now looks to what many refer to as the "start of the...
UPS Team Looks to Start of NASCAR Season
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (February 22, 2005) ---- With the completion of Speed Weeks at Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series community now looks to what many refer to as the "start of the real NASCAR season." Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team is one of several teams that participated in the west coast test session at California in early February, and the team believes it learned a lot that will be helpful for the return trip to the two-mile track. Jarrett will be pulling double duty this weekend, running in both the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series events.
Additionally, this weekend marks the first in which the NEXTEL Cup Series cars will be impounded following the qualifying session. Crew chief Mike Ford said the rules change puts a lot more work on the team members that work at the race shop.
"I think it puts some of the weight of pressure on the shop guys," Ford said. "Once you leave for the race track your time is limited on what you can work on. If you have a problem at the race track, you've basically forfeited your entire practice chasing a problem. So the preparation at the shop has gotten more important over the years, but it is elevated to a new level this year because of the impound rule."
Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at California Speedway
Do you look at this weekend as the start of the real season?
"Yeah, I think that is the way to view it. California Speedway is a fun track. It's very wide and I think a lot of times people tend to compare it to Michigan because of the shape and size, but I can assure you that is about the only things that are similar other than both require a solid engine and good aero program to be successful. California's tendencies are very different than what we experience at Michigan and I'm anxious to see how it goes this weekend in particular because we've never raced at this track during this time of the year when the temperatures tend to be a bit cooler. But I am looking forward to getting to this part of the
You were one of several drivers that were penalized for speeding on pit road. Do you believe the new system still needs some work?
"Yeah because the situation when I was penalized there were about four or five other cars that should have been penalized if I was in deed speeding because I was running at the same pace as the cars in front of me. I said this at the beginning of the season and I still believe we need some kind of speedometer on these cars. We're going to have to get to something better than just looking at the tachometer. I think the pit road scenario is still a work in progress and I think week to week we'll learn a little more about it. I don't know all the answers for the new system but hopefully, that will be the next piece of the puzzle that we can get to very soon."
You will be running in the Busch Series event on Saturday this weekend, do you believe it will be beneficial for the Cup program on Sunday?
"Well that is the idea behind starting this Busch program. I haven't run in the Busch Series since 1999 but I definitely believe there is something that can be learned by running in the Saturday race. I look at it as an opportunity to learn. I'm 48-years old and I've been at this for a long time now. If I sat here and tried to tell you that I didn't need to do it because I know everything there is to know, I'd be lying and be a fool on top of that to think anything like that. So I still feel that there are a lot of things that I can learn and hopefully that translates into information for us on Sunday."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett has nine starts at California during which he has picked up five top-10 finishes.
* Jarrett has led at least one lap in four different races at the two-mile track for a total of 102 laps.
Jarrett is racing Chassis 16 at California Speedway this weekend. Chassis 16 was used in three events in 2004 during races at Las Vegas and both events at Bristol. The car's best performance was at the high-banked Bristol Motor Speedway in the fall when Jarrett finished 10th. Before that, the car finished 11th at Las Vegas in early March.