UPS Team is California Dreamin' of Top 10 Dale Jarrett No. 88 UPS Ford Taurus CHARLOTTE, N.C., (April 27, 2004) --- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to the west coast of the United States for the second time in 2004 with the running of ...
UPS Team is California Dreamin' of Top 10
No. 88 UPS Ford Taurus
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (April 27, 2004) --- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to the west coast of the United States for the second time in 2004 with the running of this weekend's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team come into this weekend's race tied for 14th place in the point standings with fellow driver Jamie McMurray. Jarrett has posted three top-10 finishes in the last four events to climb to just 45 points outside the top 10. The UPS Team hopes to position themselves closer to the top 10, if not inside the top 10 this weekend in California.
"It's not impossible," Jarrett said of the team's chances of making it into the top 10 in the point standings. "We've just got to have two good races. We'll concentrate on California this week and if we can have a good race this weekend then we will have a chance going into Richmond in two weeks."
Upon his return from California, Jarrett will travel to New York City for the ESPN 25 Party at the ESPN Zone on September 7th. The ESPN 25 Party celebrates the silver anniversary for the network. To commemorate each year ESPN has been on the air, they are profiling athletes by a significant year in their career. Jarrett is one of the athletes that will be profiled during the celebration representing 1999, the year he won the NASCAR championship.
Dale Jarrett Discusses This Weekend's Race at California
Is it going to be a little different racing in California this weekend rather than Darlington?
"I'm sure it is going to take some getting used to this weekend. For as long as I can remember, I have been in Darlington for Labor Day weekend whether I was racing or when I was at those races with my dad. I think the biggest difference will be the time we get home. I used to be able to get home in time for dinner after racing in Darlington and spend time with the family whether we were grilling out or just watching something on television. This year I'll probably be getting home about the time everyone is getting up for the day on Monday. So that will probably be the biggest difference."
What do you feel like the team's chances are going into this weekend's race at California?
"We've had some good races at tracks that have characteristics similar to California like Michigan . I don't know if our success at Michigan will translate at California but I am looking forward to our chances. We didn't run very well at California back in April but I think we've learned a lot about our program on this type of track to this point. I think with the type of cars we're building right now and with the engines, we have a very competitive chance. Each week Doug (Yates, engine builder) finds a little bit more. I wouldn't necessarily say that he finds more horsepower, but he finds things that are more pleasing to him to see to make the cars run better. So when we get to Fontana , I would say that would have to work to our advantage greatly. I'm looking forward to going out there and being able to compete and that being another race that we can find ourselves in the mix for the win."
Do you feel like you have an advantage in the engine department going into this weekend's race?
"I don't know that I would call it an advantage because a lot of the teams are producing comparable horsepower in this day of racing. But there is no doubt that what Doug (Yates) and his people have been doing the last couple months has played a big part in the Ford teams being successful. If things go like they have been lately, I think we'll see more of the Fords up front leading like we hadn't seen until the new engine head was put in place. Obviously, we all would have benefited if it could have come to us at an earlier time, but there's only so much that you can get done in a 24-hour period and that's pretty much what the guys in the engine shop have been working. I think that, yes, we're all benefiting from that and that shows when you get to tracks like California, Michigan and Indianapolis because horsepower means a lot. Doug Yates and his people have done a tremendous job and I think everyone is now seeing the result of the work and effort they have been putting in since the Yates-Roush merger happened."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett has competed in all eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events that have taken place at California Speedway since 1998.
* Jarrett has finished in the top 10 at California four times with a fifth-place finish during the 1999 event being his best finish at the two-mile track.
* Jarrett is racing Chassis 28 this weekend. The car has been raced six times this year with four finishes of third place or better.
The UPS Racing Team will race Chassis 28 during this weekend's Pop Secret 500 at California Speedway. Michigan is the most recent track where Chassis 28 was raced where Jarrett started 14th and finished 3rd. Chassis 28 is the same car Jarrett finished second with at Indianapolis in early August. The finish at the Brickyard is the best finish for Chassis 28 in 2004. Chassis 28 is an in-house car for Robert Yates Racing.