DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 3rd) DO YOU FEEL EARNHARDT, JR. WAS HOLDING YOU UP? "No, he's doing his job. That's what he's supposed to do. He's got a good race car. Unfortunately, I guess they weren't getting very good ...
DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus (Finished 3rd)
DO YOU FEEL EARNHARDT, JR. WAS HOLDING YOU UP?
"No, he's doing his job. That's what he's supposed to do. He's got a good race car. Unfortunately, I guess they weren't getting very good fuel mileage and that got him a lap down. He had that hope, especially on restarts, that he could stay out front there. It looked like, yeah, that could have cost me but I wouldn't put it on that. Ricky had a really good car and I don't know that I could have held him off. My car started to push really late, so I don't know that that mattered. I don't feel any differently toward Junior. He was doing what he needed to do."
WHAT ABOUT RICKY GETTING BACK IN VICTORY LANE?
"I'm really excited for Ricky and the entire team. I think, just like most everybody, we're amazed it's been this long for them to win. It's just been circumstances, but if you keep putting yourself in that position enough, it's gonna happen. I wouldn't be surprised to see him win quite a few now, but they've got a really good race team and Ricky does a great job. They were a tremendous help to us this weekend. We went in yesterday -- our car was pretty good in practice, but we felt we could make it a little better. They were very open with what they were doing. They were the fastest car here and it helped us. We didn't do it exactly the way they did, but they gave us some ideas and that helped our car to be quite a bit faster. You can't ask for a better teammate. The entire team does a great job and both teams work really well together and we're really proud of them."
WHAT ABOUT YOUR RIBS?
"I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent, but it didn't bother me at all today -- I mean not enough to make any difference -- and I don't have a lot of soreness after the race. This is really the first week that I haven't had that, so I'm to the point where it's not a factor one way or the other."
WHAT ABOUT HAVING A VETERAN TEAMMATE?
"It helps tremendously. Before Ricky came along, for a number of years there gathering information and doing different things and trying to stay ahead of the game was totally up to Todd and our crew. Now we have someone we can really rely on. When they tell us things, it's something you can really believe in and there's no substitute for that. Ricky has the experience. Michael McSwain is really good and very knowledgeable. Todd and Michael communicate well and Ricky and I communicate well. There's no substitute for that."
"Things are coming out that if we could get Jeff to help us out a little bit, we'd get down to a battle for the championship between Ricky and I. But, at least, right now all three of us are in it and it should be exciting. I can't say enough about how good Ricky is and how good he is to race with and work with."
WHAT ABOUT THE WINNING PASS?
"I was trying to go by Junior on the outside down in one and he slipped up a little bit that time. I was able to cut my car down underneath him and I really thought I might get enough of a run to get by him there, but I didn't quite do that. We stayed side-by-side and I knew right then I was in trouble. Ricky got off the corner and he was sitting there waiting for the right opportunity. That's what makes him so good. He knows when to take advantage of situations and I knew I was toasted right then. I knew I wasn't gonna be able to do anything and I didn't think I had anything for him once I got behind. I wasn't sure whose car was better in the long run, but when you're trying to chase down a guy that hasn't won in a couple of years, that's a pretty difficult thing to do, especially when he's got a Robert Yates engine. That made my job even tougher."
YOU WON WITH THE 28 CAR HERE, SO THIS TRACK HAS BEEN GOOD TO THE 28.
"Yeah, it has been. Obviously, the engine program that we have makes a big difference here with the straightaways, but we've also been good handling. The win for me in that car in '95 was a great time in my career -- very timely we should say -- and, certainly, helped create the situation that I'm in now. I was glad to see them get into victory lane again because the whole team means a lot to us."
WHAT ABOUT THE DUEL EARLY ON WITH YOU AND GORDON?
"Both cars were pretty equal. We could make each other loose in turn three, basically. My car was a little better in turn one and he was actually a little better in turn three than what I was, but if I could get through the tunnel turn really well, I could get up close enough to get him loose in three and then I could make a pass. Then we'd come back around and he'd do the same thing to me. It's just like he was talking about. When you could get out front, you had the clean air and you could be fast because it freed your car up a little bit. Then you add the mix of another car right behind you taking some of the air away back there, made it difficult to get through that corner the way you needed to. It was fun. It was good, hard, fun racing. Neither one of us was taking a chance with the other, but, hopefully, it was a good show for the fans."