Sun sets on 2002 this week in Homestead. HOMESTEAD, Fla., Nov. 12, 2002 --- The Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend is the culmination of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. The 2002 season has not been up...
Sun sets on 2002 this week in Homestead.
HOMESTEAD, Fla., Nov. 12, 2002 --- The Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend is the culmination of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. The 2002 season has not been up the typical standards of Dale Jarrett's #88 Robert Yates Racing team. This will be the first year the team has not finished in the top five in the final Winston Cup point standings since their inception in 1996. Even still, Jarrett and the #88 UPS team hope to finish the season with a strong run at Homestead and take what they've learned from 2002 and make 2003 their run for a second NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship.
"This obviously hasn't been one of our better years," Jarrett says. "We performed well at a number of tracks like Michigan, Dover and Pocono, but we still have to improve at the tracks where we didn't do as well like Bristol, Charlotte and the road courses. There were a number of things that contributed to our problems this year, but it all comes down to the fact that we didn't perform at the level we needed to week in and week out. But, hopefully we've learned from the problems we had this year so we can correct those and be ready in 2003."
The Ford Championship Weekend begins on Friday, Nov. 15th with qualifying, and ends with the "Ford 400" on Sunday, Nov. 17th. NBC will cover the final race of the year with live television coverage starting at 12 noon EST.
#88 Team Looks To Improve on Homestead Record
The 1.5-mile oval of the Homestead-Miami Speedway has proved to be a tough nut to crack for the #88 UPS Racing Team. Only three NASCAR Winston Cup races have been run in Homestead. Although the team has one top-five finish at the track, Jarrett and company think they still haven't quite developed the race set-up that puts them in contention for a win. They hope that changes with this weekend's "Ford 400."
"Homestead hasn't been a great track for us since the first time we raced here in 1999," Jarrett said. "We just haven't quite got a handle on it yet. This is a tough racetrack because there's no banking here and for our stock cars that makes it difficult. Handling is the key and you've just got to get it to where your car feels good and you can get off these corners and utilize the straightaway.
"We spent a couple days testing and we did learn a few things that should help us but we didn't leave feeling like we have the best race package. Hopefully, when we get there we'll be able to gain some more on the handling of the car and get a decent finish to end the year on a high note."
* The #88 UPS Racing Team spent two days testing at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway at the end of October.
* Jarrett clinched the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship in Homestead, which was one week before the season finale in Atlanta.
Jarrett To Sign Autographs At Final Ford Event In 2002 Ford Racing wraps up their 2002 Fan Appreciation Day series with an event this weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., that runs in conjunction with the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Jarrett will participate in the daylong event that takes place at Las Olas Riverfront stadium. Jarrett is scheduled for an autograph session with fans from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST. Following the autograph session he will participate in a question and answer session.