UPS Team Looks for Brickyard Win Number Three CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 3, 2004) ---- The 11th annual Brickyard 400 takes place this weekend and the ...
UPS Team Looks for Brickyard Win Number Three
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (August 3, 2004) ---- The 11th annual Brickyard 400 takes place this weekend and the #88 UPS Racing Team would love nothing more than to pick up its third win at the respected two-mile facility. Dale Jarrett is one of only two drivers in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competition to be listed as multiple winners of the Brickyard 400 with the other being Jeff Gordon -- a three-time winner of the grand event. Jarrett will try to join Gordon in that three-time winner category this weekend.
In preparation for this weekend's event, the UPS Team spent two days testing at IMS two weeks ago. With two wins and six top-10 finishes in 10 starts at Indianapolis, Jarrett is a fan of the two-mile track, but maybe not quite as big a fan as crew chief Mike Ford. Ford was with the #88 Robert Yates Racing organization when it picked up wins at Indianapolis in 1996 and 1999, and picked up a win there as Bill Elliott's crew chief in 2002, so he is well-versed in what it takes to get to that hallowed victory circle.
"I probably hold the Brickyard 400 in a little higher regard than the Daytona 500 because it's just one of those places everybody knows," Ford said. "It is the only place we race where when I walk out onto pit road on Sunday for the race I actually get chills. I think it's a combination of the history there and the fact that it is a very car-oriented track. It's a place where everything has to be just right and it's a place I have always enjoyed racing."
Ford will be attempting to make a fourth visit to IMS victory lane this weekend.
Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at the Brickyard
Where does Indianapolis rank as far as tracks that you hold special to you as a driver?
"I think that every kid that grew up with any aspiration to race at all always dreamed about what it would be like to race at Indianapolis. It's disappointing if you come here and don't give yourself a chance to win because it is such a special place. But it's special any time you get to come here and race. And now as long as we've been coming here, it still means just as much to me if I could get back to that Victory Lane for a third time. From the first time I went to Indianapolis and not really expecting the size of Indianapolis -- I don't think that I was prepared for how massive that place really is - and then when the people filled that place up, it is just incredible. You've seen it on TV and you've heard the numbers about how many people go to Indy, but you can't fathom what that's really like until you are there and experience it. We've been going to Indy for 11 years now and each year it is just as special. Being able to claim that you're a winner at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is such a great thing for a driver's resume. I know that any time I am either introduced or I go into a company and we start negotiations or talks, the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 are the two things that they bring up the most often."
The UPS Team tested for this event. Do you feel like you learned something that may give the UPS Ford an edge on Sunday?
"The test we did at Indianapolis was very beneficial. We took two cars to the track -- one car being the one we have raced at Pocono, Michigan and Chicago -- where we ran really well. We took another car that is identical to the car we have been racing and we were very pleased with the results which will be a nice addition to our fleet of cars we have been racing of late. We are racing the same car at Indy this week that we raced at Pocono last weekend. The car ran extremely well despite the transmission failure. When we got back out on the track after replacing that part we were able to run with the lead cars so hopefully we can take that same car to Indy and have a good day."
Notes of Interest
* Between Jarrett and crew chief Mike Ford, the #88 UPS Racing Team boasts three career wins in the Brickyard 400. Jarrett has two career wins at the two-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway making trips to victory lane in 1996 and 1999 while Ford picked up a win there in 2002 as crew chief for driver Bill Elliott.
* Jarrett led 117 of the 200 laps at IMS in 1999 to pick up the win while leading only the final 11 laps to pick up his first Brickyard 400 win in 1996. He has lead on two other occasions for a total of 186 laps led at IMS.
* The UPS Team was one of several NEXTEL Cup Series teams to test the two-mile IMS in preparation for this weekend's event. The team spent two days at Indianapolis in mid-July turning approximately 343 laps during the test session -- the most laps run of any team during IMS testing this summer.
* Jarrett is one of the drivers to have competed in all 10 of the previous Brickyard 400 events.
The UPS Team will race Chassis 28 this weekend at IMS. Chassis 28 has been the most successful of the fleet of cars used by the #88 UPS Team in 2004. Jarrett has a pair of third-place finishes with Chassis 28, picking up the pair of top fives at Michigan and Chicago.