Dale Jarrett 88 UPS Ford Taurus Daimler-Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway CHARLOTTE (March 1, 2004) --- Dale Jarrett will compete in his seventh NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. Like many...
88 UPS Ford Taurus
Daimler-Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
CHARLOTTE (March 1, 2004) --- Dale Jarrett will compete in his seventh NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. Like many other NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, the UPS Racing Team placed enough emphasis on the upcoming race by spending two days at the 1.5-mile track testing in late January. The UAW Daimler-Chrysler 400 is the first down force race in 2004 for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams, which explains why nearly 30 teams participated in the test. Following the race at Las Vegas are events at Darlington, Atlanta and Texas -- all tracks where down force and aerodynamics come into play.
Jarrett and the #88 UPS Team head to Las Vegas with a brand new Ford Taurus, built over the winter break. "Double Down" is the name of the car Jarrett will race this weekend, and the UPS team is counting on good fortune with the car.
Dale Jarrett discusses Las Vegas Motor Speedway
How important is the test at Las Vegas?
"The test at Vegas is important because you can really get a feel for where you are after all the work the teams have done over the winter. It's one of the first tracks we visit where you actually have to drive the car and see exactly what you have. It tells us a lot about the changes we made over the winter and where we need to be and what changes we need to make from there. I think that's why you go to a place that is a good race track you can learn a lot of things from aerodynamics to shocks and springs and sway bars -- that make a big difference. It's an important test for us and I think that's why we saw so many teams go there."
What are your thoughts on visiting and racing in Las Vegas?
"I can honestly say it is probably one of my favorite stops on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit. The city of Las Vegas itself is a great place to visit and is among my favorite vacation spots. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a great facility. The track is wide and there is a lot of room for side-by-side racing which as a racer I love. Over the last couple years multiple racing grooves have started to develop at Las Vegas so I'm eager to get back there and see how it is this time around with 43 cars on the track."
The new tire compound will probably have an impact the race this weekend. Is that something for which the UPS team is prepared?
"We've worked extremely hard in trying to make sure that we're taking care of the tires. We worked on that during our test at Las Vegas and learned even more during Speed Weeks at Daytona. The way we're doing that is with our shock and spring combination and swaybar. We're just trying to do everything we can. We've probably paid more attention to that than anything else. We're not afraid of hurting the tire, it's a matter of trying to make the tires just last as long as possible. I'm sure there will be people out there that will abuse the tire in order to make their respective cars turn. We're not looking in that direction. I'm fortunate that Mike (Ford, crew chief) doesn't go about it that way as far as making the cars work, and Todd (Parrott) has always been the same way."
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett has two Budweiser Pole Awards at Las Vegas. He picked up the top starting spot during the track's 1998 and 2001 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events.
* Jarrett has led laps at two of the six NEXTEL Cup events at Las Vegas for a total of 81 laps.
* Jarrett has two DNFs at LVMS -- one due to an engine failure in 1998 and the other due to an accident that was not of his own making in 2003.
* With $737,000 in earnings at Las Vegas, Jarrett is fifth on the track's all-time money winners list.
"Double down" is the name of the car the No. 88 UPS Racing Team is racing this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The car was built under the guidance of crew chief Mike Ford during the off-season and this weekend's race will be its first.