UPS Team Looks for First Top 10 in 2005 CHARLOTTE, N.C., (March 8, 2005) ----- After enjoying some much deserved time off the ...
UPS Team Looks for First Top 10 in 2005
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (March 8, 2005) ----- After enjoying some much deserved time off the #88 UPS Racing Team is preparing to travel back to the west coast for this weekend's UAW-Daimler-Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. At 1.5-miles in length and with only slight banking, Las Vegas is an intermediate track where aerodynamics will come into play. The UPS Team left the two-mile California Speedway with an 11th-place finish, and a foundation for the rest of the 2005 season.
"We were never just quite right in California," said Dale Jarrett, driver of the #88 UPS Ford. "If we would have been right then we could have made up a lot of ground and been in really good shape. But it could have been a lot worse so we feel like we're OK. We used the week off to work on some things and figure some things out. We feel like we left California with a decent finish and a direction we need to go as far as our chassis are concerned."
Taking what they learned in California and applying for the rest of the season is something key for the team's success in 2005. Crew chief Mike Ford believes learning something each week is essential in the atmosphere of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series garage today.
"I am trying not to set goal of just winning races for this year but trying to set goals of learning something everyday and learning faster than the rest of the garage area," Ford explained. "I think we've done that. If you can walk out the gate everyday and know you have made improvements and done all you can do, then that's the outlook. I feel like performance will definitely be better than last year. If we can learn something each week then that will translate into success on the track."
Jarrett Discusses Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Do you look forward to racing at Las Vegas?
"Certainly. It's one of the places we visit that I look forward to visiting the city as much as I do the race track. I think everyone automatically thinks of gambling when they think of Las Vegas but there are a lot of things to do rather than just playing at the tables. There are great shows and a lot of great restaurants. But in regards to the racing, I feel like we had a good test when we were out there in January and I'm looking forward to getting back to racing this weekend."
Do you feel the team learned anything from your race in California two weeks ago that will help this weekend?
Yeah, while the two tracks are different in size there are some things that will come into play this weekend. Obviously California was our first race with the new tire and I think we learned some things about the wear that will help with this weekend's race. Our engines were strong last week and we expect more of the same this weekend especially since this is only a 400-mile race where we raced 500 miles two weeks ago. We just fought the same thing all day in California in that we were tight and it didn't matter what we did to it. It was something we could never adjust out.
Notes of Interest
* In seven starts at LVMS, Jarrett has three top-10 finishes. He posted his best finish during the 2001 event when he finished second after starting from the pole.
* Jarrett has picked up two Bud Pole awards at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas track. He started from the pole during the track's inaugural NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race in 1998 and then started first again in 2001.
Chassis 32 is the car Jarrett is racing this weekend in Las Vegas. This weekend's race marks the first time the car has been raced. It has been tested at trucks such as Homestead and Las Vegas but the UAW Daimler-Chrysler 400 marks the first time it has been raced.