Long Pond II: This Week in Ford Racing - Dale Jarrett

This Week in Ford Racing July 23, 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, is coming off a victory in his last trip to Pocono Raceway. Jarrett took advantage of teammate Ricky Rudd's misfortune to take the lead...

This Week in Ford Racing
July 23, 2002

NASCAR Winston Cup

Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, is coming off a victory in his last trip to Pocono Raceway. Jarrett took advantage of teammate Ricky Rudd's misfortune to take the lead with six laps remaining and win for the 29th time in his NASCAR Winston Cup career. Jarrett spoke about returning to Pocono for the second time in a seven-week span. Jarrett's win at Pocono in June extended his streak of top-five finishes to 12 in the last 13 events at the 2.5-mile triangular shaped superspeedway. In this stretch, Jarrett has won three times, finished second twice, and third five times while placing fourth and fifth once each.

DALE JARRETT --88-- UPS Taurus

YOU'VE RUN WELL AT POCONO. WHAT'S THE KEY TO SETTING UP THE CAR THERE? "It's about handling and knowing your strengths, and, obviously, our strength is our horsepower and it's a very good place to take advantage of that. We have to look at where we can utilize that the most, so we find those corners to where the horsepower is gonna be able to mean the most to us and that's what we worked the hardest on with our car and we've been able to do that. We've found a very good balance with our cars at Pocono, so I look for Ricky and I to both be strong there again."

WHAT DO YOU DO IN REGARDS TO SHIFTING? "We single shift and always have. We've tried shifting twice, but we just don't see an advantage with our car."

WHY IS IT TOUGH TO PICK A WINNER AT POCONO? A POLE DOESN'T SEEM TO MEAN MUCH THERE. "Making a fast lap around there is totally different from making a 35-lap run during the race. It's hard to pick a winner anywhere. There's no way you could have picked Kevin Harvick to win at Chicago. Nothing against him, but they haven't been performing and he wasn't that much of a factor throughout the race, so I don't think you could pick anybody anywhere because of the circumstances. Somebody might not be the very best, but pit sequence might pick them up and the same thing happens at Pocono. You get people out of sequence -- you get people that get two tires and some that get none and some that get four. It's just always kind of a crapshoot whenever you go there, but if it plays out green for a long period of time towards the end, then you're gonna see the better race cars up front."

WHAT ABOUT GOING BACK TO POCONO? "It's a place we've performed well over the years, so we're looking forward to going back. It's been kind of a place that when we've been struggling we can always say, 'Good, we're coming to Pocono.' So we know we have a chance."

DOES THAT TRACK CHANGE A LOT FROM THE FIRST RACE TO THE SECOND WITH ONLY A FEW WEEKS BETWEEN VISITS? "There's probably not as much difference as a lot of places that we go, but it's still gonna change because it's had another race on it. You know it's gonna be a little bit different and the prospects of it being hotter this time is probably there, so there are gonna be some difference but it shouldn't be as major as other places we encounter."

HOW ARE YOU DOING DURING THIS STRETCH SO FAR? "I'm doing fine. I just wish we were running better, that's the biggest thing. All of it would be fine if we'd run well. We get to where we're busy building cars and we need to get some time to test. We've got to work that in somehow. If we do that, we should be able to run well and everything will be fine."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Kevin Harvick