Loudon: Dave Jarrett interview

Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, goes into tomorrow's Siemens 300 in 12th place in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings and trails 10th place Ryan Newman by 90 points. Jarrett spoke about his position in the points race, but he...

Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, goes into tomorrow's Siemens 300 in 12th place in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series standings and trails 10th place Ryan Newman by 90 points. Jarrett spoke about his position in the points race, but he also talked about his first visit to Fenway Park for last night's Yankees-Red Sox game and the issue of drivers participating while their injured like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. this weekend.

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus

YOU WENT TO FENWAY PARK FOR THE FIRST TIME LAST NIGHT AS A GUEST OF TROT NIXON. HOW WAS IT? "Fenway Park is a very cool place and that was my first time there so that's what made it even more special. It was especially fun to go and see a game that has such a rivalry like the Yankees and Red Sox and what made it most memorable was that I was able to take my 9-year-old son, Zachary, there as well. I think it was the game of a lifetime for him to be able to do that and then after the game Trot Nixon was kind enough to take us into the Red Sox locker room and we met Johnny Damon and Derek Lowe, who are both race fans, so it was a pretty special night."

RICKY CRAVEN JUST SAID THAT WHEN HE WENT TO BED IT WAS 7-7 AND HE KNEW WHEN HE WOKE UP THIS MORNING THAT IT WASN'T GOING TO BE GOOD NEWS. "Yeah, you're sitting there during the game and you just feel for the Red Sox because you know so many things have happened to them and, once again, they weren't able to pull it off. But it was a great game. Both teams played well, but, unfortunately, the Red Sox were on the short end."

YOU HAVEN'T BEEN ON THE SHORT END LATELY. YOU'RE ONLY 90 POINTS OUT OF 10TH PLACE. HOW ARE YOU APPROACHING THESE LAST FEW RACES BEFORE THE CUTOFF? "I don't think we can be that concerned with anyone else. We just have to do our job. It's like it always is. If you take care of your business and we do our job the way that we're supposed to, then the rest of that will take care of itself if it's meant to be. There are really three guys that you can look at. You can look at eighth, ninth and 10th who are Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman - all three very tough competitors. We know we're in striking position now and that we can get into the top 10, but all of it depends on how we do our job. It certainly, to a degree, depends on what they do, but more depends on us. We can't have any mistakes over these last eight races. We have to continue to perform well. We have to do a good job in the pits and we have to make good decisions on the race track and in the pits. If we do all of that, then I think our chances are very good that we'll end up in the top 10."

DALE EARNHARDT, JR. IS GOING TO NEED A RELIEF DRIVER TOMORROW. YOU'VE HAD TO DO SOMETHING SIMILAR WHEN YOU HAD YOUR GALL BLADER ISSUE AT PHOENIX A FEW YEARS BACK AND MICHAEL WALTRIP TOOKOVER EARLY IN THE RACE. SHOULD THE POINT SYSTEM HAVE SOMETHING BUILT IN THAT WOULD GIVE DRIVERS A CUSHION IN CASE THEY'RE INJURED AND NEED A WEEK OR TWO OFF? "Yeah. I think that's something we can look at, especially whenever you have a situation such as Junior right now. The young man is injured and he doesn't need to be in a race car. It would be much less of a time factor for him if he were given a week off here. I think that's something we need to look at. It's the only sport that I know of - other than I guess golf and tennis where those are more individual sports - but here we're racing for a championship. If the driver is not able to perform well, then it takes the whole team down with him. This is a team sport, so I think that's something in the future that we could explore and look at. I think it would be worth NASCAR looking into it and talking to the drivers to see if there's an option there for a situation just like this. Now having the flu or something like that on a weekend, I think maybe you just have to tough that out and make the most of it. But when you have a serious injury like Dale, Jr. has this weekend, I think that's something that we could look at and maybe make some type of provision and rule that would enable a driver not to have to put himself, his team and the rest of the competitors in a position like that."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Jarrett , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman