Martinsville: Dale Jarrett - Ford interview

Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion, is 10th in the point standings after last week's race at Bristol. He spoke about last week's finish at Bristol and his hopes for this weekend after practice on Friday. DALE JARRETT -- No. 88...

Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion, is 10th in the point standings after last week's race at Bristol. He spoke about last week's finish at Bristol and his hopes for this weekend after practice on Friday.

DALE JARRETT -- No. 88 UPS Ford Fusion

YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE END OF THE RACE WITH MATT BEHIND YOU. "I wasn't a lap down and as we've seen, a lot of these races end under green-white-checkered and there is no free pass in the last 10 laps. I've got to try to stay in front of the leader to try to make sure I give myself a chance to earn as many points as I possibly can. If the leader of the race, and that was Matt at the time, would have gotten close enough to me that I was holding him up, I know Matt well enough that he would have given me that signal with his front bumper for me to get out of the way and he never got that close. That's all I'm saying about that."

WHAT ABOUT YOUR BUMPER FLAPPING IN THE RACE? "They said something was hanging off, but you don't have time to really look there. I don't know if I could have seen it anyway, but from what I understand -- I haven't seen that -- we were probably very fortunate that NASCAR didn't black flag us there, so we got a real break in that respect."

THOUGHTS ON THIS WEEKEND. "The car is good. This is a brand new race car that we put a lot of work and time and effort into building a car just for Martinsville. It's gotten so competitive here that you can't just bring a regular short track car. You have to bring something that has everything put in the right places to get around this race track. We haven't performed as well here over the last couple of years as what we would like to, so we've put a lot of effort into that and I think we've got a pretty good car."

WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE HOW JEFF REACTED? "No. If that would have happened with 100 laps to go, he would have had time to cool down but to have it happen on the last lap like that. People don't understand. You haven't sat in these race cars and tried to do our job, especially at a place as difficult as Bristol, and you get a lot of spots taken away from you at the very end, then you can't understand the reaction sometimes. That the normal reaction as far as I'm concerned."

WOULD YOU REACT THAT WAY? "I don't know. We'll have to wait and see. I hope I don't have that chance to find out. I think we know that I'm fully capable of reacting any way."

WERE YOU SURPRISED HE GOT FINED? "You never know what to expect when they go in their little meeting. I think they felt enough pressure that they needed to do something. That was probably the least that they could do. I'm not saying that $10,000 isn't a lot of money, but I think Jeff can probably handle that OK. He probably felt after it was over that it was worth that much anyway."

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN HERE AGAIN? "It would mean a lot. That's what we've got to start doing is putting ourselves in a position to run in the top 10 and the top five. This is a place we can do it. Some of the things that we may be struggling with on the bigger tracks don't really come into play here. This is a short track and it's just hard-nosed racing, so this is a place we can run in the top five."

ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT RETALIATION HERE? "No, not really. You don't go in thinking about that. Most of the time when you've got five or six days to settle down you put those things aside and you don't worry about it. But if they do, here is a place that you have more time to react to that, but I don't look for much of that to happen."

THINGS SEEM MORE AGGRESSIVE WITH THE VETERANS. HAS IT BECOME MORE AGGRESSIVE? "Yeah, there's no doubt that it's a totally different type of racing now. It's a little more in-your-face and stand your ground. You have to do that. That's just what this has evolved in to and you're gonna see a lot of people react like that when they feel like they did nothing wrong."

-ford racing

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett