Martinsville II: Dale Jarrett preview

Points chase fets tight at Martinsville. CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 15, 2002 --- The 2002 Winston Cup season is closer to its finale as Dale Jarrett and the ...

Points chase fets tight at Martinsville.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., October 15, 2002 --- The 2002 Winston Cup season is closer to its finale as Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS team are knocking on the door of the top 10 points standings. Martinsville Speedway has been a good venue for Team UPS as Jarrett has scored top-five finishes in his last four performances at the half-mile oval, including the win in April 2001. The team hopes Martinsville gives them the finish that will catapult them into the top in the point standings for good. The "Old Dominion 500" is Sunday, October 20th at 12:30 p.m. EST. NBC will televise the 500-lap race beginning at 12 noon EST.

Jarrett Ready For Friendly Martinsville
"I think we're at that point in the season where everyone is looking forward to the end just because we've been on a long stretch of races," Jarrett said. "Martinsville is our last short-track race of the season. This race could be real important for those guys who are contending for this championship just because it's one of those places where you really don't have a lot of control of the outcome. You can get caught up in an accident whether you're leading or whether you're in the middle of the pack just because it's a short track and lapped traffic becomes an issue fast."

"We aren't in contention for the championship at this point, but we are in contention to get into the top 10 and that's important to me and to this team," Jarrett continued. "We'd like to be able to get into the top five but I think that's going to be hard at this point. Still, Martinsville is one of those places that has been good for us. If we can stay out of trouble, we should be able to gain some ground in the points chase. Ricky and the #28 team tested there a few weeks ago and he thought the track was a little slick with the new surface. It's one of those things that we won't have a full handle on until we get there Friday. But we're definitely looking forward to Martinsville because we've got a great race set-up for that place and have high expectations going into this weekend."

In the last 10 Winston Cup races at Martinsville Speedway, Jarrett has finished outside the top 10 only once. He finished 42nd at the track's fall race in 1998 when the camshaft broke on the #88 Ford, forcing him to retire from the event.

Jarrett's last 10 races at Martinsville includes one win, five top fives and nine top 10s.

Dale Jarrett's Connection To The 2002 World Series Twice this year Dale Jarrett has lived out every little league player's dream...throwing out the first pitch and taking batting practice with two of Major League Baseball's top teams. Now that those two teams are playing in the World Series -- both for the first time -- Jarrett can help but keep his eyes on more than the Winston Cup title chase. Two teams battling for the championship title in a season filled with surprises...it all sounds familiar to Jarrett.

While at California Speedway in April, Jarrett had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at the Anaheim Angels game the Friday night before the race, but was unable to due to inclement weather kept him in the dugout. A few of the Angels came to the track the following Saturday and Jarrett took them for a tour of the Winston Cup garage and drove them around the track in the pace car prior to the start of the Busch race.

Two months later while in San Francisco, Jarrett took batting practice with the San Francisco Giants and threw out the first pitch of the game against Tampa Bay. Among the players Jarrett practiced with were Kirk Reuter, the winning pitcher in the Giants' win over St. Louis on Monday night.

-ryr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett