Michigan II: Dale Jarrett preview

DJ Looking for Fifth Career MIS Win CHARLOTTE, N.C., (August 17, 2004) ---- Michigan International Speedway plays host to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend. Dale Jarrett hopes to pick up his fifth career win at the two-mile track...

DJ Looking for Fifth Career MIS Win

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (August 17, 2004) ---- Michigan International Speedway plays host to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend. Dale Jarrett hopes to pick up his fifth career win at the two-mile track which will tie him with Rusty Wallace with the most career wins at MIS among active drivers. Additionally, a win at Michigan this weekend would help further the UPS Team's goal of making it into the top 10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings. The team suffered a set-back of sorts last weekend at Watkins Glen with a 27th-place finish that was the result of an accident with rookie driver Brian Vickers. With that incident behind them, the UPS Team is concentrating on a solid finish at the flat, two-mile track of MIS this weekend.

"What happened in Watkins Glen is behind us," Jarrett said. "We can't control that. Now all we can do is head to these final four races before the Chase for the Championship begins and just put forth our best possible effort. If we do that, then we can be proud of what we accomplished as a team. Michigan is a track that I consider an "attack" track because we know going back there we have a great race car and if Indianapolis is any indication as to what we can expect from the motor department then I feel really good about our chances this weekend."

Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Michigan

What are your thoughts when going back to Michigan?

"Obviously I look forward to it because it is a track where this team has historically run well and it is a track I particularly enjoy because of all that it offers - a wide race track with room for plenty of side-by-side racing. We ran well here in June and I think we've learned even more since that race that will help us out this weekend. I think what we did in Indianapolis and learned there about our car will help us and we're probably going into this weekend's race with more confidence than we had here two months ago."

What types of changes do you feel like you'll be able to use to your advantage this weekend?

"One of the things we noticed in June is that our car wasn't as fast on old tires, but our times didn't fall off as much as other teams as we got further into a run. I think we have found some things that are going to help us be even faster at the beginning of a run. Plus Doug Yates and his people in the engine department have been working day and night on the motors and I think Indy was a good indication of the result of that effort. It's given us a chance to compete again, where we were pretty far behind for about 18 months. That's why you haven't seen many Fords in the laps led category. I think right now our people have done a really good job in helping us get back though. The Hendrick teams have everyone covered right now. There's no doubt that those cars have the total package right now but our guys are working extremely hard to make that a comparison we can work with on the race track."

This team has made obvious progress since last season. Regardless of whether you make it into the Chase for the Championship, the progress has to give you a certain comfort level?

"The last two months have been really good for us. This year has been much better. We've been much more competitive. We've gone from being just kind of an average team competing from 12th to 20th at the beginning of the year to where we've been running here lately. Now, we're a solid top 10 team week-in and week-out. We're able to compete with the lead cars. It has equated to a lot of confidence for this team and even momentum as we are getting down to these final few races before the Chase for the Championship begins. Our team is headed in the right direction. A lot of that credit goes to Elliott (Sadler, teammate) and his team because there are a lot of things that they have done that have helped us tremendously. This is a solid team effort making this happen, so there's a lot of gratification and optimism with this #88 UPS Team."

Notes of Interest

* The UPS Team finished third during its most recent visit to MIS.

* Jarrett has four career wins at MIS with his most recent trip to the track's victory lane taking place two years ago during the August event in 2002. Jarrett's first career Cup win was at MIS in 1991. He picked up his two other wins at MIS in 1996 and 1999.

* Jarrett set the track's race record on June 13, 1999 when he led 150 laps to win in just two hours, 17 minutes and 56 seconds. The average speed for that race was 173.997 mph.

Chassis 28

Chassis 28 is the car the UPS Team is fielding in this weekend's GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan. Chassis 28 is the same car he finished third with at Michigan and Chicago earlier this season. The best finish for Chassis 28, however, was Jarrett's runner-up performance in the Brickyard 400 two weeks ago.

-ryr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Rusty Wallace , Brian Vickers