Jarrett piling up good finishes Shawn A. Akers BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 1998) Mark Martin may have won his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup Series race this season on Sunday at Michigan, but it's Dale Jarrett that's the hottest driver on the circuit...
Jarrett piling up good finishes Shawn A. Akers
BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 1998) Mark Martin may have won his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup Series race this season on Sunday at Michigan, but it's Dale Jarrett that's the hottest driver on the circuit these days.
In the last four races, Jarrett finished fifth at Charlotte, won at Dover, finished second at Richmond, and had another solid second-place finish Sunday in the Miller Lite 400 at Michigan Speedway.
The driver of the No. 88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford, who got off to a horrendous start this season, is now in fourth place in the standings, a mere 33 points behind leader Jeremy Mayfield.
"Right now I guess we're on a roll and we're making a run at it," said Jarrett, who finished 2.3 seconds behind Martin on Sunday. "We had a good run. The guys did a terrific job and the guys at the engine shop did an awesome job. That was an incredible engine right there.
"I just wish we could have gotten the car a little better through the corners. Mark was awful good. We just couldn't get the car down on the bottom of the track to get going. That's what hurt us."
Not much has hurt the team in recent weeks, and not much hurt the team's efforts on Sunday. Jarrett consistently stayed in the top five throughout the afternoon in a race dominated by both Martin and Jeff Gordon.
Jarrett led the race only once for one lap, enough to gain five bonus points in the standings, but his car just wasn't good enough to make it to Victory Lane.
"I was just a little bit loose," Jarrett said. "I got tight there at the end, but by hen, it was too late.
He (Martin) was awful good. We were good, but just not quite good enough again. Mark's car seemed to go on the bottom a little bit better than I could, especially on new tires. I just couldn't quick make it stick down there."
Jarrett has a pair of victories this season (at Darlington and Dover) and has finished second three times, including last week at Richmond, when Terry Labonte got past him in the final laps to win his first race of the season.
It's those type of performances that have Jarrett knocking on Mayfield's door for the lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings after 14 races. After finishing second to Gordon for the championship last season, Jarrett is hungry for his first title.
"We need these second and third-place finishes to get us into the points battle," Jarrett said. "We're real consistent right now, but we need to keep it up. We've got another good track coming up at Pocono next week, and then the road course at Sears Point, where we've had some good finishes, too."
Source: NASCAR Online