DJ looks to cement top 10 point spot. PHOENIX, Ariz., Nov. 5, 2002 --- Phoenix, Ariz., is a sports fan paradise with teams that compete in major professional sports that include football, basketball, baseball and hockey. It's only fitting that...
DJ looks to cement top 10 point spot.
PHOENIX, Ariz., Nov. 5, 2002 --- Phoenix, Ariz., is a sports fan paradise with teams that compete in major professional sports that include football, basketball, baseball and hockey. It's only fitting that the city would play host to America's fastest growing sport of NASCAR Winston Cup Racing. Phoenix International Raceway could play a pivotal role in the battle for the 2002 Winston Cup championship. Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team are currently ninth in the point standings and could mathematically climb as high as sixth before the season ends. The one-mile track's role in the 2002 season will be factored this weekend with the "Checker Auto Parts 500" that takes place Sunday, Nov. 10th, at 11 a.m. PST with NBC providing live television coverage.
Phoenix Is A Favorite Location For DJ
Phoenix, Ariz., features plenty of warm air and sunshine year-round. The Phoenix climate is just one reason that Dale Jarrett always looks forward to the annual event at the "Desert Jewel." With just one win at Phoenix International Raceway, Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing team hopes success at other flat tracks like New Hampshire and Martinsville works to their advantage this weekend.
"Phoenix is one of my favorite places to visit," Jarrett said. "I love the climate and it's one of the few places where you can golf just about year-round. We've had some moderate success at Phoenix. We have won there and performed well, but it hasn't been one of our better tracks. We've been good at other flat tracks like New Hampshire, and we hope we'll be able to take what we've learned at the other tracks like Phoenix and apply it this weekend. Last year we weren't real good during the practices, but we worked and worked on that car. We didn't have the car that could win the race but worked on it to where it was a top-five or top-10 car. We want to start the race being the car to beat, and that's what we're working toward."
* In 14 starts at Phoenix, Jarrett has one win, two top fives and seven top-10 finishes.
* Since 1996, Jarrett and the #88 Robert Yates Racing team have an average finishing position of 11th.
* Since joining the #88 Robert Yates Racing team in 1996, Jarrett's stats at Phoenix feature his one win at Phoenix and five top-10 finishes. Jarrett and the team have competed together in six races at Phoenix.
UPS Racing Pit Crew Pulling Double Duty
The #88 UPS Racing pit crew has been pulling double duty since the race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #88 pit crew has been performing pit stops for Jason Keller and the #57 ppc Racing Ford team in the NASCAR Busch Series. Keller is in the thick of a championship battle with Greg Biffle, and the ppc Racing organization is pulling out all the stops in the championship battle. Phil Horton, the pit crew trainer for the #88 UPS Racing Team, recently started training for ppc Racing's pit crews.
"I have been working with the pit crew for about three months now, and the #55 Winston Cup team had been pitting for the Jason (Keller)," Horton explained. "The #55 crew did a tremendous job, but I felt that the #88 team had more experience in being in a championship situation, and that they may be of additional help for the last four races."