Dale Jarrett - Notes & Quotes Dura Lube 500k - Nov. 7, 1999 Phoenix International Raceway has a special place in the heart of Dale Jarrett and the entire Quality Care Service/Ford Credit team. Starting ninth for the 1997 Dura Lube 500k, Dale ...
Dale Jarrett - Notes & Quotes Dura Lube 500k - Nov. 7, 1999
Phoenix International Raceway has a special place in the heart of Dale Jarrett and the entire Quality Care Service/Ford Credit team. Starting ninth for the 1997 Dura Lube 500k, Dale Jarrett's hopes for a win seemed to diminish when on lap 130, just one lap after Jarrett had made a green-flag stop, caution came out, putting Jarrett nearly a full lap behind. With the help of a great set-up and Robert Yates' horsepower, Jarrett drove his way to the front to make up the lap - under green conditions. He then drove into victory lane. With that blistering pace and win, Jarrett remains the track race record holder - two hours, 48 minutes, 55 seconds.
The 1998 race was a different story altogether. It was a year ago this race that Jarrett was diagnosed with gallstones and received driving relief from Michael Waltrip, losing three laps in the process. The team finished 32nd.
Car owner Robert Yates has collected three wins at PIR - two with the late Davey Allison ('91 & '92) and one with Jarrett ('97). In 1999, Jarrett has collected four wins (Richmond, Michigan-June, Daytona-July and Indianapolis-Brickyard 400), 22 top-five finishes and 26 top-10s. He has led 993 laps. The following are his thoughts and comments on this weekend's race at Phoenix:
"One of my favorite races all-time for me, was winning at Phoenix in 1997. We came from a lap down and passed everyone under green, made up the lap and won the race. I certainly enjoy going there. I've always told everyone, my wife Kelley included, that if I were to move from North Carolina they could find me in Phoenix. I love it out there. It would be the perfect place to play golf, year-round.
"It's a track that allows you to race extremely hard. There's a couple of different ways you can go about tackling that track. You can get your car right down on the very bottom and run hard and be aggressive that way. Or you can do something that I think is a lot more fun in three and four - just let the car slide up in the center of the corner and carry a lot of speed into the corner, which makes for a lot of exit speed. That's a good place for me to pass a lot of people.
"Our job is to try and win the race. Certainly, we know we have a nice lead but we want to win. And we know that if we do win the race, then we're not going to lose any points to anybody. We're more intent on trying to run up front and make it more difficult for those guys than just doing what we have to do to get by."