CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 8, 2004) ---- Pocono Raceway hosts its two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events during the summer swing of the 2004 schedule. Teams will race the uniquely-shaped 2.5-mile track twice within less than eights weeks of each event. Dale ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 8, 2004) ---- Pocono Raceway hosts its two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events during the summer swing of the 2004 schedule. Teams will race the uniquely-shaped 2.5-mile track twice within less than eights weeks of each event. Dale Jarrett, driver of the UPS Ford, travels to Pocono Raceway with a new race car and three career wins at the triangle-shaped track.
Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team was one of only a few teams to escape Dover International Speedway's event last weekend unscathed despite reports to the contrary. Jarrett finished 11th in a race many are referring to as the most unusual race the series has seen in a few years.
"I was never in any of the wrecks," Jarrett said. "I don't know that I had a scratch on my car, other than touching the wall coming off a corner one time. All of the wrecks were right in front of me, but I was lucky enough to get slowed down enough to miss them."
Jarrett and the UPS Team hope to capitalize on their test at Pocono one week ago as well as a test they participated in at Kentucky Speedway on Tuesday, June 8th.
Dale Jarrett Discusses Pocono Raceway
Pocono is a track where this team has excelled in the past, how does it look this weekend?
"Pocono has been a good place for me since I came to Robert Yates Racing in 1995 to drive the #28 Ford. Things might not have been going so well at that time in 1995 when we came here for the second race at Pocono and things hadn't gone as we had planned then up to that point, and we were able to win, so that kind of turned things around there. And it's just been a good race track for me. It is a very challenging race track, but I enjoy the challenge that it presents. We had an excellent test at Pocono last week -- probably the best test we have had all year. So, I am really looking forward to racing there this weekend."
Compare the 600 miles you raced at Lowe's Motor Speedway two weeks ago to the 500 miles you will race at Pocono Raceway.
"Sometimes 500 miles at Pocono can feel a lot longer than the Coca-Cola 600. It is a long an exhausting race. It is a long track and one where we do some shifting. Some guys only shift once while others will shift twice -- either way it is a very physical race. Because the track is so long, caution laps last a lot longer, and the shape of the track make our regular race laps longer. It is a long race and one in which you have to be prepared for physically as well as mentally."
Would you consider Pocono one of the more physically demanding race tracks?
"Absolutely it is one of the more physically demanding races. This is a difficult race track and a difficult race, because you're working hard as a driver in the car. The temperature can be a little warm even in a mountainous area like Pocono but I am looking forward to it. When you get to the end of 500 miles here, you're pretty much spent. I felt great in the car. I think that this race certainly takes its toll but I think it can be an advantage if you look forward to that type of racing which I do."
Notes of Interest
Of Jarrett's three career wins at Pocono, his most recent took place during the spring race two years ago when he started from the 13th position and raced on for the win.
Jarrett has a total of 34 career starts at Pocono. He has led at least one lap in 16 different races at Pocono for a total of 476 laps led at Pocono.
Jarrett is first on Pocono's list of Top 20 Money winners with $1,714,613 in career earnings at the 2.5-mile track.
Jarrett's career record at Pocono features three wins, 13 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.