UPS Team Prepares for Third Short Track of '05 CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 10, 2005) ----- Dale Jarrett and the UPS Team gear up for the third short-track race of the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season with this weekend's Chevy American Revolution...
UPS Team Prepares for Third Short Track of '05
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 10, 2005) ----- Dale Jarrett and the UPS Team gear up for the third short-track race of the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season with this weekend's Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Jarrett and company put together a fifth-place finish at Bristol and a 14th-place effort at Martinsville earlier this season. The .75-mile Richmond track has proven to be somewhat of a stumbling block for the #88 UPS Team during the past couple years. Looking at the short, flat tracks as an area that needed improvement, the team went to work in that area of its program as soon as the 2004 season came to a close.
Mike Ford, crew chief on the #88 UPS Ford, said one of the things that makes Richmond unique is that it is a small track that has the characteristics of an intermediate track.
"Richmond is a momentum track even though it is a short track," Ford explained. "It's a track where cars tend to be real loose in the corner and the loose in the corner feel creates a tight in the middle problem. It seems whoever can adapt to that sensation the best is usually successful. But Richmond is a track where aerodynamics do come into play so it is a momentum track and you really have to race it like an intermediate track even though it's only a three-quarter mile track."
Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Richmond
Do you look forward to racing at a track like Richmond under the lights?
"I think you can't argue with the fact that short-track racing at night is probably some of the most exciting racing we do. Richmond is a great track and it's one that I think anybody who is building a new track should look at and try to mirror. Richmond is just a great track that even though it is a small track there is room for cars to race side-by-side. They repaved the track a year ago but it's had a few races on it since then and it's back to the same old Richmond that has always produced great racing and we should see more of the same this weekend."
What has changed about Richmond that put the team behind at that type of track?
"I don't think this is a situation where the track has changed so much as it is a situation where the cars have changed and we just haven't kept up with that. Obviously we knew at the end of last season where our program needed improvement. Tracks like Richmond seemed to be difficult for us to get a hold of the last couple years. A few of our problems the last couple times we've raced at Richmond were the result of accidents, but we put ourselves in a position to be around those situations so we definitely needed to get our program back to where we run up front on these type of tracks on a consistent basis. This team used to run very well at Richmond and both the wins I have at Richmond were with this #88 team. We can get there again and hopefully with the work we did in the off-season we're heading in the right direction with this part of our program.
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett has two career wins at Richmond and is still the race record holder with a win in two hours, 45 minutes and four seconds set September 6, 1997. The average speed for that race win was 109.047 mph.
* Jarrett has completed all but three laps of the 3,252 laps run by the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2005. His lap completion percentage is 99.9 percent.
* Jarrett won a $10,000 prize for his mom, Martha, last weekend in Darlington for finishing highest in the running order among the two drivers racing the special Mother's Day paint schemes. Mrs. Jarrett plans to donate the money between the Victory Junction Gang Camp and Motor Racing Outreach.
Chassis 44 is the car Jarrett will race this weekend in Richmond. Chassis 44 is a brand new chassis for the #88 UPS Racing Team, and was built specifically for this weekend's race at Richmond.