"Obviously you have to have a good enough car to draft with and to be near the front when we're talking about racing at Talladega. You have to have a lot of patience, but, more than anything else, you have to have yourself in position towards the...
"Obviously you have to have a good enough car to draft with and to be
near the front when we're talking about racing at Talladega. You have to
have a lot of patience, but, more than anything else, you have to have
yourself in position towards the end of the race. You can race there for
470 miles and it doesn't really make any difference -- it's those last
30 miles -- that's when you have to get yourself in the right position
if you want to be in contention for the win."
* Dale Jarrett on racing at Talladega Superspeedway
Jarrett looks for the air at Talladega.
Talladega Takes Patience and Concentration . . . With 32 starts at Talladega Superspeedway, Dale Jarrett has learned that getting around the 2.66-mile superspeedway requires more than just a fast racecar. A little patience and a lot of concentration can go a long way in the 500-mile "chess match." Jarrett says learning to use the draft is one of the things he considers an advantage when heading to the superspeedway races.
"There are ways of slowing cars down that you're racing up against," Jarrett explained. "That's why you see people pull over against other people or getting really closed up. There's stuff you can do with air. I've worked long and hard to figure out these things. There are ways you can affect other cars without hitting them or anything like that. I learned that by watching a guy who was probably the best at it and that was Dale Earnhardt. He'd tend to figure it out before anyone else would and if you just paid attention to what Dale was doing, then you could learn a lot in a short period of time. I would watch him on the track and then kind of verify what I thought I was seeing on tape to make sure that's what I was seeing."
* Jarrett has one win at Talladega Superspeedway. He won the track's fall race in 1998, and tacked on an extra million dollars that day as part of the former Winston No Bull Five program.
* Jarrett is tied for third place among drivers with wins at restrictor-plate races. There have been 61 plate races since 1988. Jarrett and Sterling Marlin each have five restrictor-plate wins. The late Dale Earnhardt leads the restrictor-plate win category with 11 wins. Jeff Gordon is second with six wins in restrictor-plate races.
Fuel Mileage Calculations may Shuffle Talldega Field . . . The use of the 13-gallon fuel cell was first introduced at Talladega during the fall of 2002. In what was probably a strange turn of events, the finale came down to a battle of fuel mileage.
"It came down to fuel mileage which was kind of strange," Jarrett recalled. "We came up about two laps short and probably weren't quite aggressive enough early in the race because then we might have been able to make it. It was the first race where we used the fuel cell, and it did break up the field for a while, but eventually everyone got packed back up."