Talladega II: Dale Jarrett preview

Team UPS ready for final plate race. TALLADEGA, Ala., October 1, 2002 --- The NASCAR Winston Cup Series wraps up its 2002 restrictor-plate season with this weekend's "EA Sports 500" at Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Jarrett and the ...

Team UPS ready for final plate race.

TALLADEGA, Ala., October 1, 2002 --- The NASCAR Winston Cup Series wraps up its 2002 restrictor-plate season with this weekend's "EA Sports 500" at Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team managed to avoid the "big one" at Talladega in April to leave the 2.6-mile superspeedway with a sixth-place finish. The final restrictor-plate race of the season promises to be interesting with the new rule regarding the size of fuel cells. All of the action gets started this Friday, Oct. 4th, and the race is scheduled to begin at 12 noon CST, Sunday, Oct. 6th. NBC will provide live television coverage beginning at 11:30 a.m. CST.

New Fuel Cell Should Make For Interesting Talladega Race

"Certainly, I think it will be interesting to see how the weekend plays out with the new fuel cell," Jarrett said of the new rule for Talladega. "I don't think anyone will have a real clear idea as to how many laps they'll be able to make it on a tank of gas with the smaller fuel cell. Plus, I can't imagine there will be a number of pit stops where teams will make more than a two-tire pit stop. You're talking about making a pit stop where it's going to take about half the normal time to take on fuel, so I anticipate a lot of two-tire stops. I don't know if we'll ever have an answer on how to make restrictor-plate racing safer, but I have to applaud NASCAR because they are definitely working on it and this is one of the ways in which that shows. We'll try this option and see how it works."

Patience Makes The Grade At Talladega

Superspeedway racing is based largely on horsepower and aerodynamics. A number of teams look at restrictor-plate racing as an accomplishment more of machine than man. While the machine plays an important part, the man does when it comes to navigating a pack of 43 Winston Cup cars. One of the key ingredients for the driver is patience.

"Rules changes will come, the cars are going to change and from that respect there's always something to learn," Jarrett said. "But in the end, it's still basically the same deal. You have to be very patient and very calculating with the moves that you make because one wrong move sets you back."

"As for how we will be at Talladega, I think we were able to gain some ground on the plate races at Daytona when we were there in July," Jarrett said. "I don't know about anybody else, but our guys have worked hard. We learned some things that should help us with our car a little bit. We definitely qualified better at Daytona than we did there in February or at Talladega in April. Obviously the DEI cars are going to be the cars to beat, and we just have to keep working and gaining on it."

-ryr-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett