Talladega II: Ford - Dale Jarrett interview

This Week in Ford Racing September 23, 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, is the last Ford driver to win a NASCAR Winston Cup race at Talladega when he captured the Winston 500 in 1998. This weekend,...

This Week in Ford Racing
September 23, 2003

NASCAR Winston Cup

Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Taurus, is the last Ford driver to win a NASCAR Winston Cup race at Talladega when he captured the Winston 500 in 1998. This weekend, however, could prove to be a bit different for the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup champion because his son, Jason, will be trying to qualify for the EA Sports 500 with a third Robert Yates Racing entry.

DALE JARRETT - No. 88 UPS Taurus

JASON IS GOING TO TRY AND QUALIFY FOR THE WINSTON CUP RACE AT TALLADEGA. YOUR THOUGHTS?

"Jason has done a few testing things for us at different places with Talladega being one of those and he's helped me out a number of times. Doug wanted to repay him so he called me and said, 'Hey, we have an extra car here. Would you mind if we tried to put Jason in it and let him make the race?' I thought it was a good idea. It's probably his best opportunity - not to take anything away from his driving ability because certainly going to try to make these races is difficult - but you get to a place like Talladega where all you have to do for qualifying is get it in high gear and have a good car. I think it's probably his best chance of going and not having to be concerned about himself making a mistake or getting everything out of it. The race will be a different experience for him. I know he's run there in the ARCA Series and he's run a couple of Busch races there, but he hasn't seen anything quite like what he's gonna get in to. He knows that and he's extremely excited and I'm excited for him. I'm just glad that it looks like we're gonna have that opportunity to race with each other. It'll be pretty cool. It's always a nerve-wracking race, but now I've got double nerves because there's two of us out there. Still, it should be fun."

IS THIS A PLEASANT SURPRISE?

"I think we always hoped it would happen. We ran a Busch race together. I don't know the year, but it was at Charlotte. We decided to give him the opportunity, so we built a car for him there and he almost out-qualified me, as a matter of fact. We qualified 11th and 12th, which was pretty good. I beat him by one-thousandth of a second, but he actually passed me on the race track that day. I eventually passed him back (laughing) and beat him that day, but we talked about how cool it would be to be able to race against each other. It's something that as much as my dad and I have experienced - he won 50 races and I've won over 30 and we've both been fortunate to win championships, but we never had the chance to race against each other. It's something where you always wonder what that would have been like, so now Jason and I are gonna get that chance in the elite division of NASCAR racing. It should be pretty cool."

ON ANOTHER TOPIC, THE NEW ROOF HATCH IS OPTIONAL STARTING THIS WEEK AT TALLADEGA. ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE IT INSTALLED?

"We're not gonna be able to have it this week because of everything else we're trying to get done, but we will get it incorporated as soon as we possibly can. I think it's a great idea. We're building cars and rebuilding cars and that's something we're going to definitely incorporate into our program."

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing