Talladega pre-race notes



DALE JARRETT (#28 Havoline Ford) -- (ON TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY) -- Talladega is a great track to race on. You're probably going to see a lot of three- and four-wide racing and packs of 25 or more cars. It's pretty nerve-wracking for the driver in situations like that.

(ON ROBERT YATES RACING) -- This is just a great race team. The people of Alabama have kind of adopted this team because of Davey and the great job he did driving for Robert. Then Ernie (Irvan) came in and did a great job also. We've struggled a bit. We did win the pole at Daytona for the 500 and did finish fifth in the race. We were in the hunt to win late in the race, but the Chevrolets were just a little bit too much for us.

It's been a transition period for us in going to these tracks for the first time and in each different car for the first time nd seeing what that car is going to do. It's taken tome time, but I think things are really coming along. I'm excited about the rest of the season. I don't feel like we've shown everything we can do yet. Here we are, less than a third of the way into the season, and we've seventh in points.

We really didn't have any time in 1994 to get ready for this. Our testing is really coming each week with the races. As good as this race team is, there is a transition period and it's going to take a little time. we've been pretty good for a number of weekends, we just haven't put the whole package together.

(ON PRESSURE OF RACING #28 AT TALLADEGA) -- I don't think there's any more pressure than normal. Down inside, you'd like to do well because of these fans. It's not only the race team, but these fans who have also gone through a lot and stood by this race team.

(ON VICTORY) -- I think this is our shot to win. This should be our race track. We've got a very good car. You've just got to get yourself into position at the end to have a chance to win. I enjoy the drafting work you need to do to get into position to win. I think this is going to be a great opportunity for us. This race, and the next few, could be the time for us to make our move up toward the top of the point standings.

(ON RACE STRATEGY) -- I'd like to be leading on the final lap. If not, then I'd want to be second as we come off turn four. I feel those two positions offer the best opportunity to win the race from on the last lap. If I'm sitting in fifth with two laps to go, I'm going to start making some moves. I've seen too many times where guys are waiting until the last lap and you just can't go from fifth to first on the last lap. You might as well shake things up. There might be 10 or 12 cars in that pack. You pull out from being fifth and you might go to the front or you might end up 12th, but you've got to take that chance if you want a shot at winning.

(ON QUALIFYING) -- It would certainly be nice to start from the pole. I feel we certainly have the capability to do that. It would be good for the team and the fans -- to get a little lift, to get excited for this race team.

NOTE: Jarrett spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Daytona Beach testing -- his golf swing. Jarrett took part in a celebrity skins game (Tuesday) and a pro-am on Wednesday. The events were part of this weekend's LPGA Sprint Championship at the LPGA International golf course -- headquarters of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. The course and headquarters is located four miles from the Speedway.

(ON THE SKINS GAME) -- I played with Steve Spurrier (football coach, University of Florida), Lee Corso (ESPN football analyst) and Maury Povich (television talk show host). It was a lot of fun. There was a lot of good natured ribbing. The game was very competitive, you could see that with every shot. Each of us wanted to win the most for our charity.

(ON THE PRO-AM) -- I was teamed with Lauri Merten, the winner of the 1993 (LPGA) U.S. Open. We talked a lot and found out we had a lot of things in common. It was in '93 that she won the Open and I won the Daytona 500. It was her best year; she finished sixth in the money earned standings. It was my best year. I finished fourth in the final Winston Cup points. We felt like we had a lot in common. She was quite an individual and a lot of fun.

(ON GOLF VERSUS RACE CAR DRIVING) -- It the first time I've played golf two days in a row in over a year. It took a toll on my back. I'm pretty sore.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup