Texas: Dale Jarrett preview

Dale Jarrett and UPS Team at Texas Motor Speedway No. 88 UPS Ford Taurus CHARLOTTE (March 30, 2004) --- Texas Motor Speedway plays host to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series for the eighth time with the running of this weekend's Samsung/RadioShack...

Dale Jarrett and UPS Team at Texas Motor Speedway
No. 88 UPS Ford Taurus

CHARLOTTE (March 30, 2004) --- Texas Motor Speedway plays host to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series for the eighth time with the running of this weekend's Samsung/RadioShack 500. Dale Jarrett is one of the seven different drivers who have visited the victory circle of the 1.5-mile speedway located just outside Fort Worth, Texas. The UPS Team will attempt to become the first to post a second victory at Texas this weekend.

Although Jarrett and the UPS Team did not test at the 1.5-mile speedway of Texas, they hope to take advantage of what the No. 38 M&Ms^Ù Team learned during their two-day test at Texas two weeks ago.

While the No. 88 UPS Team works toward picking up its first point-paying event win of the 2004 NASCAR season, it will also be celebrating along with sponsor UPS the one year anniversary of the company's re-branding with the new UPS shield. Jarrett and company introduced the new UPS shield to the world one year ago at Texas Motor Speedway, marking the first time the nearly 100-year old company had changed the shield in more than 40 years.

Dale Jarrett Discusses Racing at Texas Motor Speedway

After seven years of racing at Texas, do you start to look at that track as an older track or is it still considered fairly new to Nextel Cup teams?

"It's hard to consider a track like Texas an older track because we just raced at a place last week that has been having Nextel Cup races for more than 40 years. There are a lot of tracks like Bristol that we have visited for many, many years and hope that we continue to visit. But, we have raced at Texas enough now to where you are starting to see tendencies and characteristics that help us when we come back each year."

The track is built very similar to other tracks like Atlanta and Charlotte. What makes Texas different from other tracks similar in size and shape?

"Texas drives totally different. Even though to the eye they look a lot alike and they were built to be similar, they're totally different from a driver's perspective. It seems that the race track has always had a lot of grip to it which allows the car to carry a lot of speed. You're busy as a driver there. The track is relatively smooth for the most part, so that sets it apart from Charlotte and Atlanta, so what that allows you to do is run a lot more down force-happy package. You can pin the car down to the track and get that extra speed on the straightaway. We talk about the speed you feel at Atlanta, but I'm not sure you don't feel it just as much, if not more, at Texas than anywhere else."

Do you find that you always have to be ready for the unexpected at Texas?

"We seem to have something happen every year and I wouldn't look for this to be any different. Hopefully, it'll just be that it's a hugely successful race this time around. We've had some pretty good races there, but I think Texas has the possibility of offering the fans a really good show. Even as fast as it is, I think the possibilities are there for some side-by-side racing."

Notes of Interest

* Jarrett led only one lap at Texas Motor Speedway in 2003, but it proved to be a crucial lap for the driver of the No. 88 UPS Ford Taurus. With that lap, Jarrett is still the only active NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver to lead at least one lap in all of the seven races that have taken place at Texas Motor Speedway since the inaugural event in 1997.

* Jarrett has led 407 laps in competition at Texas Motor Speedway for a total of 610.5 miles.

* Ford has the most wins among manufacturers at Texas Motor Speedway with four wins. Jarrett, along with Roush Racing drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and Matt Kenseth, contributed to that statistic.

* With one win and three top fives, Jarrett is first on the all-time top money winners at Texas Motor Speedway. Jarrett's seven starts at Texas has earned the Hickory, N.C. -- native approximately $1,341,883.

-ryr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Mark Martin