UPS Team Travels to Texas with High Hopes CHARLOTTE, N.C., (April 12, 2005) ----- The Texas Motor Speedway is the next stop on the circuit for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend, and it is one to which Robert Yates Racing looks forward.
UPS Team Travels to Texas with High Hopes
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (April 12, 2005) ----- The Texas Motor Speedway is the next stop on the circuit for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this weekend, and it is one to which Robert Yates Racing looks forward. Both RYR drivers and teams have won at the 1.5-mile speedway with Dale Jarrett and the #88 UPS Racing Team going to victory lane there in 2001 and Elliott Sadler and the #38 M&M'S Team returning to TMS as the reigning champions after going to victory lane in 2004. The timing couldn't be better for RYR to return to Texas as the organization does so with both drivers in the top 10 in the NEXTEL Cup Series point standings -- Jarrett in 10th and Sadler in third. Crew chief Mike Ford weighed in on the team's outlook for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 this weekend.
"Dale and this team has run well at Texas in the past and I've run well there as a crew chief when I was working with Bill Elliott," Ford explained. "We're going into this weekend's race looking at it as though it could be a breakout weekend for us."
The #88 UPS Team's record at Texas is impressive in its own. Jarrett leads all active drivers in laps led at Texas with 407 laps led. The next closest to Jarrett is Dale Eanrhardt, Jr., with 253 laps led. Additionally, Jarrett is one of only two NEXTEL Cup Series drivers who have competed in all eight events at Texas and that have not had a DNF at the 1.5-mile speedway. The other driver with no DNFs in eight starts at Texas is fellow veteran driver Ken Schrader.
Jarrett Discusses Racing at Texas Motor Speedway
You have won at Texas and contended for several wins, what does it take to be successful there?
"It's the same for every track -- a good handling racecar. Texas is a 1.5-mile track with a good bit of banking so it is more like a Charlotte or Atlanta-type track. We ran well in Atlanta and it would have been interesting to see where we ended up if we hadn't been penalized for speeding. So, I am looking forward to Texas this weekend for that reason. Plus my teammate won there last year and we've won and run well there in the past so all of those factors make it a place that we look forward to visiting."
How much has Texas changed since the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debuted there in 1997?
"Well, we've gone from a track that basically had one racing groove the first couple years to a track where you can now race side-by-side as we saw last year when my teammate (Elliott Sadler) won. Obviously, there were some problems there in the beginning but Eddie Gosage and his staff have done a tremendous job making that track one where the fans have the opportunity to see good, quality races. It's the same as with any new track. It takes seasoning, if you will, for a track surface to develop into a multi-groove track and we're now seeing that with Texas."
This team is in a lot better position than it was at this time one year ago so does that give you a level of comfort?
"Well, we haven't been running quite like we were last summer and fall, but we aren't completely off. We've had some lucky breaks and we've had some unfortunate incidents like in Atlanta, so we're very happy to be in the top 10 and working to stay there rather than trying to fight our way into the top 10. So, we know we are in much better shape than we were a year ago and we know we haven't done our best yet. So knowing all of that we feel pretty good about it."
Chassis 32 is the car the UPS Team fields this weekend at Texas. This marks only the second time this car has been raced by the team. Jarrett raced Chassis 32 earlier this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where he qualified 13th and finished 18th.
Notes of Interest
* Jarrett is the NEXTEL Cup Series lap-leader at Texas with a total of 407 laps led at Texas in eight stats. Jarrett has led at least one lap in all of the races at Texas except for the 2004 event where he failed to lead a lap.
* This weekend's event is scheduled to be Jarrett's 350th consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start.
* This weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway marks the first in which UPS will be visible as part of the TMS family of sponsors. UPS announced two weeks ago that the company decided to partner with Texas as the track's Official Delivery and Logistics Company. UPS branding will be visible around the track this weekend.
* UPS and Jarrett will be in the infield media center at Texas on Friday at 2 p.m. CDT for a special paint scheme program they are activating in conjunction with the release of the Walt Disney film Herbie: Fully Loaded. The car will be unveiled and the movie trailer will be previewed to those in attendance.