Conover, NC (August 15, 2000) - Rayovac Maximum Batteries will be "two for one" at Michigan Speedway this weekend; however, the Madison, WI-based corporation won't be issuing a coupon. Jarrett / Favre Motorsports announced today that veteran ...
Conover, NC (August 15, 2000) - Rayovac Maximum Batteries will be "two for one" at Michigan Speedway this weekend; however, the Madison, WI-based corporation won't be issuing a coupon. Jarrett / Favre Motorsports announced today that veteran wheelman Hut Stricklin will run the #88 Rayovac Maximum Pontiac during the NAPA Online.com 250 as teammate to Jason Jarrett's #11 Rayovac Maximum Chevrolet.
According to crew chief Ricky Bowman, the reason for the dual entries is two-fold. "First, this team made great technical strides during Hut's first race at Pike's Peak, then continued to improve with Jason's solid run at Indianapolis," Bowman said. "Second, is the fact that Rayovac has been incredibly supportive during our building process this season, and we wanted to thank them by putting two cars on the track."
Jarrett set the stage for the Michigan event one month ago, with a decision he called, "the toughest choice that I've ever had to make in my racing career." Jarrett opted out of the #11 car for a three-race stint on a trio of flat tracks (Pike's Peak, Gateway, IRP), to allow Stricklin's experience to aid the team.
"I have a leadership role that I take very seriously, and I have a responsibility to do what's best for this team," Jarrett said. "Even if it meant giving up the driver's seat so we could address some of the issues that have been hampering our progress on these type of tracks."
According to Bowman, Jarrett and Stricklin, the Pike's Peak run provided a tremendous amount of information regarding chassis and set up questions, as well as driving insight for Jarrett. "I saw a lot of things from a different vantage point that I don't get to see from behind the wheel, and I believe that helped me in the way I communicated with the team in Indy," he said.
"It's seldom that a different driver gets into a car and all of a sudden there's some kind of dramatic improvement in the way that team is running," Stricklin said. "By the time you get to drive at this level, there's a reason that you're here, and it's because you can do the job. My role is to help this team flatten out the learning curve by offering the experience and technical knowledge that comes with seat time."
Though rain in St. Louis and a Brickyard opportunity prevented Stricklin from running two of the three scheduled Jarrett / Favre starts, the situation worked out positively for the team. "I don't see how we can view it as anything other than positive," Jarrett said. "We get the benefit of two cars sharing information during the practice sessions, which can only serve to make us faster during qualifying and the race. Beyond that, we get the opportunity to give Rayovac another car on the track in a high-profile event."
Although the Jarrett / Favre team has struggled on the flat tracks, Jarrett's speedway runs have Bowman optimistic about seeing a pair of Rayovac cars racing on Saturday. "We had tough fields to make in Daytona, Charlotte, Atlanta, Las Vegas and California, and Jason was able to put the car solidly in the show," Bowman said. "I'd like to think we've learned a lot since our last speedway run and this will give this team a perfect opportunity to put that knowledge to the test."
Even the car selection has accommodated the preference of each driver. After starting from the pole in Daytona in a Pontiac, Stricklin selected that make from the Jarrett / Favre stable, while Jarrett chose the Chevrolet he ran in Charlotte.
"Hut's experience allows him to feel very comfortable in the Pontiac," Bowman said. "Jason tested the Pontiac and raced the Chevrolet in Charlotte, and has decided the run the Chevrolet, likely due to the better feel for the car he gets due to the increased downforce."
The 39-year old Stricklin has a pair of top-10 finishes in 9 Busch Series starts this season, including a 6th-place run at Talladega. The veteran wheelman is no stranger to Michigan, posting second-place finishes in both Busch and Winston Cup competition on the 2-mile banked speedway."