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<< Sports >>

Auto Racing News

Thursday, 11 August, 2005 10:54 AM

Exclusive Interview with Dale Jarrett at MIS

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

Dale Jarrett is being interviewed by the media at MIS.

by Jason Rzucidlo
AmericaJR@AmericaJR.com

Click here to listen to our interview in the Quicktime format.

Dale Jarrett has had a tough season this year in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series. He's recently moved up to 9th place in point standings.

Jarrett's most recent win at MIS was in 2002. He's won four races at MIS throughout his career. He reports, I will race "as long as I'm physically able. This is what I do. This is what I want. Atleast a couple more years."

He said, "We're totally focused on the people that we have to beat to get in the championship. What we have to do is capitalize."

Jarret recently moved up to 9th place in points. "I can't imagine how we're doing that but everybody else is helping us out. We haven't performed like we need to."

He adds, "We got us in this position by finishing 21 races and staying out of a lot of trouble and now we need to work out way and keep out way in that top ten."

Dale has had very good luck racing at MIS. With his most recent victory in 2002 and three other wins at MIchigan. "We have been good here a lot. This has always been track that's very good to us. Matter of fact, these type of tracks: mile and half and two miles we've really struggled this year. Over the years, those have been our bread and butter. We wanted to come here and see if we could get some of that magic back. "

Jarrett was testing his car on the track at MIS to prepare for the upcoming race. He reports, "We ran yesterday. It wasn't to be quite honest I wasn't very happy with it. We went back and looked at the data and went over everything that we did. The car seems to be better today. Not where we needed to be but not much more ahead."

How different is that new ford that you just tested out at Atlanta? Jarrett answers, "It almost be unfair to compare the cars right now because the cars I had to drive in Atlanta was almost a cross between a Daytona-Talledega type car and what we would actually run there. It doesn't have the down force that you would want but it has less drag. The car drove well and I was happy with the balance of the car. Hopefully we've built something that's gonna allow us to run at Daytona-Talldega to allow us to be more competitive."

How disappointing was it last year not to make the Chase for the Nextel Cup? Jarret responds, "It's what you set out to do. You set out each year to win the Championship and when you don't get in the Chase, you obviously throw away that opportunity. It was disappoionting. We just realized we gotta work harder. This isn't getting any easier. It's getting more difficult by the day. That was a big motivator for us, realizing that we have this chance. Even though we haven't performed like we need to."

When you are outside of the Top 10, are you able to focus on those last few races? He says, "Yeah, you can focus. You still go to win races and learn as much as you can. You certainly don't give up. You have obligations to your team and to yourself and your sponsors. We're here to race."

How do you feel about the changes in the point system? Jarrett responds, "I think it's great. I don't know how you can argue with a system that produces as much excitement from basically race 15 on. How could you argue with something that went down to the last lap of the very last race before we knew one of three drivers were going to win the Championship. That's pretty impressive. I don't see how you can't like what we have now.

Dale Jarrett will race in the August 21st GFS Marketplace 400 NASCAR Nextel Cup series race at MIS. Some seats are still available. To order, go to www.mispeedway.com or call 1-800-354-1010.

A whole weekend of racing is planned. It all begins on Thursday with ARCA qualifying, the ARCA 200 race on Friday, The NASCAR Busch Series Domino's Pizza 250 race which includes a concert by Sugarland and Josh Turner and concludes with the GFS Marketplace 400 race on Sunday.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

Dale Jarrett stands alongside his #88 race car in the garage at MIS.

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