Goody's Headache Powders 500 Post Race Quotes from the Winner
25 August 1997
NASCAR Winston Cup Series Winner Post-Race Quotes Goody's Headache Powder 500 Bristol Motor Speedway August 23, 1997 BRISTOL, TN -- The following provided by Ford Motorsports Public Affairs: DALE JARRETT (#88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Thunderbird) - Started 3rd - "I didn't know what to talk about on short tracks, but now I've got a victory, so you won't be able to ask me about that anymore. This is a brand-new car that had never been on the race track before. It wasn't good all the time, but it was pretty good. We got two cautions at the end, but I thought I had Mark in sight and everything was OK. I just wanted to make sure I got back around. It's just a great night for us. "It was a little treacherous down there. Mark (Martin) was slipping and sliding and he gave me an opening on the side. I knew if I could get there I might could get there, maybe I could beat him into Turn 3, and that's what I did. And I got a good jump on the restart. Everything went great for me. "It's just an awesome race car. I was able to get by Mark with some oil on the race track. We were fortunate. Mark ran a great race and had a great car. Todd (Parrott, crew chief) assured me that this was the car we needed to bring here, that this was the car that we could win with, and he was right. "I got a little loose, and I continued to get loose, and just couldn't keep the lead. I said, 'We can't wreck. We've got to finish with Gordon having problems.' I got looser, but the last time, we tightened it up and got the car pretty good and we had enough cautions to keep the tires cool and Dale Jarrett wins on a short track finally. "It was a close call with Bobby (Hamilton). I got loose and got into him. I apologize. I got into Geoff Bodine, too. I hate it happened, but a lot of things happen on a short track. We made a big adjustment at the end and got some bit in the car. "We're still in the championship. What we need to do is win races. That's what we need to continue to do. I've got the crew and guys to do that, we just have to continue to do it. And if they have problems, we need to capitalize. "The lapped cars were good enough that it made it difficult to pass 'em. You just had to wait for the right moment. Then the guys behind you could catch up to you. It made it difficult. I got a little impatient a couple of times, one with Geoff Bodine. He had gotten his lap back but I ran him back down after the restart. I tried to give him a chance to let me by, but I tapped him in (turns) 3 and 4 and unfortunately he spun. I didn't mean to spin him, I was just trying to get him out of my way. I needed to go, because the guys were catching me from behind. Then with Bobby Hamilton, that was totally my fault. Bobby gave me the whole race track to the inside and I got loose and got into the side of him. I hate it. I was fortunate that he went on and I went on. The deal with Mark, I guess somebody was putting some oil down. I couldn't get the car to turn, and I got real loose. I saw Mark start to back out of it, too. I did go high and was able to run Mark down. When I got to him and I had to go to the inside of him where the oil was, but I just decided I was going into 3 a little harder than he was and put a slide job on him. That was the key moment, that the caution came out right then, when I was able to get by Mark. That enabled me on the restart to get a good jump, then I kinda cruised. After I got the lead that I wanted, I might have backed out a little early on the last lap, but I was going to make sure I was going to get to the start/finish line and the checkered flag. "This means a lot. This is another one of those race tracks that you work your tail off. You have to show patience and you have to make a lot of right decisions. I've got a good crew. They did a tremendous job in the pits. They gave me a great race car and worked hard to make it better. It means a lot for me to win here. It's a tough, tough race track. You have to stay out of trouble and you have to have something to race with at the end, and we had that. I'm glad we were able to get this out of the way. I don't know what the media will ask me when we get to Richmond, 'cause they can't say, 'When are you going to win your first short track race?' again. "I really didn't get totally by Mark. I caught the right rear of my car into the left front of his, and it about turned me into the wall. I think Elliott was trying to get out of our way. I didn't know the caution was coming out. I just knew I needed to get in front, that Mark was really slowing down and the laps were winding down. "The points race can change weekly. It's a whole new deal. You don't know what's going to happen. You think Gordon has a great lead and you see him running great tonight and you think the worst he is going to finish is in the top-three, so things aren't going to change much. Then all of a sudden he gets into an accident. You just don't know. There's a lot of racing left, and things can happen in a hurry. Our job is to win races and try to put some pressure on those guys and when they do make mistakes we have to capitalize on them. I would feel a lot better if I was about 150 points closer. But I do feel good. We are in the position that we were last year, when we made a run at the end. We're doing the chasing. We know what our job is, to go out and win races. And I really believe there are a number of races coming up that we can win. By doing that, we can put a little pressure on them and gain some points. When we get to Atlanta, all we want is just a shot at 'em."