Bank of America 500 Pit Note #5
Michael Waltrip Racing Announces Several Changes for 2008 - In an afternoon press conference held in the Time Warner Media Center, Michael Waltrip Racing made several announcements concerning its 2008 season plans.
Among those was that NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Dale Jarrett would dramatically reduce his racing in 2008 as he looks toward retirement. David Reutimann will then take over driving the UPS Toyota. Reutimann will start the season driving an Aaron's-sponsored car.
Plans call for Jarrett to race in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona and the first five events of the 2008 season, then turn the UPS Toyota over to driver David Reutimann. Jarrett will then finish his driving career at the Sprint All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May.
"We are here to pretty much announce a reduced schedule for my driving career," said Jarrett. "Over the last three months a lot of thought has gone into what was best for UPS, who has been with us for seven years now; what was best for myself and my family; and what was best for Michael Waltrip Racing. I went to UPS with the idea that I would like to back out of all 36 races, and gave them some options for what I felt would be best for them. I cannot stress this enough that in no way, shape, or form was I asked or forced to reduce my schedule by either UPS or Michael Waltrip Racing. It was a decision that I made. I went to my wife Kelly about it. That was how the decision came about. So what I will do next year is run the Bud Shootout and then run the first five regular season races. And then the plan is for me to come back here and run the Sprint All-Star Challenge as my last event as a driver in the NEXTEL Cup Series."
Jarrett said a lot of thought was put into where to make his final start. "There were a lot of considerations there. Knowing I couldn't end with the Daytona 500 because of what we need to accomplish for Michael Waltrip Racing. And UPS needed to run those first five. The next consideration was to run my last race at Indianapolis. Another consideration was to make my last start here at the Coca-Cola 600, but as I looked at those opportunities, I realized that was a little bit selfish of me. In part was because that would only knock someone out of the race that is trying to run all the races. I know what that's like this year. The all-star race seemed to be a good fit. It has been a difficult decision, but we knew it was coming. With the things that have transpired this year, it's showed me that I'm ready to do this."
Continued on Pit Note 6