NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Pit Note # 4
Dale Jarrett's last race will occur Saturday night in the Sprint All-Star Race in the no. 44 UPS Toyota. "I've been fortunate to be a part of a very big sport just as it was reaching its peak. Over the years I've met a lot of great people, had some success, won a championship and some races, and that's very fortunate, too. It's the right thing to do. Nothing will ever match the excitement of driving a race car. I don't want to say never, but I'm sure I'll never get back into a race again after tomorrow night - that is, unless UPS wants me to do something which they've given me no indication they're even thinking in that direction. My focus now is on being the best possible announcer (for ESPN). The car wasn't fast in practice, that's for sure. But these cars are changing so much from week to week."
Jarrett says he hopes the thoroughbred Big Brown wins tomorrow in the Preakness and keeps his Triple Crown hopes alive. If Big Brown goes on and wins the Triple Crown, Jarrett thinks it would be a good idea to let the horse, the UPS truck, and the race car run against each other in a commercial. "That's one that ‘big brown' would win for sure, isn't it?" said Jarrett. Jarrett might have to come out of retirement to compete in that commercial.
Pettys Celebrate 50 Years In NASCAR - In the second press conference of the day held in the Time Warner Media Center, Richard "The King" Petty announced the family team's 50th anniversary in NASCAR. The team also unveiled two special paint schemes that will be featured on two cars that will race at Chicago on the day that marks Richard Petty's first NASCAR start. Joining in the announcement were Petty Enterprises drivers Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte, and Chad McCumbee.
The day will mark Richard Petty's first race in Columbia, S.C., in a convertible division series 1957 Oldsmobile, in which he started 13th and finished 6th.
"You wonder how I made it 50 years," said Richard Petty. "I made it with a lot of help, I tell you that. I was real fortunate to do what I did at the time I did it. My dad (Lee Petty) was running cars with no sponsors at that particular time. He was running out of his back pocket. Mother kept the books and I think gave him so much money to run the car on. So, me and Dale Inman and another boy went to Columbia for the first race that was run there. I had never been on a race track. I had never worn a helmet or seat belt of any kind. I never raced motorcycles or go-carts or anything like that. I was a raw, raw, raw rookie, being 21 years old. We wound up not crashing, but I think the next three or four races I crashed, though. I thought I was a race car driver. And it just went from there. I was so fortunate to be able to start with the big boys and not have to work our way up."