People keep asking Dale Jarrett when he will start counting points instead of racing for wins. But the second-generation Winston Cup star, driving hard toward what would be his first series title, isn't about to go conservative behind the wheel of his Robert Yates Ford.
"I don't think that we can race what you would call conservatively," Jarrett said. "Smart, yeah. I'm going to try to be smart on the racetrack. But I don't think that makes it conservative."
Jarrett goes into Sunday's UAW-GM-Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway outside Charlotte holding a lead of 251 points over Bobby Labonte who won the pole for the race, and 276 points over Mark Martin who will start fourth in the 43-car event that he won last year. Jarrett qualified ninth for the race.
But some of the focus on the championship battle has been blurred this week in the wake of two bombings at area Lowe's Improvement Warehouse stores. With Lowe's owning the naming rights to the track, security has been beefed up for Sunday's race.
"We have a tremendous amount of security," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, general manager of the track. "Some of it you see, and some of it you don't see. With the confidence of having things covered, it enables us to feel good about the safety of the people coming in."
The recent troubles, including a bomb threat phoned in to the speedway a week ago, has apparently not affected ticket sales as the usual race-day crowd of about 170,000 is expected.
BUSCH SERIES: Michael Waltrip won a Busch Series race for the first time in six years, taking the lead midway through the final lap of the All Pro Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Waltrip held off Mike McLaughlin, the defending champion, who ran out of gas on the final lap.