KANSAS CITY, Kan. – NASCAR veteran Dale Jarrett has offered up a number of different scenarios to sponsor UPS and his Michael Waltrip Racing team for next season that include the possibility of Jarrett running a partial schedule or getting out of the car altogether.
Jarrett, who has failed to qualify for 10 of the season’s 29 races in his No. 44 Toyota, said Saturday he approached UPS about two months ago and offered several scenarios for next season. Jarrett has one year left on his current contract to run the No. 44.
“We want to be able to make MWR better. The biggest thing mainly is what’s best for UPS. That’s my main concern. I have a tremendous relationship there and have been very fortunate to have the best sponsor in the business here at the end of my career,” Jarrett said.
“What do they want to see for next year? All of the options include from one race to 36 if they want me to stay around, which is what our agreement is to drive the entire season next year. We are looking at what else might be available.”
Jarrett, who has received good reviews for the TV broadcast work he has been doing for ESPN and ABC this season, said a potential TV role will not determine his future.
“I enjoy the TV work, but that is in no way a determining factor on what I do as far as driving the race car. Those decisions will be made after I decide exactly how long I’m going to drive,” Jarrett said. “I’m to that point now where I know I’m at the end of (my career). I have a whole different outlook on things now.
“My mindset is now that if they tell me we’re running the Daytona 500 and then do something different from that point, I’d be perfectly happy with that. If they say our program is built around you and our people really want you to run all 36 races, I can do that, too.”
Asked what he would like to see “in a perfect world” Jarrett replied, “Our perfect world is what is best for UPS. I just truly want what is best for them. That’s how the whole thing got started. It came from by end. ... It would be a mutual decision and it’s not the case they are forcing me to do something.”