He earned his 32nd race victory in 2005 and showed he can still be competitive after a couple of poor seasons. Now, Jarrett would like to build on that with the help of new crew chief Richard “Slugger” Labbe and Ford’s new Fusion race car. A good start for the Robert Yates Racing driver would be a win in the season-opening Daytona 500. Jarrett is a three-time winner of NASCAR’s premier event, but has not won it since 2000. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Former NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett has a new crew chief, a new car and a whole lot of hope as he prepares for the 2006 season. The 49-year-old Jarrett is coming off a year in which he made a strong run at qualifying for the 10-race season-ending Chase for the Nextel Cup championship before fading to 15th in the points. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card“You like to think every time you come here you have that opportunity at least, but you look at it and we’ve had kind of a dry spell as far as running well here,” said Jarrett, who sat on the pole and finished 15th in last year’s 500. “We’ve won some poles and things, but that’s not really what we’re after.” Jarrett is taking part in a three-day test for Cup teams this week at Daytona International Speedway, and he said Tuesday he is buoyed by the way things are going for his team. “I believe that with the change to the Fusion that that’s going to allow the Fords to get themselves in a position to be more of a factor in the Daytona 500 this year,” Jarrett said. “I think that I’m correct in saying that a Ford hasn’t won since we did that in 2000, and I think if you look back you probably wont see many laps led by a Ford during that time. “So I believe the Fusion is going to allow us to, again, be more competitive and have that opportunity again. So, I’m excited about it.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!