Dale Jarrett To Be Inducted Into The NASCAR Hall Of Fame In 2014

Dale Jarrett~

Dale Jarrett to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2014

Very few drivers on the NASCAR circuit can boast the career accomplishments that Dale Jarrett can. He is a 3-time Daytona 500 Champion, ranks 21st on the career wins list with 32 victories, and was the 1999 Sprint Cup Champion. We here at Eat Play Rock celebrate his career and recent addition to the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a look back at his life and career.

Dale Jarrett: The Early Years

Dale Jarrett is a second generation NASCAR driver. His father, Ned Jarrett, is a NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee as well, with 50 career victories (8th on the career victories list) and 2 championships. Dale Jarrett was born in Conover, North Carolina on November 26, 1956. He was a very good golfer coming out of high school, but he declined a golf scholarship to the University of South Carolina in order to follow in his father’s racing footsteps. Dale Jarrett began his racing career in 1977 at the local Hickory Motor Speedway, then a track on the NASCAR circuit.

Dale Jarrett And The Busch Series

After five years competing in the local Limited Sportsman Division at Hickory, Dale Jarrett got the opportunity to move up to what was then called the NASCAR Busch Series, now the Nationwide Series. He drove for Horace Isenhower in 1982, driving the #24 Ford. He finished sixth in the points that year. Although Dale Jarrett would not win a Busch Series title, he would improve his points finishes in each of his first three seasons, finishing fourth in 1984 while also debuting in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now called the Sprint Cup Series). Dale Jarrett finally broke into the win column in the Busch Series in 1986 in Orange County, North Carolina.

Full Time In The Big Leagues

In early 1987, Dale Jarrett made the full-time move to the Winston Cup Series, replacing Tommy Ellis in the #18 Chevrolet. He would finish the season 26th in the points race and second behind Davey Allison for Rookie of the Year honors. Dale Jarrett would race the entire 1989 season for Cale Yarborough but was without a ride in 1990 until Neil Bonnett was injured. Jarrett would take over driving the #21 Citgo Ford Thunderbird for Woods Brothers Racing, where he would remain through the 1991 season, winning his first race in the Winston Cup Series at Michigan International Raceway in 1990.

Helping Out An Upstart Team

Dale Jarrett left Woods Brothers in 1992 to join former NFL coach Joe Gibbs’ young team, driving the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet. In 1993, Dale Jarrett had his best season thus far, with thirteen top five finishes and his biggest victory yet, the 1993 Daytona 500, battling the legendary Dale Earnhardt until the end. He would go on to finish fourth in the points standings.

Dale Jarrett Hits The Big Time

In 1995, Dale Jarrett left Joe Gibbs Racing and joined Robert Yates Racing in the #28 Texaco Havoline Ford, replacing an injured Ernie Irvan. After Irvan returned the following season, Jarrett took over the #88 Quality Care Ford and would begin his dominance, winning NASCAR’s version of the Triple Crown, the Daytona 500, Coca-Cola 600 and the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. In 1997, Dale Jarrett won seven races, but still could only finish second in the points race to Jeff Gordon. He would win four more races in 1998, but wound up third in the points.

Championships and UPS Sponsorship

Finally, in 1999, Jarrett would completely dominate the points race. He took the points lead after his first win of the season and did not look back, winning the Winston (Sprint) Cup Series title over Terry Labonte. ┬áIn 2000, Quality Care withdrew its sponsorship and UPS became Dale Jarrett’s primary sponsor. That led to a series of famous commercials in which a variety of people would tease Dale to race the “brown truck” that UPS is known for using. He would also win the Daytona 500 for the third time.

Dale Jarrett’s Post-Racing Career

Dale Jarrett would come close but never duplicate his 1999 championship season throughout the remainder of his career. He retired from driving in 2008. That same year he joined ESPN as a racing analyst full time. Dale Jarrett will be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in early 2014, his first year of eligibility. He will be joined by Maurice Petty, Tim Flock, Jack Ingram and Fireball Roberts.

Who Do You Think Should Be Inducted Into The NASCAR Hall of Fame?

 

About Jay Crawford

Jay is a die hard sports fan {football and college basketball being his favorites}. His favorite teams are the Carolina Panthers and Tarheels and, of course, his alma mater, the Appalachian Mountaineers. He spends his free time listening to music, especially KISS, Def Leppard, the Eagles and a lot of the newer country music, and watching comic book and action movies. The more special effects - the better.

Comments

  1. Thanks for all the information about Dale Jarrett. I used to watch the NASCAR races for many years but now that Im older they dont interest me as much anymore , tho my grandson and sons watch the races all the time. So I cant really say who my choice would be for in the Hall of Fame – tho my oldie favorite was Richard Petty .

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