Dale Jarrett

Born in 1956 in North Carolina, Dale Arnold Jarrett is a former NASCAR driver and champion. After years of tenacity and persistence, he had built up both his career and reputation in the NASCAR community, making him one of the sport’s more esteemed drivers. Dale Jarrett is the son of Ned Jarrett, a two-time NASCAR Grand National champion and the brother of Jason Jarrett who raced the Busch Series – clearly, racing is in his blood. He is also talented at other sports and was offered a full golf scholarship upon graduating from high school in 1974 – an offer which he declined. Instead he made his way to the racetrack three years later and he officially started racing at his father’s Hickory Motor Speedway. He continued to compete at Hickory in the Limited Sportsman Division before moving up to the NASCAR Busch Series in 1982.

Just two years after his shift to NASCAR, he secured his first Nextel Cup Series at the Martinsville Speedway. One of the biggest breaks of his racing career came in 1990 when he was offered the chance to fill in for Neil Bonnett by the Wood Brothers. A year later at Michigan International Speedway he enjoyed his first win in NASCAR’s top series. In 1992, car owner Joe Gibbs chose Jarrett to drive for his new team ‘Joe Gibbs Racing’. As part of a team with brother-in-law Jimmy Makar, Jarrett won the Daytona 500 with Dale Earnhardt coming in a nail-biting second. Jarrett continued to drive for Gibbs until about 1995 when he was given the opportunity to fill the seat of Ernie Irvan by Robert Yates. At the time he was considering starting his own team and the deal was for one-year only, but when both Jarrett and Yates realised the potential they had if they chose to work together, the two immediately reconsidered. Yates expanded to a two-car operation and Jarrett become the driver of the #88 team. The move was enormously successful and the team went on to win the Bud Shootout at Daytona in 1996, as well as coming second in the Daytona 500. The #88 team also took the Brickyard 400 and finished the year with 17 top-five finishes.

At the end of the 2006 season Dale Jarrett switched his #88 for #44 to drive the UPS Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing. Starting off the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup with pole position for the Budweiser Shootout, he finished 18th out of 21 cars. He was forced to use all five of his provisionals right at the start of the season, resulting in him missing out on eleven races in 2007. Following the 2008 Food City 500 held at Bristol Motor Speedway, Jarrett retired from points racing. His career totals included 668 starts, one championship, 32 wins, 163 places in the top-five, and 260 in the top-ten. He was the second NASCAR driver to win the Brickyard 400 twice, as well as being one of only two drivers to have won the Daytona 500 three times.

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