Dale Jarrett was born in Newton, North Carolina. Jarrett is the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Three Daytona 500 trophies. 32 victories in the Sprint Cup Series and 11 in the Nationwide Series. The son of a NASCAR champion.
It’s that lifetime of experience that has led Jarrett to his current profession as a booth analyst for ESPN’s NASCAR coverage.
A talented high school athlete, Jarrett was offered a golf scholarship to the University of South Carolina but chose the path of his father, two-time NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett. He finally began racing at the age of 20, a relatively late start by today’s standards, and quickly proved his mettle behind the wheel.
Jarrett first got behind the wheel at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway and was quickly on his way to the top. In 1982, he became a charter driver in the new NASCAR Nationwide (formerly Busch) Series and finished sixth in points. In 1984, while still a full-time Nationwide Series driver, Jarrett finished 14th in his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He earned his first career Nationwide Series win in August 1986 at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C., and ran his last full NASCAR Nationwide Series season in 1987. That same year, he participated in 24 of 29 NASCAR Cup Series races.
The Newton-Conover, N.C., native earned his first NASCAR Cup Series victory in August 1991 at Michigan International Speedway in a car owned by the famed Wood Brothers. Jarrett captured his first Daytona 500 in 1993 in his second year with Joe Gibbs Racing. He joined forces with Robert Yates Racing in 1995 and won his second Daytona 500 the following year. In 1997, he won a personal-best seven races and finished second in the Cup driver standings before finally putting it all together in 1999 to earn the NASCAR Cup Series championship. He won his third Daytona 500 in 2000.
Dale Jarrett currently works for ESPN/ABC, as lead NASCAR analyst, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series races. Jarrett brings a wealth of racing knowledge from the driver’s seat to the television booth.
Jarrett raced in his final full season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition in 2007. In 2008, he competed in the Daytona 500 and the next four points races of the season. He made his final appearance behind the wheel in that season’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Challenge non-points race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May 2008.
In the 10 NASCAR Cups Series seasons from 1993 through 2002, Jarrett finished the point standings seven times in the top five and once more in the top 10. He earned 29 of his 32 series victories during that span and his three Daytona 500 victories ties him for third all-time with Bobby Allison and Jeff Gordon. In 668 points races since he made his Cup Series debut in 1984, he earned 32 victories, 163 top-five and 260 top-10 finishes, and 16 pole positions.
Jarrett and his father – who worked for ESPN from 1988 to 2000 as an auto racing analyst – are just the second father-son combo to win Cup titles (Lee and Richard Petty were the first to accomplish the feat).
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