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February Hall Pass Newsletter

By Rick Strunk and Helen Ross, 03/01/22, 9:30AM EST


This Month's Hall Pass Newsletter



Our February Newsletter includes a great feature story about NCSHOF member Dale Jarrett,  a look at how several motor sports inductees in the Hall are keeping it "All In The Family," as well as other information.  We hope you enjoy it!


Dale Jarrett -- NCSHOF Member of the Month

NCSHOF Member Dale Jarrett


       Dale Jarrett won a grand total of $35 the first time he drove a race car in competition.  

       The 20-year-old and two of his high school buddies tinkered with a 1968 Chevy Nova and got it ready for the Limited Sportsman race. It wasn’t an auspicious beginning -- he started last among 24 cars because they hadn’t gotten to Hickory Motor Speedway in time to qualify. 

       Even so, Jarrett finished ninth with his father, Ned, a two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, watching in the stands. It was then that Jarrett knew he definitely wanted to go into the family business. 

       “I went up and told him, Look, I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but this is exactly what I’ve been looking for and what I want to do,” he told PGATOUR.COM in 2017. “That was from one 25-lap race that I decided this is for me.”

       Jarrett also harbored thoughts of playing golf professionally, though. He got the bug when he was 8 years old and the guys in his dad’s shop took a broken 2-wood and fitted it to him. He broke par for the first time at 14 and led his high school team to three conference titles.

       Born in Newton, he was an outstanding athlete at Newton-Conover High School, also a standout in football and basketball there. But Jarrett was so good at golf, in fact, that South Carolina offered him a scholarship. He turned it down at what he called the 12th hour.

       “I didn’t feel like I would give the studying the respect it deserved,” Jarrett told The Daily Gamecock in 2015. “My parents would’ve preferred me going after golf. In the back of my mind, I wanted to give racing a try. 

       Turns out that was the right decision for Jarrett, who is a single digit handicapper who once got down to a plus-1.

       Jarrett raced from 1984 to 2008, making 668 starts, grabbing 16 poles and winning 32 times, which ranks him 21st all-time. He had a total of 163 top-five and 260 top-10 finishes, as well. 

       He competed against the legends of the sport, too – drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough, to name a few.

       Jarrett won three Daytona 500s, holding off Earnhardt in 1993 and ’96 and Jeff Burton in 2000 – with his father, known as “Gentleman Ned” on the network call for all three. He also won the Brickyard 400 twice and the 1996 Coca-Cola 600.   

       Jarrett joined his father as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion in 1999. He also finished among the top five in the year-long competition on six other occasions.

       The 2009 Food City 500 was Jarrett’s final start. He was recognized at the pre-race driver’s meeting and given a collage of photos by then-NASCAR president Mike Helton. His peers gave him a standing ovation. 

       “Enjoy this,” Jarrett told the men he had raced against so many times. “We all have our time in this, and mine has been fantastic. To me, it has been an honor and a privilege to be able to race in this series and say I raced with and against and sometimes beat the best in the world. Thanks for allowing me to do that. Enjoy it. It’s a great sport, you guys make it what it is.”

       After Jarrett retired from racing, he followed in his father’s footsteps again and is working as a broadcaster. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011 – the latter recognition coming three years after Ned Jarrett got the call.

       Ned Jarrett, who won 50 races during his career, was a 1990 inductee into the NCSHOF. Both Jarretts were selected among NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

       “I knew I would never measure up to what he did,” Jarrett told The Daily Gamecock. “(Being inducted into the HOF) meant more to me than anything else because of Dad.” 




Hall of Fames Ned and Dale Jarrett

            There are several well-known athletic families with multiple members in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, but in no sport represented in the Hall is this “All in the Family” theme more obvious than in motor sports.

            In fact, of the 13 inductees in the NCSHOF who were involved in auto racing in one form or another, six of them represent father-son duos.

            Of course, Dale Jarrett and his dad Ned, who are highlighted in this month’s feature story, are one of those pairs. Both of them were born in Newton, N.C., and Ned won 50 NASCAR races during his career, including an amazing 15 in 1964 alone.  Ned also won two Sprint Cup crowns.

            The pioneering family in this regard is the Petty family from Level Cross, NC, with Lee Petty entering the NCSHOF in 1966 and son Richard just a few years later in 1973. Lee won the first Daytona 500 back in 1959 and won three Grand National (later Sprint Cup) titles in his career.

            Richard is known as “King Richard” for good reason, with seven Cup titles and an amazing 200 victories in an unparalleled stint in stock car racing. Among those wins were seven checkered flags in the Daytona 500.

            The most recent members of the same racing family in the Hall are Dale Earnhardt and his son, Dale Jr, natives of Kannapolis.  The elder Earnhardt was inducted into the NCSHOF in 1994 and won seven Cup titles in his career, becoming one of the sport’s most popular drivers. Dale Jr. entered the NCSHOF in 2019 and recorded 26 NASCAR victories, including two in the Daytona 500.

            The NCSHOF is certainly an “All in the Family” experience for the Jarretts, Pettys and Earnhardts!


Make Plans For This Year's NCSHOF Banquet!

The newest members of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted on Friday, April 22, 2022, at the Raleigh Convention Center.


Congratulations are in order for Luke Appling, Missouri Arledge, Ronnie Barnes, Henry Bibby, Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, Dan Brooks, Torry Holt, Sam Mills, Timmy Newsome, Dave Robbins, and Tom Suiter. Appling, Arledge and Mills will be inducted posthumously.


This will be the 58th induction ceremony, and more information is available at