Racer Of The Day: Ned Jarrett

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Ned Jarrett won a pair of NASCAR Cup Series championships during his driving career. (NASCAR Photo)
Ned Jarrett won a pair of NASCAR Cup Series championships during his driving career. (NASCAR Photo)

With most of the motorsports world on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve decided to highlight some of the sport’s legends on a daily basis. We begin each story within the pages of National Speed Sport News.

The patriarch of racing’s famed Jarrett family, Ned Jarrett is still one of stock-car racing’s most-popular figures despite the fact he hasn’t raced in nearly 30 years.

Jarrett ran his first race at Hickory (N.C.) Speedway in 1952. His first Grand National race came the following year at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

While he did not become a full-time racer until 1960, Jarrett won the NASCAR Sportsman championship in 1957 and 1958. He went on to win the NASCAR Grand National title in 1961 and 1965. He made 348 Grand National starts, winning 50 races.

Among Jarrett’s biggest victories was winning the 1965 Southern 500 at Darlington when he finished 14 laps ahead of the second-place finisher.

Jarrett retired in 1966 at age 34.

While he spent many years calling races on CBS and ESPN, Jarrett now devotes much of his time following the career of his son, Dale, and grandson, Jason. Ned Jarrett’s other son, Glenn, is also a retired race-car driver.

Ned and Dale Jarrett
Ned Jarrett (left) congratulates his son, Dale Jarrett, after Dale won the 2000 Daytona 500. (NASCAR Photo)