Phoenix: Dale Jarrett to be honored

1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion to take tribute laps DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2003) -- This weekend, the Victory Lap tribute program continues by honoring Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup champion. On Sunday...

1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion to take tribute laps

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2003) -- This weekend, the Victory Lap tribute program continues by honoring Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup champion. On Sunday prior to the Checker Auto Parts 500, Jarrett will be spotlighted at a track where he's usually successful, Phoenix International Raceway.

Jarrett, who has competed in NASCAR since 1984, has eight top-10 finishes in 15 races at PIR, including a win in 1997. Sunday, he seeks his second win of the 2003 season, and second career win in Phoenix. Driving the No. 88 UPS/Victory Lap Ford, Jarrett will take his ceremonial laps prior to the green flag and start of the race.

"Obviously, as a result of the success we had during the 1999 Winston Cup Series season we get to really be part of this tribute to Winston and R.J. Reynolds," said Jarrett, a three-time Daytona 500 champion with 31 career victories.

"This is an opportunity for us to pay tribute to them and all they have done to get our sport to where it is today, and what they have done for me personally. The people at Winston have been great friends and they will be missed."

Jarrett, who grew up and still resides in Hickory, N.C., is the son of two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Ned Jarrett.

While growing up, Jarrett concentrated on other athletic endeavors. In high school he was quarterback on the football team, forward on the basketball team and shortstop on the baseball team. He also was offered a golf scholarship by the University of South Carolina.

His racing career, surprisingly, didn't begin until age 20, when Jarrett convinced his father to loan him money to buy an engine, and later drove the car to a ninth-place finish on a tiny .363-mile short track in North Carolina. Since then, Jarrett has become one of the more well-rounded performers in NASCAR, continually proving the ability at all different types of race tracks. This consistency led to his championship in 1999, where he scored an impressive 24 top-5 finishes in the 34-race season.

The NASCAR Victory Lap Tribute is making its seventh stop of the season, paying tribute to RJR and the Winston brand for 33 years with NASCAR, as well as past NASCAR Winston Cup Series champions. Past champions such as Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, and Darrell Waltrip have already been honored, as well as active champions Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and Bill Elliott, among others.

The NASCAR Victory Lap program makes its final two stops over the next two weeks. At North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C., Bobby Labonte and Benny Parsons will be honored. At the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., reigning series champion Tony Stewart and seven-time titlist Richard Petty will be honored.

-nascar-

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Ned Jarrett , Richard Petty , Benny Parsons , Bobby Allison , Cale Yarborough