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May 23, 2011
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
MIKE JOY: Ned Jarrett personified everything that is good about the sport of NASCAR, the values of faith, family, competitiveness, character. So many of us have been led by his example and been enriched by his advice. A Hall of Fame career certainly, but there's always been so much more to Ned than that.
MIKE JOY: NASCAR has always been and continues to be such a great family sport. Having family members involved in an evening like this can certainly make this ceremony even more special for an inductee.
As with the Pettys the Jarrett kids followed their father into the sport, publicity, racecar driving, radio and TV broadcasting.
Here to induct Ned Jarrett are Patti Makar, Glenn Jarrett, and NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Dale Jarrett.
DALE JARRETT: We would like to begin by saying congratulations to the other inductees from the Jarrett family. Job well done.
We believe our dad has been followed in more facets of NASCAR racing than any other person. He spent more than 50 years promoting and talking to anyone and everyone about NASCAR. He has been a track owner and promotor, a radio commentator, sponsor representative, TV analyst, a huge fan, and of course a driver.
Speaking of drivers, our dad was a fierce competitor, winning on dirt, asphalt, short tracks or superspeedways. His career as a driver was relatively short but very impressive. He won two sportsman titles, running over 60 races a year, two Cup titles in 50 races. As you just heard, one of those 50 races was the 1955 Southern 500 winning by a record 14 laps. All of this by the age of 34, there was a lot more to come.
GLENN JARRETT: That's right, Dale. Don't forget, dad also won a convertible race in 1959. I still can't believe I didn't get that convertible car was a graduation present (laughter).
In addition to his driving accomplishments, dad went on to a very successful career in broadcasting. Also who can forget his call at Daytona in July 1984 with President Reagan in the booth on MRN radio with Richard Petty's 200th win. And of course we all remember that last lap of the that 1993 Daytona 500 that you just saw on CBS, with dad urging Dale to keep that 3 car behind ya, don't let him get under you. For once Dale listened and went on to get one of his first of his three Daytona 500 victories.
Dad worked tirelessly throughout his entire career to promote NASCAR. Since taking the Dale Carnegie course, the Dale Carnegie self-improvement course after winning the 1961 Cup title, he has made over 900 talks to various groups around our country.
Dad also gave countless hours to charity, the United Way, the Salvation Army, and especially the American Cancer Society, for which he has hosted a very successful golf tournament for the last 25 years.
He has received more than 100 awards from charities and civic groups over those years. He has been elected to 15 different halls of fame. Count 'em, 15. But there's one more that we, his children, also are sure that he is in, and that is the Hall of Fame for the best dads in the world.
All the time that dad was busy racing, sometimes more than a hundred times a year, working long hours on radio and TV, making speeches, giving selflessly to charities and civic groups, he never, ever forgot his family. He was always there to watch Dale and I playing sports, and Patti doing all the things that girls do, I still haven't figured out what all those things were. But basically just being an awesome father.
Most of our favorite memories are the times that we spent with our dad. And tonight is the ultimate memory. Congratulations, dad. We are so proud of you.
We've saved the best for last. Here is our sister, Patti Makar.
PATTI MAKAR: Thanks, Glenn.
In addition to all those accomplishments, endeavors and distinctions, the Lenoir-Rhyne College of Hickory presented dad with the honorary degree of doctorate of humane letters. This honor was given to him in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the sport of auto racing as well as to his community.
Driver, broadcaster, sponsor/spokesperson, promoter, our dad wore many hats. Neither my brothers nor myself ever had dreams of following in his footsteps, we all did in some way. The efforts of the three of us combined haven't come close to his accomplishments.
We do hope, dad, that the fact that we've had careers in racing has honored you, for it was your intense love of NASCAR that made it so appealing to each of us and countless others.
While you have devoted most of your life to racing, the sport itself hasn't been your only love. We have witnessed your love of God, of our mother. We have witnessed your love of race fans and of your roots. We have seen your love of competitors and colleagues, all of which has made a positive impact in our lives.
Dad, from your friends, from your fans, from the sport of NASCAR, and most of all from your family, congratulations on a job well done. You are the best.
Please welcome to the stage Ned Jarrett.
On this, the 23rd day of May, 2011, it is our honor to formally induct our father, Ned Jarrett, into the NASCAR Hall of Fame and present this Hall of Fame inductee ring.
NED JARRETT: Wow, this is special. The NASCAR Hall of Fame. Now I'm in it.
God has truly blessed me in so many wonderful ways. He gave me some talent, willpower, strength, and many opportunities to use those attributes. I'm thankful for all of that.
You just witnessed three of the greatest blessings that he's bestowed upon me, my children, Glenn, Dale and Patti. Thank each of you for your love, support, and your part in making this honor very special.
May has been a special month for the Jarrett family. Dale was inducted into the Catawba County Hall of Fame on May 9th, then on May 12th, he was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, then this here tonight.
God's number one blessing to me is my wife Martha. We celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary back in February. Thank you, dear, for your unwavering love of our family and myself. Thank you for the many times and sacrifices that you made to allow me to chase my dreams while you were at home raising the kids and keeping the home fires burning. You have truly been a blessing to me. I appreciate that and I love you.
Martha and I have been blessed with six wonderful grandchildren who are all here tonight. Dale's four children, Jason and wife Christina, who gave us our first great grandchild, Ford, who is two years old. Then there's Natalee, Karsyn, and Zachary. Patti and her husband Jimmy Makar, have 16-year-old twins, Alex and Dillon.
Thank you all for coming tonight and being a part of this. Thank you for your love and support.
I grew up in a Christian home on a farm with three brothers and two sisters. My brothers are all in heaven now, but both of my sisters are here tonight, Joanne and Helen. Thank you for your love and support and from your family as well.
I want to thank the France family, Bill, Sr., Bill, Jr., Jim, Lesa and Brian for their tremendous vision in founding NASCAR and their relentless efforts of more than 60 years of growing the sport to what it has come today with the leadership of president Mike Helton.
Without all of your leadership and dedication, we wouldn't be here tonight. Thanks to the voting panel for electing me into the second class. This is far more than I ever dreamed of to go in with greats like David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Bud Moore, and Lee Petty. That means a lot to me. I had the good fortune of racing against all of them, and also with Richard Petty and Junior Johnson during my racing career, and I appreciate you guys allowing me to win a couple races along the way and a couple of championships. Thank you for that.
When it was announced several years ago there would be a NASCAR Hall of Fame, when my name was among the original 25 nominees, my prayer then was to live long enough to be elected. I had to work hard on my health to be able to be here and enjoy this tremendous honor. I thank God for answering those prayers.
As many of you I broke my back in a wreck at Greenville, South Carolina, in June of 1965. With the help of a lot of good doctors and a lot of people, we were able to keep going and finish out the season and went on to win the championship. I'm very grateful for that. I've been paying a price for that now. I walk around with a broken back. The fracture in lumbar five never healed. It's come back to haunt me, too.
I have to do exercises and therapy every single day of my life to stay mobile. But that's okay, because that helps me to keep my heart and vascular system in good shape.
You know, God has a way of keeping things in perspective.
I really thought it would be several years down the road before I would stand much of a chance of getting into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, especially when you consider all the great people who have come through NASCAR and done so much for our sport and are so deserving to be in this Hall of Fame.
I want to thank the fans who voted for me and have supported the Jarrett family over the years. Thanks to all who have called, written, and offered face-to-face congratulations. I appreciate all of that more than I can tell you. Each thought and message was very special.
My biggest congratulations I guess came when we were going to church the next Sunday after the election back in October. When we walked in, the greeters were congratulating Martha, I was coming behind her, and the lady congratulated her on me getting into the Hall of Fame. Martha said, We appreciate that very much, but he's been in my Hall of Fame for over 50 years. I appreciate that, honey.
I've had wonderful support from our community. I want to thank Danny Hearn, the president of Catawba County Chamber of Commerce for organizing a bus load of community leaders who are here tonight. Included in those are the Hickory mayor, Rudy Wright, who at their last council meeting had a proclamation, and today has been Ned and Dale Jarrett Day in Hickory, North Carolina.
Conover mayor Lee Moritz at their last council meeting in Conover had a proclamation, gave Martha and I the key to the city.
Don Beaver and his wife Vicky are here tonight. He owns the Rock Barn Golf and Spa, the Charlotte Knights, Hickory Crawdads, involved in all phases of sports. We appreciate his friendship and being here tonight.
Jim Correll, the executive director of the Greater Hickory Classic, a Champions Series event which comes up June 6th through the 12th. John Irving, one of my crew chiefs over the years, and a guy who was really like a fourth child to Martha and I, we appreciate your love and support, John, over the years.
Bondy Long, who was my car owner in 1964 and 1965, gave me some great racecars. We were able to win 15 races in '64, and 13 in '65 along with the championship.
I want to thank Rex White, the 1960 champion of NASCAR and Chevrolet. Rex didn't know it at the time, maybe he didn't know it today, but he kept my career alive. My first year of competition was in the Grand National series in 1960. I ran that year on borrowed money. I was at the end of my rope, couldn't go any farther. Chevrolet was looking for a young driver to bring into their fold, and Rex White recommended me. So they hired me to drive for Chevrolet along with the help of Len and BT Holloway down in Florida. That kept my career alive.
I want to thank Ford Motor Company. When they came back into racing in 1963, they brought me along as one of four drivers that they would support. So we had a great career. I'm proud to stand here tonight and tell you that of the 50 races that I won, 43 of them were in Ford cars, which makes me, forgive me for boasting, that's the most races any driver has won in a Ford car in NASCAR competition. That's something I'm very proud of. Thank you.
I want to thank Coca-Cola for having me and the entire Jarrett family as part of the original Coca-Cola racing family members. I want to thank Tim Shannon and the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure for allowing me to be a part of that organization, to be able to see the smile on people's faces when they get out of a real NASCAR.
Bill Block, racing icon, who has a new car out, a 1965 Ford, being sold right here in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, as well as other places.
I want to thank MRN radio for all they did for my career over the years.
CBS Sports, Mike Joy and Ken Squier meant so much to me and were such a big help to me during my career there.
I want to thank ESPN for the 18 or more years I had with them along with Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons, and Jerry Punch.
Barney Hall with MRN, Barney, thank you for all you've done for me over the years.
I want to thank Winston Kelley and his staff at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the job they have done here in the one year of its existence. It already is the greatest Hall of Fame there is in America. Thank you for what you've done to get it done at this point.
I want to thank Karen Davis, Amber Wells, and Kristen Saine who have helped us through this the last six or eight months in every detail in working out things to make it comfortable for we and our families to be inducted tonight.
If I had not taken the Dale Carnegie course, I'm sure I would not be standing here tonight. I want to thank the organization, Wade Powell who is here tonight, Linda, I'm sorry she couldn't be with us, she's ill, also Mr. and Mrs. Earl Taylor who are in the audience tonight are with Dale Carnegie.
Some of my golfing buddies are here tonight, and I appreciate that. Dennis Kincaid, and a lot of my buddies from Catawba Country Club. I appreciate you being here tonight and your support.
I want to thank the SPEED Channel for taking this live to fans everywhere and for allowing them to share in this very special evening.
Finally, I'm humbled by this huge honor. I don't take it lightly. I am so pleased the voting panel looked at all the various things I was privileged to do in this sport. I'm proud of my driving career, what we were able to accomplish on the racetrack in a relatively short period of time.
I'm equally as proud to have been able to get on the ground floor of broadcasting races and cherish my time as a promoter at the Hickory Motor Speedway for nine years. I am thankful for all three of those distinct careers.
Thank you for being here this evening. Thank you for this tremendous honor. God bless each of you and God bless America.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports