One of NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers will lead its current stars to the green flag on Sunday, May 14.
Darlington Raceway announced today that NASCAR Hall of Famer and 1999 NASCAR Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the Goodyear 400. He joins an illustrious list of living legends who will be on hand for the culmination of The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR and the pinnacle of NASCAR’s 75th Anniversary celebration.
“Dale Jarrett is more than just a legendary driver and broadcaster, he’s an incredible ambassador for NASCAR,” said Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp. “Not only does he provide a powerful connection to our past, he also promotes our present and serves as a shining example for our future. We’re thrilled he’ll lead the field to green for the Goodyear 400.”
A year before winning his NASCAR Cup Series championship, Jarrett was named as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers of All Time. He was enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2014 following a 24-year career that included three DAYTONA 500 triumphs and two Brickyard 400 wins.
From 1996-2001, Jarrett was a Darlington force behind the wheel of the iconic No. 88 Ford owned by fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Robert Yates. During that stretch, Jarrett won three NASCAR Cup Series races (1997-98, 2001) and three poles at Darlington, cementing his legacy at The Track Too Tough to Tame.
“I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Darlington Raceway,” said Jarrett, who now serves a NASCAR on NBC broadcaster. “The track is challenging, the fans are passionate and the racing is always fantastic. It was a major achievement to win races there, and I’m grateful to have this opportunity to drive the pace car on this historic day for our sport.”
As part of its 75th Anniversary celebration, NASCAR has invited every living member of its 75 Greatest Drivers list to Darlington Raceway. Many have already RSVP’d, and beginning on Friday, May 12, NASCAR fans will have the opportunity to meet and greet several of those legends at the Track Too Tough to Tame.
Racing begins that night with the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series’ Buckle Up South Carolina 200 and continues Saturday, May 13, with the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Shriners Children’s 200. That sets a splendid table for Sunday’s Goodyear 400, featuring today’s stars of the NASCAR Cup Series and a once-in-a-lifetime tribute to NASCAR’s 75 Greatest Drivers.
Darlington Raceway announced earlier that Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch will wave the green flag, 20 years after their unforgettable side-by-side Darlington battle produced the closest finish in NASCAR Cup Series history.
Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets now at darlingtonraceway.com so they don’t miss out on this historic opportunity.