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Class act: Emotional Jarrett enters NASCAR Hall

January 29, 2014

(Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media)

Conover native. Newton-Conover High School graduate. And now, NASCAR Hall of Famer.

Dale Jarrett received one of auto racing’s most historic of honors Wednesday night during special ceremony in Charlotte.

Jarrett was one of five inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2014, joining Maurice Petty, Edward “Fireball” Roberts, Jack Ingram and Tim Flock.

Country music star Blake Shelton was Jarrett’s presenter at the event, speaking highly of the relationship between the two.

“I hope you drivers realize the kind of impact you have on the lives of everyday, hard-working people, people like my dad, and that's why it's my honor to be here tonight to induct Dale Jarrett into the NASCAR Hall of Fame,” Shelton said.

Jarrett was nearly brought to tears when talking about his father and fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer, Ned.

“My dad has been everything a son would want his father to be — successful, a leader by example, a teacher you can believe in and always there to support me,” Dale said. “My dad was and still is today my hero. That's what really makes this night so very special. I'm joining my father in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.”

In his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, Dale Jarrett won 32 races, recorded 260 top-10s and recorded 16 pole positions.

He has won some of the sport’s most prestigious of races multiple times, including the Brickyard 400 twice (1996, 1999) and the Daytona 500 three times (1993, 1996, 2000).

In 1999, Jarrett etched his name in history as a Winston Cup Series champion.

Dale spoke highly of those who helped shape his now Hall of Fame career.

“I am honored that many of you could join me here tonight, and just know that if we worked together during my 31 years of driving or the last six years in the world of television, I have thought about you and appreciate the opportunity we had to work together,” said Jarrett, who currently works for ESPN. “Your efforts and sacrifices are really the reason I'm here tonight.”

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