So this the last post in the series dedicated to my interview with Dale Jarrett. It’s my last but probably my favorite because I got to ask him about that awesome Valentine’s Day of 1993 when he won his first Daytona 500 by beating Dale Earnhardt. Ned Jarrett, Dale’s father and a former two-time NASCAR champion, was the racing analyst on duty that day and coached his son home to victory.
It’s one of my all-time favorite NASCAR moments and if you don’t remember check out the video below and then read Dale’s response to my question. So sweet!
Me: Your father called your first Daytona 500 win. It was such a huge moment in NASCAR history and in sports television history I think. It was such a great moment; did you ever get a chance to see the footage of your father calling the end of the race?
Jarrett: Yes, I did, yes.
Me: And what was that like for you, to see him?
Jarrett: Oh, more special than I can tell you. Ya know, as a father and son, and as a son in particular, you’re always wanting to do things to please your parents and to try to give them something back for all the time and effort that they’ve made in helping you to get through the early stages of your life and give you opportunities. Even though most parents and certainly mine were like this, they didn’t want any money back or anything like that. That was the best thing I could do was to make them proud and it was a very proud moment for my dad and myself and for my mom. It was just a very special day.
I had no idea at the time of what I was doing, trying to win the Daytona 500, that it was going to become such a special moment for my dad and myself. And actually for a lot of other fathers and sons around the country, we probably get more people to talk to us about that very moment in 1993 than anything else.
I know that a lot of parents and fathers & sons have special times that they can relate to but as far as being on national TV I don’t know that there was anything that comes close to that. I know that there have been other things along the way. I know Bob and Brian Griese in the Rose Bowl, I believe it was a number of years ago where Bob was the commentator and Brian was the quarterback. We actually had the opportunity to talk to them about that and just how special that was.
It was something that we’ll always have and people, again, remember to this day and say a lot, come to us with expressions of just how gratifying it was for them. It was a very, very special day that we’ll always have.