Throwback: Dale Jarrett Talks About His Life Changing Decision to Join Joe Gibbs Racing with Dale Earnhardt Jr

Published 11/26/2020, 12:23 PM EST
DOVER, DE – SEPTEMBER 30: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


1999 Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett celebrates his 64th birthday today. In addition to that, former NFL coach and NASCAR team owner, Joe Gibbs, celebrated his 80th birthday on Wednesday. In light of this, ex-NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke about the two of them.

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He admitted that he didn’t understand why Dale Jarrett joined Joe Gibbs Racing, which had no foundation. Up until that point, Jarrett had raced for Wood Brothers Racing. Jarrett said, “Certainly one of the two hardest decisions in my professional career to make.

“Without the Wood Brothers, without Eddie Wood making that call in 1990 to put me in that car, I don’t know where my career would have gone.”

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According to Dale Jarrett, he really owes the Wood Brothers for his career. Of course, the 64-year-old insisted that he also fought for chances, but the Wood brothers gave him a massive boost.

What did Dale Jarrett say about Joe Gibbs Racing?

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Had everything not fallen in place, he would have asked himself why he joined a team that a former NFL coach set up. Since JGR was getting supplies from rival team Hendrick Motorsports, it was obviously not top-quality equipment. However, Joe Gibbs was hugely persuasive.

23 Nov 1996: NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett leads in his Quality Care/Ford Credit Ford Thunderbird during the Thunder Special 100 at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka City, Japan. Mandatory Credit: Yukio Yoshimi /Allsport

Obviously, his family had a harder time with the decision, owing to their good rapport. However, Jarrett believed that the Wood Brothers team may have been successful in the past, but were no longer a top team. So, he was willing to gamble with a brand new team and his objective was the Daytona 500.

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Additionally, money played a key role, because JGR offered him more money than what Wood Brothers was offering. In his mind, it seemed like the right call, because his life was always a game of chance. Dale Jarrett revealed that Joe Gibbs told him he had a great sponsor and a partnership with Rick Hendrick. Furthermore, Jarrett had the freedom to pick his crew chief and other crew.

Now, Jarrett is happily enjoying his retirement from the sport, having achieved a lot in his tenure. Without a doubt, he has earned the right to be considered a legend.

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Dhruv George

11987 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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