Coffee with Kyle: Ned and Dale Jarrett discuss family’s racing beginnings

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Ned Jarrett wasn’t raised in a racing family.

He was brought up in the saw mill town of Newton, North Carolina, and became fond of racing after his father Homer took him to races in North Wilkesboro and Charlotte.

The 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and his son Dale Jarrett recounted their family’s racing origins in the latest edition of Kyle Petty’s “Coffee with Kyle.”

“When they started building the Hickory Speedway it was a big thing in the community,” Ned Jarrett told Petty. “You’d go down to the country story and all those farmers and saw millers were sitting around … and they’d say, ‘Boy, wait until they get that thing built. I’ll go up there and show them how to drive.’

“So I worked it out.”

Jarrett was present in the first race held at the short track in 1951, thanks to him winning half-interest in a car through a poker game.

Though he failed to let his dad know.

“My dad was a well-respected man in the community,” Jarrett said. “He shouldn’t see where his son is participating with that group of people.”

“That group” included various bootleggers.

Jarrett kept racing and left his father in the dark through a scheme where he would compete under his racing partner’s name. That scheme ended when they finally “lucked up and won a race” and word spread.

“My dad heard about it and he said, ‘Ok, if you’re so determined to drive one of those things use your own name and get credit for any accomplishments that you may have along the way,'” Jarrett said.

By the end of his Hall of Fame career in 1966, Jarrett accumulated 50 Cup wins and two championships (1961, 1965).

In that time he was also raising a family of three, including two sons.

In a vintage Ford promotional video featuring him and his family, Jarrett said his oldest son Glenn “really does not have a desire to become a race driver.” When it came to his middle child, Dale, Ned remarked that he “seems destined to become a race driver.”

Dale was 9 at the time.

“We understood the life and what it was about,” Dale Jarrett said. “In those days they were racing 70-some races a year. It was three and four races a week at times. … When he was there, it was time that we cherished when he was at home.”

Watch the above video for the entire first part of the interview.

NASCAR America: Turning Point in Phoenix Cup race

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On Monday’s NASCAR America, analysts Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte and Kyle Petty discussed what was the turning point in Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway.

To all three, restarts – particularly two of the last three – were the turning point that allowed Kyle Busch to win and Ryan Blaney to still finish third despite running low on both fuel and tire tread in the closing laps.

This is it, the third to last restart,” Burton said, looking at the video. “Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch line up and in front of them is Kevin Harvick, on two tires. On this restart, Kevin Harvick gets put in the middle and now he’s in no-man’s land and is just going backwards.”

Letarte, meanwhile, pointed to the second-to-last restart following a single-car incident where Ryan Preece hit the wall, where Harvick fell back even further. On the surface, it was just two spots, but in reality, it likely cost Harvick any remaining chance to win.

“It’s just two spots, how bad can two spots be?” Letarte asked. “They come out on the backstretch, an accident comes out with Preece, the caution comes out and that’s an entire row. (Losing) two spots on a restart makes a huge difference because that sets them up for the next restart and now he’s (Harvick) behind Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch.”

Added Kyle Petty, “Yes, (Harvick is) behind them, and on that restart, watch where that row goes, watch where Blaney and where Kyle Busch goes, and then watch the 4 car of Kevin Harvick. He’s not so much in no-man’s land, they just split him on both sides, which just totally takes him out.”

Burton chimed back in, adding:

(Harvick) said his car just didn’t go on two tires,” Burton said. “Blaney on the outside makes the move, then Harvick on the bottom gets into (Jimmie) Johnson and that slows his momentum. Then watch both sides of him, inside and outside, they split him and now his momentum is dead and you’re now in the middle driving into Turn 3 at Phoenix and that’s trouble. In those two restarts … Kevin Harvick, because of his two tires, his car not driving well, didn’t like the way it drove, got put in a bad spot. Boom, right there, his chance to win the race is gone.”

Letarte wrapped up the analysis by putting everything in perspective and why Harvick fell short and finished ninth: “Every driver said track position (was key during the race). Two restarts, eight positions (lost), game over. You’re not going to make that back.”

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NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Phoenix weekend, IndyCar recap

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, featuring a recap of this past weekend’s Monster Energy Cup Series and Xfinity Series races at ISM Raceway.

NASCAR on NBC’s race team of Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte, the “Mayor” Jeff Burton, and auto racing icon Kyle Petty host tonight’s show, and will examine Kyle Busch’s busy weekend in Phoenix, in which he took the checkered flag in both races.

Nate Ryan will also join the show to talk about Sunday’s IndyCar season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida, won by Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Route finalized for 25th Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America

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The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America has announced its official route and celebrity riders for this year’s motorcycle journey to raise funds for the Victory Junction Camp.

The charity ride will celebrate its 25th anniversary with its longest route yet, starting in Seattle, Washington, on May 3 and ending in Key Largo, Florida, on May 11.

Petty and 250 participants, including more than 30 new riders, will travel through 11 states and cover nearly 3,700 miles to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction, a camp dedicated to providing life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

Here is the schedule and route:

  • Day 1, Friday, May 3 – Seattle, Washington to Ontario, Oregon
  • Day 2, Saturday, May 4 – Ontario, Oregon to Orem-Provo, Utah
  • Day 3, Sunday, May 5 – Orem-Provo, Utah to Glenwood Springs, Colorado
  • Day 4, Monday, May 6 – Glenwood Springs, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Day 5, Tuesday, May 7 – Santa Fe, New Mexico to Childress, Texas
  • Day 6, Wednesday, May 8 – Childress, Texas to Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana
  • Day 7, Thursday, May 9 – Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana to Pensacola Beach, Florida
  • Day 8, Friday, May 10 – Pensacola Beach, Florida to Tampa, Florida
  • Day 9, Saturday, May 11 – Tampa, Florida to Key Largo, Florida

Participants in this year’s ride include former NASCAR drivers Richard Petty, Harry Gant, Hershel McGriff and Donnie Allison; current NASCAR driver David Ragan; former Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR driver Max Papis; former NFL great and Heisman Trophy winner (1982) Herschel Walker; Heisman Trophy winner (1980) and Super Bowl champion (XXII) George Rogers; and NBC Sports NASCAR personalities Krista Voda, Rutledge Wood and Rick Allen.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since the Ride started,” Kyle Petty said in a release. “What started as just a few friends riding motorcycles to racetracks around the country has turned into something so much bigger than I could’ve ever imagined.

“Because of our sponsors, fans and the people who participate in this Ride, whether they’re veteran participants or first-timers, so many deserving kids get to have the time of their life at Victory Junction each year.”

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Tune into NASCAR America’s Motormouths 5-6 p.m. ET today on NBCSN

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN features our weekly “Motormouths” episode.

Rutledge Wood hosts with Kyle Petty and Steve Letarte as they look at the storylines heading into this weekend’s racing at Atlanta, as well as give their opinions on this week’s NASCAR on NBC Power Rankings.

Motormouths features a light-hearted approach to the traditional show, and includes regular opportunities for fans to call in and speak with hosts, analysts, drivers and other guests live on TV.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.