Saturday, June 4, 1966 – Two-time NASCAR premier series
champion Ned Jarrett announces that he will retire from competition at the end
of the racing season. The 33-year-old from Newton, N.C., has 50 career
victories on NASCAR’s premier circuit and won series championships in 1961 and
’65. At the time, he said he planned to compete in a limited number of races
for the remainder of the ’66 racing season.
• Jarrett did make several more starts that season and closed his career with 352 career starts.
• Two issues and one opportunity helped speed up Jarrett’s decision to step out of the car at a relatively young age and while still competitive – a back injury caused by a crash on the race track and the Ford factory pullout at the end of ’65 were both concerns. But he called the opportunity to work with the marketing group Research With Products too good to pass up.
• In addition to his two premier series championships,
Jarrett also won NASCAR Sportsman crowns in 1957 and ’58. He was often referred
to as “Gentleman Ned Jarrett” for his demeanor behind the wheel.
• Jarrett also enjoyed a successful broadcast career after
he retired from competition. He worked with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and
CBS TV and had his own syndicated radio show.
Thursday, June 3, 1965 – Dick Hutcherson collected his
second career win and second of the season when he took the checkered flag in
the Music City 200 at Nashville (Tenn.) Speedway. The Keokuk, Iowa native
finished a lap ahead of Ned Jarrett and J.T. Putney in his No. 29 Holman-Moody
• His first full NASCAR premier series season saw Hutcherson win nine times and finish second in points to Jarrett.
• Hutcherson competed in just four races the previous year before running full-time two of three seasons. He was ruled ineligible for Rookie of the Year, however, because he had previously competed for a sanctioning body other than NASCAR.
• Jarrett scored the runner-up finish at Nashville in spite of having to borrow a car to compete. His No. 11 Ford had been destroyed the night before in a crash while en route to the track. Jarret drove a car owned by independent Jabe Thomas.
• The race was the first at the speedway to be run under the lights.
• Hutcherson retired after the 1967 season and oversaw the Holman-Moody operation that carried David Pearson to championships in 1968-69.
• He eventually co-founded the Hutcherson-Pagan organization along with former racer Eddie Pagan. The highly successful company built and repaired race cars and chassis.
• Hutcherson twice competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 1966 with Ronnie Bucknum and again in ’76 with co-drivers Dick Brooks and Marcel Migiot.
Sunday, May 24, 1964 – Jim Paschal drove his No. 14 Petty
Enterprises Plymouth to his 19th career victory, but the World 600
was marred by a multicar crash that left NASCAR idol Glen “Fireball” Roberts
hospitalized with burns over much of his body. Roberts was caught up in an
incident that also involved Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett. When his No. 22 Ford
hit the wall, back end first, it ruptured the fuel tank and flipped over.
Jarrett helped free Roberts from the burning car.
• Roberts was NASCAR’s first true superstar, talented, successful and popular. Reports at the time said the Florida native was preparing to step away from competition and work with a popular beer company even though he himself did not drink.
• At the time of his injuries, Roberts had 33 wins in NASCAR’s premier series, including victories in the Southern 500 and Daytona 500.
• Roberts, burned over 75 percent of his body, passed away 39 days after the accident from pneumonia and blood poisoning.
• Paschal finished four laps ahead of teammate Richard Petty. It was one of only two career wins on a track larger than one mile for the North Carolina native.