According to the Associated Press on Tuesday, NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett of Conover, NC has tested positive for coronavirus. Jarrett is 63 years of age.
There are currently 46, 933 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina and 1181 deaths. Jarrett won the Daytona 500 three times in his career. The victories came in 1993, 1996, and 2000. The 1993 victory came for Joe Gibbs Racing, and the 1996 and 2000 titles came for Robert Yates racing.
In addition to winning the Daytona 500 thrice, Jarrett was the 1999 Winston Cup Series champion and the 1996 Coca Cola 600 winner. The Coca Cola 600 is known for being the longest NASCAR race on the annual schedule as it is 600 miles.
Jarrett won the 1999 Winston Cup Series despite finishing 37th that year at the Daytona 500. During the 1999 NASCAR season, he won the Toyota Owners 400 in Richmond, VA, the FireKeepers Casino 400 in Brooklyn, MI, the Pepsi 400 in Daytona Beach 400, and the Brickyard 400 at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosts IndyCar’s crown jewel, the Indianapolis 500 on an annual basis. Jarrett had 5262 Winston Cup points during the 1999 NASCAR season and had 201 more points than Bobby Labonte of Corpus Christi, TX, who was in second place with 5061 points.
Jarrett is the second high-profile sports athlete to test positive for coronavirus over the past week. The first was Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott of Alton, Illinois, who tested positive on Monday.
Jarrett announced his positive case during NASCAR’s Hall of Fame announcement. Three NASCAR drivers are being inducted into the 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC. They are Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Kannapolis, NC, Mike Stefanik of Springfield, MA, and Red Farmer of Nashville, TN. Of the three inductees, Earnhardt Jr. is the only driver to have won the Daytona 500, as he was victorious in 2004, and again a decade later in 2014.
The 2020 NASCAR season continues on Sunday with the GEICO 500 from the Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, AL. Kevin Harvick of Bakersfield, CA is the current NASCAR Cup Series leader with 463 points.