NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough Dies at 84

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCARNASCAR announced Saturday that stock car racing legend and NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough died at the age of 84.

Yarborough was a three-time champion of what is now known as the NASCAR Cup Series, as well as a four-time winner of the Daytona 500.

Born in Timmonsville, South Carolina, in 1939, Yarborough went on to become one of the winningest drivers in NASCAR history, leading to his induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France honored Yarborough on Sunday in a statement:

“Cale Yarborough was one of the toughest competitors NASCAR has ever seen. His combination of talent, grit and determination separated Cale from his peers, both on the track and in the record book. He was respected and admired by competitors and fans alike and was as comfortable behind the wheel of a tractor as he was behind the wheel of a stock car. On behalf of the France family and NASCAR, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Cale Yarborough.”

Yarborough’s 83 career race wins at the highest level of stock car racing are tied with fellow legend Jimmie Johnson for sixth on the all-time list behind only Richard Petty, David Pearson, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.

He is also one of only two drivers in NASCAR history to win at least three Cup Series titles in a row, doing so from 1976 to 1978. Johnson is the other with five in a row from 2006 through 2010.

Yarborough is also second in NASCAR history in Daytona 500 wins, as his four victories trail only Petty’s seven.

In 1957, Yarborough made his debut for the Grand National Series, which was the precursor to the NASCAR Cup Series, and he remained an active driver through 1988.

His first win came in 1965 at Valdosta Speedway at the age of 26, and he won his final race 20 years later when he was victorious in the 1985 Miller High Life 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

After retiring in 1988 with 83 wins, 319 top-10 finishes and 69 poles to his credit, Yarborough primarily focused on being a NASCAR team owner.

Yarborough ran his team from 1986 until he sold it in 2000 with his lone win coming courtesy of driver John Andretti in the 1997 Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway.


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