Dale Jarrett's Last Hurrah

Thayne HallyburtonCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2008

We all knew this day would come, as it comes for all major athletes in sports.

The day Gretzky retired he had this enormous ovation in New York and it took him 45 minutes to undress out of his gear. Who can forget Michael Jordan's press conference not once, not twice, but three times and of course the recent announcement that football great Brett Favre has called it quits in a tear-filled press conference.

Unfortunately the NASCAR community did not get the chance to give Dale Earnhardt his proper send off but now they get a chance to do it to one of the true greats, Dale Jarrett. A second generation driver who dazzled NASCAR fans for 24 years at the sport's highest level.

Jarrett, in his prime, was one of the best the sport had to offer, even winning a points championship in 1999. Perhaps, his most incredible feat was winning a race, each year consecutively, for eleven straight years.

DJ, all together, took 32 checkered flags, three of them were the crown jewel of the series, the Daytona 500, ranking him 20th on the all time wins list in NASCAR's top series.

Dale's last victory was in 2005 at Talladega and since then he has struggled to even make races, but this year he has had an average finish of 28th through the first four races.

Dale will turn the #44 over to David Reuttiman after the Food City 500 at Bristol this weekend and in doing so will be ending his illustrious career.

Dale's last ride will come in the #44, Michael Waltrip Racing, UPS sponsored, Toyota.

But I will always remember him as the guy that wanted to race the truck.