Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jarrett behind the mic

Dale Jarrett continued his father’s success on the race track by winning 32 race and a Cup championship during his storied career. With that racing career now over, he once again follows his famous father to the broadcasting booth to begin commentating full-time for ESPN at Texas next weekend.

But don’t call this a retirement for the younger Jarrett after driving in his final Cup points race at Bristol last week. He’s not completely walking away from the sport, although he certainly will have more time to golf. But you’ll still find him in the garage area each weekend as he prepares to be the color commentator alongside Jerry Punch and Andy Petree.

“That’s pretty much as much demanding on my time as what driving the car was,” Jarrett told reporters during a March 11 conference call. He’s talking about the season’s final stretch when he will broadcast 17 Cup and Nationwide races during the same weekend.

His broadcasting premier came last year as he called a few Busch races. This season, Jarrett pushes Rusty Wallace out of the booth and expects to transition smoothly with the all-Tar Heel broadcasting crew.

“It’s really fun to sit up and be able to look at the races in a totally different atmosphere and get a different perspective of what’s really happening and how these guy go about doing what they do,” Jarrett said.

The emotions undoubtedly will be different for Jarrett when he sits behind the mic for that first Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis in July. His experiences behind the wheel are unsurpassed by many drivers and the crisp dialogue with Punch and Petree is refreshingly similar to the old ESPN crew of Bob Jenkins, Ned Jarrett and Benny Parson.

No comments: