Following in the footsteps of his famous father (Dale), Jason Jarrett has been building some solid credentials on the racetrack. As a matter of fact, his driving talent has landed him a full-time ride for 1999 in the #33 Busch Series car sponsored by Bayer, Alka Seltzer, Visionaire, and Coca Cola. Bace Motorsports out of Charlotte, North Carolina, owns the car.
Among the many races Jarrett participated in during 1998 was the NASCAR Busch Series Challenge race (also called the Hooligan) at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. Unfortunately for him, the result of the race was not what he had in mind, as you can see from this sequence captured by photographer Paul Melhado.
Although a picture is worth a thousand words, we wanted to get Jarrett's take on this sequence of events. Here is what he told us.
"About two laps before the accident we had a restart, and during the restart I got jammed up and had to back off the throttle. Then I got going again and got a good run off Turn 2 and backed off going into 3. On the next lap, I got an even better run off Turn 2 and got up under the #35 (Lyndon Amick) and #04 (Kerry Earnhardt) cars. When I did, we were basically running three-wide down the backstretch, and I was in the inside. As I got to Turn 3, I probably should have stayed on the gas, but I didn't. When I backed out, my right front clipped the left rear of the #35 car and then everything broke loose. I knocked the #35 car into the #04 car, then the #35 began doing a revolution and at one point we were nose to nose.
"While all of this was going on, the #43 car (Kevin Grubb) was carrying so much speed he hit my left rear. At one point all three of us (#35, #11, and #43) were up on the outside wall. The whole thing began to slow down, then my car (#11) and the #43 car wound up nose to tail.
"I don't think any of us ever quit rolling. It just seemed to happen, and then we either drove away or drove into the pit. The #43 and I just drove down into pit road. The crash pancaked my left side, tore up the right front suspension, and knocked the rear end over, so we were finished for the day.
"I don't think anybody got hurt except for my feelings. The way I explained it to Lyndon Amick was, when you get into a stupid situation like that, sometimes you do something stupid."