Well DJ is retiring after this week and he will be missed at MWR. DJ thought about retiring at the end of last season but he new his past champions provisional had the chance to get the 44 UPS car into the top 35 after 5 races. He felt that if he left the 44 in the top 35 and in the hands of David Reutimann that UPS would remain in the top 35 for the season.
It is that type of unselfish attitude that endeared DJ to this sport. No DJ was not the most talked about racer in NASCAR, He wasn't the most talented driver on the circuit either but he was a consistent driver and when need be he could be hard nosed. But mainly he was a driver that gave respect to the sport and his fellow drivers and in turn he received the respect of the sport and its drivers. Dale Jarrett was the driver that brought Joe Gibbs racing to the forefront. I mean, who didn't root for DJ when his dad was calling the 1993 Daytona 500 and it came down to the Dale and Dale show. I know a lot of Earnhardt fans wanted Earnhardt to win but I don't think anyone was disappointed that DJ won and his Dad got to call his victory. Anyone with a son who heard that call knew the pride that Ned had in his son and the accomplishment he just made. Every dad who was watching had to have fought a off a tear because of the joy they felt with Ned.
When Dale got the call to join Robert Yates Racing, he almost didn't go, He felt he owed it to Joe Gibbs to stay around but Joe had so much respect for DJ that he told him to go, that RYR gave him his best chance to win a championship. And that is what he did. As I right this I can only think of one other father son combination that has won a championship and that would be Lee and Richard Petty. Pretty good company if you ask me.
So here's to DJ for an outstand career on the track and I will be looking forward to listening to his call of the race with ESPN this fall.
DJ its been an honor to watch you in this great sport. Thanks