Determined to Win
YARBOROUGH FIRST TO CLAIM 3 CONSECUTIVE TITLES
Having grown up just miles from the storied 1.366-mile superspeed-
way, Cale Yarborough entered his first NASCAR race at South Caro-
lina’s Darlington Raceway on Sept. 2, 1957. Yarborough went on to
claim three series championships and 83 victories in 560 starts.
Born in Timmonsville, South Carolina, on March 27, 1939, Yarborough is the oldest of three boys
born to Julian and Annie Yarborough. His
family made their living through owning a
local store and farming tobacco and cotton.
After his father died in a private plane crash
during the late 1940s, young Cale began
working hard to help his mother manage the
Yarborough famously slipped under a
fence to see the inaugural Southern 500
at Darlington Raceway in September 1950
at age 11. He began his fledgling driving
career with one event in 1957. Seven years
later in 1965, Yarborough logged his first
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Georgia’s
Valdosta Speedway for team owner Kenny
Myler. The victory shifted his career into high
gear, prompting several of the sport’s iconic
team owners, such as Banjo Matthews, Glen
Wood, Junior Johnson, M.C. Anderson and
Harry Ranier, to hire him as their driver.
While driving for Johnson from 1973
through 1980, Yarborough collected 55 of
his 83 Cup Series victories and champion-
ships in 1976, ’77 and ’78, becoming the
first driver to win three consecutive titles in
NASCAR’s premier series.
Yarborough also drove Indy cars with
limited success in 1971 and 1972 for team
owner Gene White. He made two starts in
the Indianapolis 500, finishing 16th in 1971
and 10th the following year.
In addition to his racing, Yarborough
engaged in various business ventures, including his longstanding Honda dealership
in Florence, South Carolina. His present-day
passion is his 4,000-acre farm and a six-acre lake he built himself at age 76.
ONE OF YARBOR-
ough’s greatest accomplishments as a NASCAR driver
came on March 25, 1973,
during the Volunteer 500
at Bristol Motor Speedway.
While driving for team owner
Richard Howard, he miraculously led every lap of the
500-lap race and logged his
15th of 83 series victories.
DURING A CAREER
that spanned 31 years, Yarborough was considered
to be one of the sport’s
toughest and most determined drivers. He had a
reputation for driving cars
to better positions than
expected, giving his very
best effort during every lap
of the race.
IN 1978, THE YEAR OF
Yarborough’s third Sprint
Cup Series championship, he
logged 10 victories, 23 top-five
finishes, 24 top-10s results
and claimed eight pole positions while driving for Junior
Johnson. He also enjoyed a 10-
win season four years earlier in
1974 in Johnson’s famed No. 11
I’VE BEEN BLESSED TO HAVE
ENJOYED A VERY SUCCESSFUL
NASCAR CAREER, BUT I DEFINITELY
DIDN’T DO IT ON MY OWN. I HAD
SOME GREAT PEOPLE HELP ME
ALONG THE WAY.
QUIET TOUGH SMART
BEN WHI TE COUR TESY OF NASCAR