CONCORD, N.C. - Dale Jarrett managed to keep his emotions in check Friday as he announced he'll retire after running an abbreviated Cup schedule next year.
“It has been, in my mind and my heart, a privilege and an honor to drive a car in this series and to drive for the people I have driven for," said Jarrett, who has 32 career Cup wins and won the 1999 championship.
Jarrett plans to run the Bud Shootout at Daytona and then the first five points races of 2008 - the Daytona 500 followed by races at California, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol. He will then close his career with an appearance in the 2008 all-star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
When Jarrett steps aside from the No. 44 Toyotas, David Reutimann will take over in that car at Michael Waltrip Racing. Reutimann, who now drives the No. 00 Camrys for Waltrip's team, will open the year in a No. 00 Toyota sponsored by Aaron's and then move to the UPS-sponsored ride that Jarrett will vacate.
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Team owner Michael Waltrip said he will have three Cup cars and at least one Busch Series team next year. He said either Josh Wise or Michael McDowell, or perhaps a combination of the two, will drive the No. 00 car after Reutimann leaves it.
Reutimann said he will be grateful to again wear the brown colors of UPS once he gets into the No. 44. Earlier in his driving career, he supplemented his racing by working in the winter months as a "jumper," an assistant to a driver on a UPS delivery truck.
“Now I will finally get to be a driver for UPS,” he said.