Cale Yarborough, a tenacious driver whose hard-charging style produced 3 NASCAR Cup Series championships, died. Check out his Cause of death .
Cale Yarborough : What happened to | Cause of death | Net worth
Yarborough was born to Julian and Annie Yarborough in the tiny, unincorporated community of Sardis near Timmonsville, South Carolina, the oldest of three sons. Julian was a tobacco farmer, cotton gin operator, and store owner who was killed in a private airplane crash when Cale was twelve years of age.
According to his autobiography Cale, Yarborough attended the second Southern 500 in 1951 as a young spectator without a ticket.
Yarborough was a high school football star at Timmonsville High School and played semi-pro football in Columbia, South Carolina for four seasons and was a Golden Gloves boxer.
He made his first attempt in the Southern 500 as a teenager by lying about his age, but he was caught and disqualified by NASCAR.
In 1957, Yarborough made his debut as a driver at the Southern 500, driving the No. 30 Pontiac for Bob Weatherly, starting 44th and finishing 42nd after suffering hub problems. He ran for Weatherly two years later, and finished 27th.
In 1960, Yarborough ran one race, and had his first career top-fifteen, a fourteenth-place finish at Southern States Fairgrounds.
He again ran one race in 1961, finishing 30th in the Southern 500 driving for Julian Buesink.
What happened to Cale Yarborough
South Carolina racing legend Cale Yarborough died Dec. 31 at McLeod Hospice House in Florence.
The Timmonsville native is closely linked to historic Darlington Raceway, where he made his big-league debut. Darlington honored Yarborough in 2016 by dedicating the garage that he snuck into as a youth in his name.
Yarborough, 84, was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012 as part of the stock-car shrine’s third class of inductees and was a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion.
NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim France called Yarborough one of the toughest competitors ever to compete in NASCAR.
“His combination of talent, grit and determination separated Cale from his peers, both on the track and in the record book. He was respected and admired by competitors and fans alike and was as comfortable behind the wheel of a tractor as he was behind the wheel of a stock car. On behalf of the France family and NASCAR, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Cale Yarborough.”
Hamilton said what set Yarborough apart was his toughness.
“We banged fenders all day long. At the end, he got paid for first,” Hamilton said, according to Yahoo Sports.
“It was his determination. In those days, we didn’t have side glasses or window netting, so you could look over at the other guy going down the straightaway.
“I remember looking over at Cale. Even at 185 miles per hour, you could see the determination in his eyes.”
After retiring in 1988 he owned Cale Yarborough Motorsports, which competed in the Cup Series until 2000, and several agricultural businesses.
NASCAR greats Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Petty and Jimmie Johnson posted their condolences to his family online early on Sunday.
Cale Yarborough cause of death
On December 31, 2023, 84-year-old Yarborough lost his battle with a rare genetic disorder and died that Sunday morning.
The late driver was surrounded by his family when he passed at McLeod Hospice House in his home state.
He is survived by his wife Betty Jo Thigpen and their three daughters; Julie, Kelley, and B.J.
On behalf of NASCAR, chairman Jim France said in a statement: “Cale Yarborough was one of the toughest competitors NASCAR has ever seen.
“It was one of the best days of my life,” he told the crowd of the association’s recognition.
“I always dreamed of ending up where I have ended up tonight.
“Racing is kind of like a big, tall ladder. When you begin, you start off on the bottom step of that ladder, and it’s a long, hard climb to the top.
Following the 1988 NASCAR Cup Series, Yarborough retired at that year’s end.
After he retired, he opened a Honda dealership in Florence, South Carolina.
He owned and operated the dealership until his death.
Cale Yarborough’s extended total assets at the time of his death are $50 Million.
He raced intermittently, on various teams, throughout the late 50s and early 60s.
In 1966, he finally hit his stride, winning six major races that year, and finishing the season 17th in the standings.
Over the course of his 31-year racing career, he had 83 wins, 319 Top Tens, and won 69 pole positions.
He finished in first in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He retired in 1988, and currently owns Cale Yarborough Motorsports.