Cale Yarborough wife, Betty Jo, was beside him during his every victory. The couple has three daughters and were married for 62 years.
On the internet, you can find several photos, black and white and colored of Betty’s celebration beside Cale after his every win. The NASCAR legend said it was a norm to have his wife and kids in the victory lane.
Yarborough died Sunday morning at age 84. The family said Cale was battling a rare genetic disorder. During his time, Cale won the Cup Series titles from 1976-78, making him the lone driver to win three straight NASCAR championships until Jimmie Johnson.
The South Carolina native, Cale, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. He is tied for sixth in all-time victories with Johnson. From Richard Petty to Dale Earnhardt Jr, many have come to give tribute to the racing legend.
Cale Yarborough Wife: Get To Know Betty Jo
Cale Yarborough wife, Betty Jo Thigpen, was married to the NASCAR racer for 62 years. Yarborough was 22 when he tied the knot with Betty, a standard age to start a family.
Most of Cale’s success on the racetrack started after his wedding to Betty. He married in 1961, and two years later, he became a full-time racer with Herman Beam.
Previously, in an interview, Cale said his most significant support system had been his wife. The driver met Betty when she worked at a drug store in South Carolina.
One of Cale’s friends talked about Betty during a conversation, saying he had seen a beautiful woman working at the nearby drug store. So, Cale had gone to see Betty and fell for her.
Cale said Betty was behind him 100% in all circumstances. The racer said it made a massive impact knowing your family is always there for you.
During his interview, Cale compared his married life to fellow competitors. Cale said he knew some who had to quit the profession because their wives didn’t like it, but that wasn’t the case with Betty.
She enjoyed seeing her husband being successful on the racetracks. Betty would often be at victory lane cheering for Cale, and the NASCAR driver said that was important.
When asked how they spend their time away from racetracks, Cale said that was the only thing they ever knew. He also shared that Betty wasn’t a race fan before she met him, but he succeeded in turning her into one.
Betty Jo Was A Good Driver
During his conversation with Florence Morning News, Cale revealed that he didn’t have to teach his wife much about racing. He said his wife was already a competent driver before he met her.
As Betty was working at the drug store, there would be occasions she would have to drive pickup trucks. The racing legend said that was one of many reasons he fell for her.
When asked what his marriage meant to him, Cale said his marriage made him want to be a better person on and off the racetracks. As the couple had three daughters, he wanted to provide for them and help them live better lives than he ever did.
Florence Morning News uploaded the conversation with Cale on their YouTube channel in August.
Tributes Pour In For The NASCAR Legend
After the announcement of Cale’s demise, the tributes haven’t stopped pouring for the NASCAR champion.
One of the first people to give their tribute to Cale was the NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France. France said, “Cale Yarborough was one of the toughest competitors NASCAR has ever seen.
His talent, grit, and determination separated Cale from his peers, both on the track and in the record book.”
Jimmie Johnson, who broke Cale’s three-year title streak honored him on X (formerly Twitter). Johnson wrote, “Cale Yarborough was my childhood hero. What an honor to be tied with the legend for 83 Cup series wins.”
“He was ‘the man,’ and the legacy of Cale Yarborough will forever live on. My deepest condolences to the Cale’s family.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr also paid tribute to the legend of the sport. He shared two photos of them and wrote, “A legend behind the wheel for sure, but he had a personality, grit, and swagger that attracted fans worldwide to him and NASCAR.
He truly made the sport far better by being a part of it. My heart goes out to his family.”
Thousands of Cale’s fans have also taken to their social media handles to remember the racer’s legacy and condolences to the Yarborough family.