Cale Yarborough - Beginnings


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 around ten 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 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 #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. In 1962, Yarborough ran eight races for Buesink, Don Harrison, and Wildcat Williams. He earned his first top-ten at the Daytona 500 Qualifying Race, when he finished tenth.

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