CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Jarrett had no idea what crazy things Blake Shelton might say as the country music star inducted him into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
"It could have gone in a lot of different directions," Jarrett said of Shelton's induction speech.
Shelton read a handwritten and heartfelt speech about his love of racing, inherited through his late father, who as his health declined was so thrilled that his son got to hang with some of NASCAR's biggest stars.
Jarrett on occasion spoke to Shelton's father on the phone.
"I believe it was little things like that that kept my dad happy those last few years," Shelton said. "And even though I know he was beyond proud of my accomplishments in music, he just couldn't get over the fact that I got to spend time with guys like Clint Bowyer and Elliott Sadler, and most of all, Dale Jarrett."
It set the tone for Jarrett's emotional induction. He joined his father, Ned, as just the second father-son combination with NASCAR championships inducted into the Hall.
The Jarretts join Lee and Richard Petty.
A three-time Daytona 500 winner, two-time Brickyard winner and the 1999 Cup champion, Jarrett was emotional the entire time.
But he had to choke back tears when it came time to address his father.
"My dad has been everything a son would want his father to be — successful, a leader by example, a teacher you can believe in, and always there to support me," Jarrett said. "My dad was and still is today my hero. That's what really makes this night so very special: I'm joining my father in the NASCAR Hall of Fame."
Ned Jarrett is the first of the 25 Hall of Fame members still alive to see his son inducted.
"As a child and a 57 year old one right now, there's not a lot we can do that our parents will take for payment back for everything they did for us in our lives," Jarrett said. "In a small way, I feel like this is something I can give to them that they can be proud of."
Maurice Petty was inducted to complete the Petty dynasty in the Hall, which now includes his father, brother and cousin as members of the exclusive group.
"The Chief" was inducted by brother Richard Petty, the seven-time NASCAR champion and member of the inaugural Hall of Fame class.
"The big deal is that it's really the end of Petty Enterprises because we started in 1949, and now that my brother is in the Hall of Fame, then that pretty well closes the book on it," Richard Petty said.
Maurice Petty is the first engine builder inducted into the Hall. His engines won seven titles and more than 200 races, including seven Daytona 500s.
Also in the Hall from the Petty Enterprise dynasty is patriarch Lee Petty, and the Petty boys' cousin and crew chief, Dale Inman.
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