Cale Yarborough Illness: The NASCAR Legend Who Fought Ulcers and Cancer

Cale Yarborough Illness: When NASCAR fans hear the name Cale Yarborough, they think of speed, victory, and loud cheers. But behind the wins and laps of honor, there was a fight that no one heard about.

Yarborough died not long ago. He was 84 years old. We talk about his illness and the things he did for NASCAR and other sports in this piece.

Who is Cale Yarborough?

In the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, William Caleb Yarborough drove and owned cars. He was also a businessman, farmer, and rancher. In NASCAR history, he was one of only two drivers to win three straight titles, in 1976, 1977, and 1978.

Cale Yarborough Illness

From the 1960s to the 1980s, he was one of the best stock car drivers, and he also raced in IndyCar events. A special type of the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II was named after him because of how well-known he was.

Cale Yarborough Beginnings

Julian and Annie Yarborough had him in the small, unincorporated town of Sardis, which is near Timmonsville, South Carolina. He was the oldest of their three boys. Julian owned a store, farmed tobacco, and ran a cotton gin. He died in a private plane crash when Cale was twelve years old.

Cale, Yarborough’s autobiography, says that he went to the second Southern 500 in 1951 as a young fan without a ticket. At Timmonsville High School, Yarborough was a football star. He played semi-pro football in Columbia, South Carolina, for four years and was also a Golden Gloves boxer.

He tried to get into the Southern 500 for the first time as a teen by lying about his age, but NASCAR found him and disqualified him.

Cale Yarborough Illness

Cale Yarborough died on December 31, 2023, after being sick for a long time. He was 84 years old. At McLeod Hospice House in Florence, South Carolina, he died with his loved family by his side.

What Bob Pockrass said,

“NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough, who won three consecutive Cup championships from 1976-78 and is tied for sixth all-time with 83 career wins, has died at age 84. RIP to one of the best drivers in the sport.”

Cale Yarborough Illness
Source: Twitter

Yarborough had a rare, fatal genetic disorder that affected his SPG 7 gene in the months before he died. His health kept getting worse because of this problem.

Kelley Yarborough Woody wrote,

“Update on Daddy: Genetic testing results give us a diagnosis. He has a VERY, VERY rare genetic disorder on his SPG 7 gene. There is no cure. He will continue to decline.

However, medications and physical and occupational therapy are keys to treating symptoms. It is one of those times when “it is what it is.” Thanks for taking care of him. Please keep him and my mom in your thoughts and prayers.

Even though there isn’t a cure for this disorder, his family said that medications, physical therapy, and occupational therapy were very important in controlling the symptoms. The Yarborough family talked about their problems and asked for prayers during this tough time.​

The Legacy of Cale Yarborough

Yarborough did well in NASCAR. He started driving in NASCAR in 1957. In his first race, the Southern 500, he came in 42nd. It was in Valdosta, Georgia, in 1965 that he won his first race.

From 1976 to 1978, he was the first driver to win three titles in a row. He won the Southern 500 five times, the Daytona 500 four times, and the Cup Series three times.

His family remembers him as a loved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, not just for how well he did in racing. A man who was important in NASCAR has died, which makes fans sad.

Both his family and other people looked up to him and loved him. People will always respect how much he meant to NASCAR fans and how much he changed the sport.


Cale Yarborough, a NASCAR Hall of Famer, passed away at 84 years old due to a rare genetic disorder. Yarborough was a successful driver, winning three consecutive titles in the Winston Cup Series and being one of the best stock car drivers from the 1960s to the 1980s.

He was also a businessman, farmer, and rancher. Yarborough’s family praised him for his contributions to NASCAR and other sports, but he passed away from a rare genetic disorder. His legacy will be remembered by fans and his contributions to the sport.

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