After the top qualifiers, including Richard Petty, were eliminated systematically - either through crashes on the track or equipment failure, Darel Dieringer, Jarrett and Dick Hutcherson took over as the top three.
It was just a matter of time as to who would cross the finish line first.
Dieringer was holding several car lengths lead over Jarrett when his Mercury quit running. He pulled into the pits and behind the wall and it was all Jarrett and Hutcherson, in a battle for the checkered flag and first place in the Grand National point standings.
Jarrett added 1,100 points to his season total to move 28 points ahead of Hutcherson, the rookie who finished second.
Rain and accidents look their toll as the 150-mile, 500-lap was slowed to a snail's pace. More than 100 laps were run under the caution flag and only 13 of the 36 starters finished the race.
The race was suspended once for more than an hour as of officials waited for a steady rain to let up.
Marvin Panch, Daytona Beach, driving a 1965 Ford, and David Pearson, Spartanburg, S.C., driving a 1965 Dodge, were taken out of the race early when their cars sideswiped on the fourth turn and careened into the wall in front of the grandstand.
Panch hit the fence and Pearson hit the concrete wall. Both were shaken up and taken to the field hospital where both were examined and released. Both cars were demolished. The crash, first of the day came on the 10th lap.
The early leaders, Junior Johnson of Ronda, N.C., and Fred Lorenzen, Elmhurst, Ill., were sidelined later. Johnson left the track in his badly mangled 1965 Ford as he was involved in a five-car pileup. Johnson was leading the ace at the time.
Petty, making his first start in NASCAR this season, was involved in the wreck. His 1965 Plymouth was hit in the rear, and it appeared that he was out for the day. His pit crew, headed by his father Lee, made a quick recovery and got him back into the race with the trunk of his car almost in the back seat.
Lorenzen pulled behind the pit area shortly before the race was suspended by rain because his car was not performing as it I should. The pole sitter claimed his car was losing two seconds every lap.
After Johnson went out of the race, Dieringer took over and it was a battle between him and Petty. Petty stayed with Dieringer but was several laps behind. Petty was sidelined by a defective differential in his Plymouth.
He was in seventh place, seven laps behind, when trouble struck. Petty was among the first five early leaders, but he lost his advantage when he was involved in the five-car pileup.
General Motors made a fine showing in yesterday's event.
Of the top 19, three Chevrolets placed, one fourth, one sixth and one eighth. The other seven were Fords. Sam McQuagg of Columbus, Ga., finished third in his 1965 Ford.
Paul Lewis, of Johnson City driving a 1964 Ford, put on a good showing before going out late in the race with engine trouble. Lewis started in seventh place and stayed around that spot until trouble put him out of the race.
The three Chevrolet to finish in the top 10 were driven by Jim Paschal of High Point, N.C., Buck Baker of Charlotte, and J. T. Putney of Arden, S.C.
It was the first time that Jarrett has ever won a race at the Bristol track. He has driven in every event here and has finished high in the running, but this was his first time to win.
"It was just great to win here at Bristol. 1 have tried for so long and was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen here," he said.
Jarrett's car was handling beautifully throughout the race, and it carried him to victory.
Johnson led most of the early part of the race, but Dieringer led the most, 254 laps, before his engine went out Dieringer was in the lead when more than 50 laps were run under the caution flag during the downpour.
1. Ned Jarrett
2. Dick Hutcherson
3. Sam McQuagg
4. Jim Paschal
5. Buck Baker
6. Junior Spencer
7. Wendell Scott
8. Donald Tucker
9. Bob Derrington
10. J.T. Putney
11. Gene Black
12. Buddy Arrington
13. Worth McMillion
14. Darel Dieringer
15. Reb Wickersham
16. Paul Lewis
17. Richard Petty
18. Bud Harless
19. G.C. Spencer
20. Fred Lorenzen
21. Neil Castles
22. Cale Yarborough
23. Junior Johnson
24. Tiny Lund
25. Stick Elliot
26. Buren Skeen
27. Lionel Johnson
28. E.J. Trivette
29. Jimmy Helms
30. Buddy Baker
31. Jabe Thomas
32. Bobby Allison
33. Elmo Langley
34. Raymond Carter
35. Marvin Panch
36. David Pearson