Former NASCAR team owner and engine builder Yates dies

NASCAR team owner and engine builder Robert Yates has died at the age of 74

Former NASCAR team owner and engine builder Yates dies

He had been battling liver cancer.

Yates began his NASCAR career at Holman-Moody Racing in 1968 before landing a job at Junior Johnson's team in 1971.

His engines powered Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough's successes, including Allison's 1983 Cup series championship with DiGard Racing.

In late 1988 Yates launched his own Robert Yates Racing team.

Success came quickly - his driver Davey Allison won the 1992 Daytona 500, and finished third in that season's championship standings.

RYR expanded to a two-car team for the first time in 1996 with Dale Jarrett and Ernie Irvan, and immediately won that year's Daytona 500 with Jarrett.

Three years later Jarrett claimed what would be the only Cup title for a Yates driver, which he followed up with another Daytona 500 victory in 2000.

Yates's drivers ultimately won 57 Cup races and took 48 poles, and NASCAR paid tribute to his success in a short statement: "His excellence spanned decades, from the 1983 championship powered by his engines and the 1999 title captured by the cars he owned, both of which helped earn him a deserved spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

"And though he was a master at his craft, it was Robert's passion and character that endeared him to every single person he encountered."

Robert's son Doug took over the team on his father's retirement at the end of 2007, and though the team itself was later merged into Richard Petty Motorsports, Doug Yates remains one of NASCAR's top engine builders.

Earlier this year Robert Yates was elected as part of the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.

He was voted for on 94% of the ballots cast, the highest for a nominee since David Pearson achieved the same percentage in 2011.

"I'm going to walk around with my head held higher than before," Yates said after the announcement was made in May.

"It means a lot to me. I could play it down and all kind of stuff - but no.

"I want to share it with my family because they're the ones who shared their time to let me do this.

"For 40 years I had the best job in the world.

"I wasn't born in NASCAR but I think I have a place here."

shares
comments
Hendrick Motorsports' Elliott 'gave away' maiden NASCAR Cup victory

Previous article

Hendrick Motorsports' Elliott 'gave away' maiden NASCAR Cup victory

Next article

NASCAR: New-for-2017 stages format has brought out best in drivers

NASCAR: New-for-2017 stages format has brought out best in drivers
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020