Sport

Robert Yates Passes Away at 74

Robert Yates Passes Away at 74”

Robert Yates, a pioneering NASCAR owner and engine builder who with Dale Jarrett won the 1999 Cup title, has died at 74. They included three Daytona 500s with drivers such as Davey Allison and Dale Jarrett.

Doug is now the CEO Roush Yates and carries the family banner as the elite Ford engine builder in stock vehicle racing. Today, the operation Yates helped start, Roush Yates Racing Engines, provides power for teams in six major racing series worldwide, holding 13 titles and more than 300 race wins.

In 1988, Yates bit the bullet and bought the rights to the Ranier-Lundy Racing team and formed his own NASCAR Cup Series squad; Robert Yates Racing. There were likely hundreds that worked for him over the years as a NASCAR Cup team owner. He went on to build Bobby Allison's 1983 championship engine. Yates retired from team ownership after the 2007 season.

Long before Yates' engine company joined forces with the Roush organization to form one of the sport's top engine programs, Yates power plants had a reputation for being among the best in the business, possessing both speed and durability. Yates, who began his career at Holman-Moody Racing in 1968, landed a job with NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson in 1971.

Throughout his career, Yates has collected numerous awards recognizing his excellence, including the Bill France Award of Excellence in 2000 and Buddy Shuman Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007.

Yates was the top vote-getter on NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day, named on 94 percent of the ballots.

"Right now, I feel like I could take a jack and jump over the wall and I'd be on the right side [of the car] like I used to be", said Yates at the Hall of Fame annoucement.

An outpouring of sympathy for Yates streamed in over social media late Monday night throughout the NASCAR industry.

"Much like my great-grandfather, Henry Ford, Robert was a tinkerer".

"Robert Yates was enormously successful as a winning and championship engine builder and vehicle owner in his professional life in NASCAR, earning him a well-deserved selection as a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee in the Class of 2018..."

"He was a respected and valued member of the Ford family and co-founder of Roush Yates Engines, and while we'll miss the wisdom he possessed for working on engines and race cars, we will miss his caring demeanor and friendship even more".

"We at Ford offer our honest condolences to Robert's wife Carolyn, his son Doug, daughter Amy and his eight grandchildren".

On Labor Day weekend, Stewart-Haas Racing honored Yates with a throwback paint scheme on the No. 10 of Danica Patrick, resembling the No. 88 Quality Care auto Dale Jarrett drove for Yates from 1996 through 2000. He leaves a strong legacy that is carried on by his son, Doug, and all of their employees at Roush Yates Engines.

Danica Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing paid tribute to Yates during the Southern 500 with a paint scheme that mimicked the No. 88 Jarrett took to the championship. "While Robert will certainly be missed, he will always be remembered".



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