Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Fast Facts: 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Robert Yates

Davey Allison (l) with team owner Robert Yates
credit: ISC Archives via Getty Images
It will be a bittersweet celebration of a racing career for the family of 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Robert Yates this weekend, as the long-time team owner and engine builder passed away in Oct. 2017, just a few months shy of the induction ceremony. Yates and fellow 2018 inductees Ray Evernham, Red Byron, Ken Squier and Ron Hornaday Jr. will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Here are the Fast Facts on this Cup Series championship team owner.
  • James Robert Yates was born April 19, 1943 in Charlotte, NC, one of nine children along with his twin brother, Richard. He lived with his sister’s family in Wake Forest as a teenager, graduating from high school there in 1961 as a straight-A student; he graduated from Wilson Technical College in 1964 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
  • Yates’ association with Ford dates back to 1967, when he landed a job with Holman-Moody; he later moved to positions with Junior Johnson and DiGard Racing. He jumped into team ownership after purchasing Ranier-Lundy Racing, which he had worked for, and formed Robert Yates Racing with Davey Allison as the driver.
  • Yates was rewarded with a Cup Series championship in 1999 with Dale Jarrett behind the wheel of the No. 88. Yates retired from team ownership following the 2007 season (son Doug took over the reins of the team), but stayed in racing as part of Yates Racing Engines (now Roush Yates Engines).
  • In addition to his Hall of Fame induction, Yates was given the Bill France Award of Excellence in 2000 and the Buddy Shuman Award for Lifetime Achievement in NASCAR in 2007. He was named on 94-percent of the ballots on Hall of Fame Voting Day in May 2017.
  • Yates was diagnosed with liver cancer in Aug. 2016 and began treatment in November of that year; he passed away from the disease on Oct. 2, 2017.
  • Find out more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and its inductees at www.nascarhall.com


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