Yates Racing

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Yates Racing
Owner(s) Robert Yates, Doug Yates, Max Jones
Base Mooresville, North Carolina
Series Sprint Cup, Busch Series
Car numbers 28, 38, 88, 90, 98
Race drivers Davey Allison, Ernie Irvan, Kenny Irwin, Jr., Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd, Elliott Sadler
Sponsors Texaco/Havoline, Ford Motor Credit, United Parcel Service, M&M's, Menards
Manufacturer Ford
Opened 1989
Closed 2009
Drivers' Championships 1 – Winston Cup Series (Dale Jarrett, 1999)
Race victories 58

Yates Racing was an American stock car racing racing team that competed in NASCAR until the 2009 season when it merged with Richard Petty Motorsports.[1] Previously known as Robert Yates Racing, the team was owned by Doug Yates, who has officially owned the team since his father Robert's retirement on December 1, 2007. The Yates family owned the team since purchasing it from Harry Ranier and J. T. Lundy in October 1988.[2]

The team was noted for its strong engine program and its success on superspeedways. Throughout most of its history, the team fielded Ford cars numbered 28, 38 and 88, although in its final season it fielded the number 98.

Sprint Cup[edit]

Car #28 history[edit]

Robert Yates Racing first car in 1989 with Davey Allison driving
Car #28 being unloaded from the transporter at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1993.
Ernie Irvan entering his car for the first time following injuries at Michigan in 1994.
Ernie Irvan's 1997 car
Kenny Irwin, Jr. (#28) racing Matt Kenseth at Dover, 1998
Travis Kvapil drove for Yates Racing in 2008 and the first six races of 2009
Travis Kvapil in the #28 in 2008

After purchasing the assets of Ranier-Lundy Racing in October 1988, Robert Yates' first driver was Davey Allison, who had driven for the Ranier-Lundy banner since 1987 (his rookie season), and drove the #28 Havoline Ford from Yates' takeover of the team until mid-1993, racking up 15 wins and twice finishing 3rd in points. He was killed in a helicopter crash in 1993; Robby Gordon, Lake Speed, and Ernie Irvan split the rest of the driving duties in 1993, with Irvan finding Victory Lane twice. In 1994, Ernie Irvan drove the #28, winning 3 times before being injured in a crash at Michigan in August. Kenny Wallace took over the driving duties for the remainder of the season.

While Irvan was still recovering from his injuries, Dale Jarrett replaced him in 1995, starting at Robert Yates Racing after being with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1992. Jarrett won one race at Pocono Raceway and eventually finished the season 16th in the points standings. Ernie Irvan, who had returned for 3 races in 1995 in the #88, switched places with Jarrett in 1996; that meant Jarrett moved to the #88 and Irvan was back in the #28. Irvan won at New Hampshire in July, his first win since returning from his injuries, and at Richmond in September. Irvan won at Michigan in June 1997, the same track he almost died on three years earlier. Irvan left at the end of the 1997 season to drive for MB2 Motorsports.

Kenny Irwin, Jr. drove the #28 car for Robert Yates in 1998 and 1999. Despite winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1998, Irwin failed to find victory lane in his two seasons. The next season, Ricky Rudd joined the team after his own Rudd Performance Motorsports team was sold. He would go on to drive 3 seasons in the Havoline Ford, from 2000-2002, and won his first race for the team in 2001 at Pocono after going winless since 1998. Rudd drove the #28 to Victory Lane two additional times, Richmond in 2001 and his final victory at Infineon in 2002, and finished in the top ten in the standings all 3 seasons, including 4th in 2001, his 2nd highest career points finish. Rudd left the team to join Wood Brothers Racing in 2003, while Yates hired the Wood's previous driver, Elliott Sadler and Robert Yates switched from #28 to #38 along with sponsorship from Mars, Inc.

Robert Yates would resurrect the 28 for the 2008 season, however.[3] Yates made the switch after giving the right to the #88 to Hendrick Motorsports for Dale Earnhardt Jr.. Travis Kvapil would take over driving duties after Sadler's departure at the end of 2007. Before the season started, he, along with his teammate, David Gilliland, did not have full-time sponsorship on either of their Yates Racing Fords. However, for the Daytona 500, K&N Filters sponsored his team. Two weeks later, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, during the UAW-Dodge 400, Kvapil scored an eighth-place finish, giving him his third top-10 of his career, in an unsponsored ride. Later that week, Zaxby's decided to sponsor the #28 team for the next race, which was the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A couple of races later, in the Aaron's 499, he finished in the sixth position with a one race sponsorship deal from Northern Tool and Equipment, which gave him his career best finish in the Cup Series. Just a few weeks after his career best run, Kvapil picked-up another top-10 finish, this time at Darlington Raceway, during the Dodge Challenger 500. Despite the lack of a full-time sponsorship, Travis Kvapil and the #28 had a very respectable season, finishing 23rd in the points standings.

For 2009, Kvapil's owner points from 2008 were transferred to the #98, given that Paul Menard had signed the team, therefore bringing with him full-time Menard's sponsorship. The future of the #28 team was uncertain without a sponsor, and Yates would only field the car for five races unless sponsorship had been found.[4] Despite failing to qualify for the Shelby 427, Kvapil had two 18th-place finishes in five races, with race by race sponsorship from Golden Corral and Farmers Insurance. Unfortunately, the team still lacked a committed full-time sponsor,[5] and Yates shut down the #28 following the Food City 500.[6]

The #38 car driven by David Gilliland in 2007.

Car #38 history[edit]

Elliott Sadler was hired in 2003, and Yates brought M&M's in as the sponsor, replacing longtime sponsor Havoline. Yates also changed the car's number from 28 to 38. Sadler collected two victories for the team, and finished a career-best 9th in points in 2004. On August 14, 2006, Sadler left for Evernham Motorsports to drive the #19. David Gilliland replaced Sadler in the #38, beginning with the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan. He finished out the 2006 season, and continued to drive the #38 in 2007, after which M&M's left the team for Joe Gibbs Racing's #18. David Gilliland drove for Yates again in 2008, and on May 9, it was announced that FreeCreditReport.com would sponsor the car for the remainder of the 2008 season. Later in the year Gilliland would record his best career finish of second at Infineon Raceway, and finished 27th in the points standings.

The #38's owner points were sold to Hall of Fame Racing to field the #96, but Yates switched the #28's owners points to the 98. After the team was unable to find sponsorship, Gilliland was released from his contract. Gilliland currently drives a #38 Ford for Front Row Motorsports.

Car #88 history[edit]

The #88 on display at Daytona International Speedway
The #88 driven by Dale Jarrett in 2005
Yates Racing garage in Mooresville, North Carolina.
The #88 driven by Ricky Rudd in 2007

What is now the #28 began as the Havoline #88 for RYR in 1995, as Ernie Irvan drove the car in 3 races following his comeback from injuries. Irvan returned to the #28 (now #38) the following year, and Dale Jarrett began driving the #88 in 1996 with sponsorship from Ford Quality Care and Ford Credit. Jarrett won the 1996 Daytona 500 in his first race in the #88, defeating Dale Earnhardt for the second time in four years. Jarrett went on to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in May, the Brickyard 400 (now the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard) and Michigan in August. Jarrett finished third in the Winston Cup point standings behind Hendrick Motorsports teammates Terry Labonte (the Champion) and Jeff Gordon. In 1997 Jarrett won at Atlanta and Darlington in March, Pocono in July, Bristol in August, Charlotte in October, and Phoenix in November.

Over the years, Jarrett collected 29 victories (the most wins for any driver for RYR) and he won the Winston Cup championship in 1999. He also finished in the top 10 in points 7 consecutive seasons from 1996 through 2002. The sponsorship on the #88 car changed from Ford Quality Care to UPS in 2001. Jarrett and sponsor UPS left RYR at the end of the 2006 season for Michael Waltrip Racing. Despite off-season rumors of the #88 being shut down and becoming a one-car team, Ricky Rudd returned to RYR, this time in the #88 with sponsorship from Snickers. Rudd officially announced his retirement from racing on August 20. On September 14, 2007, it was revealed that Yates transferred the #88 to Hendrick Motorsports for Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s new car. Travis Kvapil would be in the car full-time, with the car switching to #28 in the 2008 season, 20 years since the Yates family took over Ranier-Lundy Racing.

Car #98 History[edit]

The #98 car debuted in 2006 as the #90 Ford sponsored by Citigroup. Stephen Leicht would make the team's first race at Pocono Raceway, starting 36th and finishing 33rd. In 2009, Paul Menard would drive with sponsorship from his father's company Menards. Menard did not finish higher than 13th and finished 31st in points. For 2010 this team became part of Richard Petty Motorsports as the team transitioned to running with Ford.

Winston Cup driver history[edit]