Former team owner and future NASCAR Hall of Famer Robert Yates died Monday night. He was 74.
His son Doug announced Robert’s death on Twitter. Robert Yates had been fighting liver cancer.
Yates was selected as a Hall of Famer earlier in 2017 and was set to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in January 2018. He unfortunately will not be there to see his induction.
Yates was known for his engine-building prowess. Ford engines are branded as Roush-Yates engines and Dale Jarrett drove for Yates when he won the 1999 Cup Series title.
“Robert Yates knew the value of hard work and earned everything he achieved in life,” Ford Performance Global Director Dave Pericak said in a statement. “Not only was Robert a legendary engine builder and championship car owner, but he was a husband, father, grandfather and loyal Ford man who left an unmeasurable impact on those who knew him.
“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.”
The team known as Robert Yates Racing started in 1989 with Davey Allison driving. Before Allison’s death in a helicopter accident in 1993, he won 15 races for Yates and finished third in the 1991 and 1992 points standings.
Yates’ No. 28 Havoline car was one of the most iconic cars of the 1990s. He expanded to two cars when adding Jarrett’s No. 88 to the team in 1996.
Jarrett scored the final victory for Yates Racing in 2005 when he won at Talladega. The team folded at the end of the 2009 season and was merged into Richard Petty Motorsports. Through 21 years of his team’s existence, Yates’ drivers won 57 races.
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