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NASCAR Cup: Robert Yates passes away

Robert Yates (left) with NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley on NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day on May 24, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Robert Yates (left) with NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley on NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day on May 24, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Legendary NASCAR team owner and engine builder Robert Yates died Oct. 2, 2017, at the age of 74 after a nearly year-long battle with liver cancer.

“My Dad an Hero, Robert Yates, has passed and is with the Lord. Thanks for all the prayers and support,” his son, Doug Yates (@Yates_Doug), tweeted Monday night.

In May, Yates was selected to be among the five individuals to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January 2018.

“We at Ford are collectively saddened to have learned the news of the passing of Robert Yates,” read a statement from Ford Motor Company Board of Directors member Edsel B. Ford II. “Robert, by any measure, was a valued and respected member of our family.

“His many accomplishments included winning the NASCAR championship in 1999 and being selected for the class of 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame.  I am proud to have been a part of both of those events but most meaningful to me was our friendship which spanned over 20 years.

“First and foremost an engine guy, Robert will be remembered as a person who helped build the sport with dedication and hard work.  His legacy at NASCAR will be defined by his roles as an engine builder, championship team owner, co-founder of Roush Yates Engines, and ultimately, by the innovation that he brought to all of these endeavors and more.

“Much like my great grandfather, Henry Ford, Robert was a tinkerer.  They both leave behind a legion of admirers and friends who benefited from their mentorship and their passion.

“We at Ford offer our sincere condolences to Robert’s wife Carolyn, his son Doug, daughter Amy and his eight grandchildren.”

Yates was the owner of Robert Yates Racing between 1989 and 2007. RYR won 57 races during that time, along with winning the 1999 Winston Cup (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup) Series championship with its No. 88 Ford driven by Dale Jarrett, another NASCAR Hall of Famer. Those 57 wins include three Daytona 500 victories, one with Davey Allison behind the wheel and another two with Jarrett. Drivers behind the wheel of Robert Yates Racing Fords included Allison, Ernie Irvan, Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Elliott Sadler.

Prior to team ownership, Yates was a renowned NASCAR engine building, beginning that portion of his NASCAR career with car owner Junior Johnson in the early 1970s. His engines powered Bobby Allison’s Cup Series championship in 1983.

“Our sport lost one of the most inventive minds and kindest personalities in Robert Yates,” read a statement from NASCAR team owner and retired NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. “I’m glad I got to know him and proud our race team was able to honor him this year at Darlington. He leaves a strong legacy that is carried on by his son, Doug, and all of their employees at Roush Yates Engines. While Robert will certainly be missed, he will always be remembered.”

Yates also was a founder of Roush Yates Engines, a partnership with NASCAR team owner, Jack Roush Roush, and operated by Yates’ son, Doug Yates.

“Robert Yates knew the value of hard work and earned everything he achieved in life,” Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak said. “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.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Robert’s wife, Carolyn, his two children, Doug and Amy, and his eight grandchildren.”

NASCAR released the following statement from NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France:

“Robert Yates excelled in multiple NASCAR disciplines, earning the respect of an entire industry and an everlasting place in the hearts and minds of the NASCAR fanbase. 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 and will ensure that his memory will live on for generations. On behalf of my family and all of NASCAR, I extend heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of a NASCAR giant, whose legacy will impact an entire industry forever.”

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

Below, is a photo gallery featuring the NASCAR legend (photos courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR):

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on October 3, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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