The 2014 World Series is heading into game six with the San Francisco Giants hold a 3-2 lead over the Kansas City Royals. Why am I bringing up the World Series here on an auto racing site? Two words: Ned Yost.
For those who have been following the World Series and/or are longtime NASCAR fans, Yost, Manager for the Royals, has a strong affinity for and strong ties to NASCAR. Maybe that’s why there’s been more interest in the World Series this year within the NASCAR community.
The connection between Yost and NASCAR has been mentioned briefly during television coverage of the Series and Yost has been a guest on SiriusXM NASCAR radio to discuss the World Series and his connection to NASCAR.
Yost was a close friend of the late Dale Earnhardt. To this day, he wears a No. 3 on his jersey in honor of his lost friend. What some people may not know is that Yost worked for Richard Childress Racing in the past in somewhat of an honorary role, I guess, and is the only person to this point to have a chance to add a World Series championship to a NASCAR Cup level championship. That would be an odd but beyond impressive combination.
Back in the mid-1990s, Yost was with the Atlanta Braves, and to NASCAR fans who were around back then, Earnhardt fans especially, Earnhardt’s love for the Braves was well-known. At the same time, Yost was a big NASCAR fan. It was a love Yost discovered after meeting Earnhardt on a hunting trip.
During an MLB strike in 1994, Yost found a job elsewhere to fill his time. That “job” was at none other than Richard Childress Racing. I guess you could say he worked as a gopher of sorts, transporting gas cans, fetching parts, etc. Yost was right there with the No. 3 team when it celebrated winning the then-Winston Cup title in 1994, so I guess you could say Yost was a member of the 1994 Cup championship team.
In a recent story on SportingNews.com, Yost was quoted on a lesson he learned from the late seven-time NASCAR champion. He said: “He taught me that it doesn’t matter how far down you are if you don’t quit.”
The Royals find themselves down, heading into game six. A win by the Giants will end it all, but a win by Kansas City will allow the Royals to survive to a game seven, with a chance to win the World Series. The aforementioned lesson from Earnhardt seems appropriate right about now, doesn’t it?