Tha Sports Junkies 101

Robert Yates Passes Away at 74



The racing world has lost an icon. Legendary team owner and engine builder Robert Yates passed away from liver cancer. His career in racing was defined by the many successes of drivers with his engines. But he is most known for being the namesake of Roush-Yates Engines, who still powers Ford racers today.

Back in May, Yates was voted into the 2018 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Hence his induction will be in January. News of his passing was released by his son Doug Yates on social media. Doug stated: “My dad’s the toughest guy you’ve ever met. Never give up, always looking for the positive and looking for a competitive advantage, and that’s the way he raised myself and our family and everybody at Roush Yates.”

Yates’ Career Highlights

Yates was the owner of Robert Yates Racing from 1989 to 2009. Throughout this time the team fielded cars for drivers such as Dale Jarrett, Davey Allison, Ernie Irvan, and Ricky Rudd. In 1999, Dale Jarrett was able to deliver Yates his first championship as a team owner. In total, Yates Racing had 58 wins at the Cup level. This also includes 3 victories in the Daytona 500.  Yates powered cars also won an impressive 77 times in the Cup Series.

In recent history, Yates-built engines power Ford racecars in the Cup and Xfinity series. Most of all, Yates-powered cars have won all 3 superspeedway races this season either with Kurt Busch or Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Yates is succeeded by his wife, Carolyn, 2 children, and 8 grandchildren.

Many in the NASCAR world have reacted to Yates’ passing. Tony Stewart said: “Our sport loses one of the most inventive minds and kindest personalities in Robert Yates. 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.”