NASCAR & Auto Racing

Merger off, Robert Yates retiring

Robert Yates announced Friday he’ll retire at the end of the season with his son, Doug, taking over the racing operations in a new company called Yates Racing.

The move means a planned merger with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing will not take place. Yates Racing instead will operate in association with Roush Fenway Racing.

David Gilliland will drive the No. 38 Fords and Travis Kvapil will replace retiring Ricky Rudd in the No. 88 Fords.

“The goal of this partnership was to build a team to contend for the championship,” Robert Yates said. “The more I thought about it the more I realized instead this was the perfect opportunity for me to pass the torch to the next generation.

"...I’m closing this chapter of my life, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for me next.”

Yates’ teams have won 57 Cup races and the 1999 championship with Dale Jarrett.

Doug Yates said his team would welcome the opportunity to work with Newman/Haas/Lanigan in the future. But the team will “have full support from Roush Fenway Racing, including hardware, engineering, marketing and operational practices” from the Roush Fenway team. The Yates and Roush operations previously combined their engine operations.

“He’s a legend in this sport,” Dan Davis, Ford’s director of racing technology said of Robert Yates.

“We at Ford Racing are grateful for everything he has done over the years with us.”

Kvapil drove in the Cup Series in 2005 and 2006 and is driving for Roush Fenway Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series this year.

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