NASCAR & Auto Racing

Changes at Yates: No Busch program, new location and some employee uncertainty

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Yates Racing could move its two-car Nextel Cup operation next door to Roush Fenway Racing headquarters next season, team owner Doug Yates confirmed on Friday.

Yates said he is looking at moving to the building, which has recently housed the part-time No Fear Racing team that fields Fords for driver Boris Said. The building formerly housed the MB2 Motorsports Cup program.

“We’re looking at moving to Concord. We want to get closer to (Roush) so we can have better communication. We’re working with Boris and his guys about that possibility,” Yates said.

In addition, Yates said his top priority is to get his two Cup team up and running for 2008. So operating a Busch Series team might not be in the organization’s plans for next season. Robert Yates Racing currently fields a Busch team with driver Stephen Leicht.

“It’s not the No. 1 priority. If (the sponsor) would like to come back, maybe could run it. But the No. 1 deal is to get our Cup teams back and running where they need to be,” Doug Yates said.

Many of the current employees at RYR have been told they must reapply for jobs with the new Yates Racing organization, multiple sources said. Employees have been told the contact person for such interviews is Max Jones, who currently serves as general manager at Roush Fenway Racing.

Next season, Yates Racing will received car bodies and technical assistance from Roush Fenway. Asked Friday if Jones now worked for Yates, Doug Yates replied, “We’re trying to sort out who the general manager will be. Max and his organization are trying to win a championship right now. We’re going to have a general manager that will run it day-to-day.”

Several crew members who work on RYR’s Cup and Busch programs have already decided to take jobs elsewhere next season, sources said.