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Robert Yates (middle) was one most influential Ford owners in NASCAR history.
The list of Robert Yates Racing drivers reads like a who's who of NASCAR legends: Ernie Irvan, Ricky Rudd, Elliott Sadler, Dale Jarrett and Davey Allison.Those are just some of the drivers involved in the Yates legacy.
Prior to buying his race team from Harry Rainier in 1988, Robert was a noted engine builder in the garage. It was with Yates horsepower that Bobby Allison and DiGard Racing won the 1983 Winston Cup championship. He won again with Darrell Waltrip just two years later.
As a car owner Yates holds three Daytona 500s, two Brickyard 400s, and the 1999 Winston Cup championship. When he retired in 2007 Robert Yates Racing was changed to Yates Racing with Robert's son Doug taking control. The relationship lasted until after the 2009 season when the team was absorbed into Richard Petty Motorsports.
Yates is also known as owning one of the most formidable Ford teams in NASCAR history. His drivers were high caliber, most notably Davey Allison. Although never a champion in NASCAR, Allison maintains a cult following to this day.
Many view Yates as a springboard for Allison. This may be true, but it is also true that without Allison, there would be no Yates in NASCAR.