Yates Racing: checkered flag in sight?
For 20 years the Yates family has owned and managed a NASCAR team. After 57 wins, 48 poles, and a NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, it now consists of 2 Sprint Cup teams; the #38 of David Gilliland, and the #28 of Travis Kvapil. Out of their shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, they prepare each driver every weekend with what they hope is a Ford Fusion destined for victory lane. Dismal luck and not so outstanding performance has prevented either team from winning thus far. However, each team as shown some promise with a few top ten finishes and runs for the win. The real problem lies deeper within the business; money. Of course all of the American auto-manufacturers are struggling, and in all the U.S. economy is just beginning to pick up again. Keeping a racing team competitive shares the same obstacles. Finding sponsors for drivers, having quality equipment, and actually being able to pay drivers is a challenge not only to Yates, but for every race team. Travis Kvapil for example has been un-sponsored for the majority of the 2008 season, and is currently partially sponsored by Ford Motor Company. David Gilliland is luckier to have Freecreditreport.com as a sponsor so far this season and CitiFinancial recently announced a four race deal as his sponsor that will be first unveiled at Michigan International Speedway on August 17th. Yates has a technology partnership with Roush Fenway Racing in which they combine efforts in designing and assembling engines; as well as a few other inter-team partnerships. The team has pulled through to remain on the starting 43 every weekend with some signs of success. Gilliland this season has one top five, two top tens, and is 26th in the point standings. Travis Kvapil has 5 top tens and is surprisingly ranked 18th in the point standings. Although both teams will most likely not be celebrating a championship this year, this is not the final lap for Yates Racing.
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