February 21, 2014, NASCAR.com
Robert Yates was the rare breed, exceling in any field he chose. But two in particular placed him among NASCAR’s greats – engine building (his first love) and team ownership.
Born: April 19, 1943
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Engine Builder: 1983
Premier Series Owner Stats
Yates, who began his career at Holman-Moody Racing in 1968, landed a job with NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson in 1971 -- and the rest is history. He provided the power behind Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough, later leading Allison to a series championship in 1983 with DiGard Racing.
In the late 1980s, Yates launched his own team, Robert Yates Racing. Success came quickly -- driver Davey Allison won the 1992 Daytona 500, and finished third in that season’s championship standings.
In 1996, Yates expanded to a two-car team with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and Ernie Irvan -- and immediately won that year’s Daytona 500 with Jarrett. Jarrett would go on to win another Daytona 500 in 2000, a year after winning the NASCAR premier series championship -- all in Yates owned Fords.
His lineage continues today, as son Doug carries on his legacy as one of the top engine builders in the sport.