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Yates already at work on Stewart-Haas' move to Ford

Sprint Cup cars Ford Chevrolet

RELATED: Key moments in SHR's history

HAMPTON, Ga. -- The addition of Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford in 2017 will mean an increased workload for Roush Yates Engines, the company that supplies Ford power to teams in all three of NASCAR's national series.
 
But it means much more than the 60 or so additional engines the supplier will have to produce, according to CEO Doug Yates.
 
"For us, that's four more top-notch cars, opportunities to win races and championships," Yates said Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "But the work starts now because we've got to get ready for next year."
 
SHR, which currently runs under the Chevrolet banner, fields four full-time Sprint Cup entries, with drivers Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick. Clint Bowyer will take over Tony Stewart's No. 14 car in 2017.

RELATED: Stewart makes surprise appearance at Atlanta
 
Yates, son of famed engine builder and former team owner Robert Yates, said his company currently has approximately 250 engines in its fleet for Sprint Cup teams.
 
"We'll start building them up but next year, with four cars will mean about 60 more engines. … Today we build about 750 Cup, XFINITY and Truck engines a year. At our road race shop we build about 250 a year. Obviously we will have to add some people. We feel like we have a good process, we just have to add volume."
 
The benefit, he said, is it will be "a good opportunity to allow us to bring on more resources for the R&D side, more testing, more engineers. Just add depth to every department. It's exciting.
 
"When we brought on (Team) Penske several years ago, we were not as prepared as we wanted to be … there were a lot of long nights, a lot of stress. So we're going to try to be ahead of that."
 
Team Penske made the move from Dodge to Ford after the 2012 season. Dodge left NASCAR on a high note; Penske driver Brad Keselowski had just won the Sprint Cup title.
 
The following year, Keselowski finished 14th and teammate Joey Logano eighth in points.
 
"We've never been afraid to build a lot of engines," Yates said. "My dad and I have been in the engine business our entire lives. That part's really not a concern. But we're here to win races and championships, and there's a lot of responsibility and pressure that goes along with that.
 
"Roush Yates has been in business for 12 seasons now, this is our 13th. Between Cup, XFINITY, Truck and road races, we've won over 250 races. With Penske in three years we've won 48 races and 20 Cup races. But the last Cup championship we won was in 2004. So that's really the emphasis on us is to go win championships and we feel like with teams like Penske and Stewart-Haas and Roush Fenway and Petty (Richard Petty Motorsports), we have a really good opportunity to do that."
 
Yates has built winning engines for decades, following in his father's footsteps. His can recall his first race-winning engine as if it had been built just last week.
 
"It was a huge moment," he said. "It was the fall Charlotte race … with Davey Allison. That was the first one I built all the way through. That was just such an incredible feeling of accomplishment. It was like 'This is just incredible.' That was really special to me."

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