NASCAR Engineer Robert Yates Dies

NASCAR car owner and engine builder Robert Yates died October 2 as a result of liver cancer at the age of 74.

RobertYates2010NMPABy Ted Van Pelt – originally posted to Flickr as NMPA 2010 Robert Yates, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9098597

Like many involved in NASCAR, Yates was a part of a family enterprise who was not just an owner but a master mechanic and engine builder who won a total of 134 races with his engines and as the ca owner. In 1999 his driver Dale Jarrett won what is now the Monster Energy Cup Series championship. Yates is also a part of the 2018 class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, earning 94 percent of the vote.

Yates first came to NASCAR in 1967 as a mechanic for the Holman-Moody team. Over the course of his career, he has worked with car owner Junior Johnson, has been a part of five Daytona 500 victories, was a part of the team when Bobby Allison won his championship, won the Bill France Award of Excellence…twice, and won the NASCAR Buddy Shuman Lifetime Achievement Award.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=314168

Besides Dale Jarrett, Davey Allison, Ernie Irvan, Ricky Rudd, Elliott Sadler, and David Gilliland all drove for Yates. He retired as an owner in 2007 but continued to build engines.

Three time Cup champion Tony Stewart spoke on Yates calling him, “ one of the most inventive minds and kindest personalities.”

Robert Yates was one of nine children born to the Reverend John Clyde Yates and his wife in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Yates is survived by his wife Carolyn, children Doug and Amy, and eight grandchildren.


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