Yates Racing

by Tim Piotrowski on January 31, 2008 @ 15:24:03 PDT

 


Owners - Doug Yates and Max Jones

Manufacturer - Ford

Cars and Drivers

No. 38 Experian Consumer Direct

David Gilliland returns to drive the No. 38 car for Yates Racing this season. Last season he got off to a great start when he won the pole at the Daytona 500 and finished in eighth place. After his first racing success, he was not able to carry that momentum into the rest of the season, though. He only finished in the top 10 twice and the top 15 three times. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Gilliland finished 35th or worst eight times in 2007. The No. 38 car had some difficulties staying in races. It was involved in three accidents and had some mechanical issues in two more races. Gilliland finished 28th in the Nextel Cup standings last season. The No. 38 car finished in 32nd place in owner points, which guarantees that it will be in the first five races.

Gilliland will get a new crew chief for the 2008 season: Cully Barraclough will take over the top spot for the No. 38 car. The two men have a previous business relationship. Barraclough worked on a race team for Gilliland's father eight years ago.

No. 28 (No Sponsor)

This car has seen several key changes over the offseason. First of all, Yates Racing gave the No. 88 to Hendrick Motorsports and brought back the No. 28 to put on the car. The second big change is that 2007 driver Ricky Rudd retired and Travis Kvapil will now drive the car. Last season, this car did not have a top-five finish and only had one top-10 finish. Kvapil has been successful in lower levels of racing. He is a former Craftsman Truck Series champion. Kvapil has experience driving in the Sprint Cup, racing cars in 2005 and 2006. Last season, Rudd finished 33rd in the Nextel Cup standings. The No. 28 car finished 30th in owner points, which automatically gets it into the first five races of the season.

Crew chief Todd Parrott has moved from the No. 38 car to head the pit box for the No. 28 car. Parrott had some success with Gilliland last year, especially at Daytona. He will likely help the newcomer Kvapil with several aspects of the team and the car.

Equipment and Resources

Yates Racing has seen a lot of changes over the past few months. First, Robert Yates retired, and his son Doug took his place. Yates Racing has started to build a relationship with Roush Fenway Racing, and they are strongly supporting Yates Racing. Jones, the former Rousch Fenway Racing general manager, has become a co-owner of Yates Racing. This racing team has always had terrific engines because Robert Yates was considered one of the best engine builders in the sport. Other teams are currently using Yates engines in their cars.

The huge problem for Yates Racing is the lack of sponsors for their cars. Neither Snickers nor M&Ms returned to sponsor the cars. Jones said the team will run a full schedule, and he's confident they will find sponsorship for this season. At testing at Daytona International Speedway, the Yates cars were promoting a Web site on the side of the car that says www.sponsoryates.com. Fenway owner Jack Roush is also helping Yates Racing to find sponsors for this season.

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About Tim Piotrowski

Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.

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