Sunday, January 20th, 2008 12:31pm UTC
By Luke, Thunder Lounge
Published on Thunder Lounge.
- Organization: Robert Yates Racing
- Car Number: 38
- Crew Chief: Todd Parrott
- Sponsor: M&M’s/Mars
- Points: 28th :: 2924 :: -3799
- Starts: 36
- Poles: 1
- Wins: 0
- Top 5′s: 1
- Top 10′s: 2
- Winnings: $4,330,840
- Organization: Yates Racing
- Car Number: 38
- Crew Chief: Cully Barraclough
- Sponsor: TBD
After a stunning underdog win at Kentucky in 2006, David Gilliland landed at Robert Yates Racing for a rookie campaign in 2007.
While there were high hopes, about the only positive thing from 2007 is that the team remained in the Top-35.
They lost sponsor M&M’s to Joe Gibbs’ #18 and Kyle Busch, performance continued to remain in a dismal state, Robert Yates abruptly announced a turn over of the organization to son Doug, and thus far sponsorship for 2008 is up in the air.
Looking to 2008, however, one would have to hope that their new ties to Roush Fenway will pay off in the long run, and help turn a once powerhouse away from the gutters.
Note: information is accurate as of date published. Check Thunder Lounge for additional updates and information.
By Luke, Thunder Lounge
Friday September 28, 2007
Published on Thunder Lounge.
Yeah, the image says it all. I guess Marc might be rubbing off a bit, but this has been wreaking havoc on my brain since it was made public.
I’m not normally one for Nascar conspiracy/tin foil hat slinging/propeller twirling thoughts. But let’s see what you think, as this is killing me.
Let’s start the progression of events. I’m not convinced that everything is all peachy over at the Yates’ place. Not saying it isn’t, and that I’m not off my rocker. But 2+2 != 4 in this case. The publicly known facts just don’t add up. Let’s follow them in the order we found out about them.
Ricky Rudd says he is leaving Robert Yates Racing at the end of the season. Something about retiring is mentioned. (Note, year before last it was taking a break.)
Robert Yates personally calls Kenny Wallace to set up a meeting about driving the #88 in 2008. This took place over Labor Day weekend, that Sunday to be specific.
Ricky Rudd gets hurt that same day, Kenny’s driven the car since. Doesn’t sound like a bad conversation took place, does it?
A few days later, over the Richmond weekend, we get this big announcement: Robert Yates to retire, Doug Yates to the helm and will re-brand RYR as Yates Racing.
Yates Racing will get cars, technical information, etc from Roush Racing. Roush Racing’s development driver, Travis Kvapil, will be headed to the #88.
Woah paint! A week earlier, Robert was talking to Kenny, and yet here’s a done deal with Kvapil? Hmmm, something isn’t right, and Kenny gets the shaft again. Not that it was exactly Hendrick or Gibbs, but it wasn’t ERR or FRR.
Then the silence falls. It was the quiet before the storm.
Last week, Mr. Junior makes his big announcement. The #88 Mountain Dew Amp Energy Drink National Guard Wrangler Trojan Foot Creme Chevy. Or, whatever it was.
Huh? What was that? Um, 88? Didn’t Doug Yates just say a bit ago that Yates Racing would be fielding the #38 with David Gilliland and the #88 with Travis Kvapil? Are we down by the docks? Something smell fishy here folks.
Is the madness over? Oh no. So let’s carry on to the next little tidbit before we fill in the dots.
Mars Inc. (read as Snickers, and M&M’s) announces that it will be heading to Joe Gibbs Racing and the #18 with Kyle Busch. What? Didn’t Interstate Batteries CEO say they were on the hood for 2008 at that press conference? Now they’re backing down? What the…
Are you following me on this? Let me back the truck up so that we have all readers on board with this. It’s time to fill in the dots on this.
Here’s what my mind says went down.
Ricky gets fed up (again), and remembers why he left for the Wood Brothers to begin with. What that is, I don’t know, but Ricky hasn’t looked happy for most of the season. If I was in a bottom end car, from a team that’s supposed to be top end, I’d be a little depressed after a while too. He decides to part ways. He may/may not have been talking to RCR about the fourth car, or potentially another opportunity. Something not at the back of the pack, else he’s headed for the front porch and a glass of tea.
Robert is talking to Kenny Wallace about a job, yet a couple days later it’s filled and all that hoopla. If the position was known to be filled, why would Robert talk to Kenny at all?
Behind the scenes here, Kelly is talking to Robert and asking about the #28 for Junior, and Robert ponies up the #88 instead.
Doug’s been talking to Roush on the side, and was made the offer of a lifetime. While mulling it over, he finds out about the 88 being released by its owner (Robert Yates), gets pissed, and announces the Roush deal. It’s been rumored that Ol’ Jack needs to move a team out of his shop in a bit (wink wink, nudge nudge), so why not make Roush #2 with the same folks he builds engines with. Of course he can’t profit from the teams winnings, but I bet the toilet seats aren’t going to be cheap. With this “partnership” or “leasing” in terms of well, everything, there’s his out when the time comes. But who shall it be? Hmmm…
Robert announces out of nowhere that he’s retiring, (Not wanting any part of that mess, and to spite Doug?)
Why the press release said 88, I have no idea.
Now, Mars/Snickers/M&M’s gets all pissed off because they were quite pleased with the opportunity to work with Kenny. That being sent to the gutters, they opt out on a performance clause, and walk. Can’t go to Evernham (because of Sadler), couldn’t follow Ricky (I’m sure because of a similar clause), so what’s left at the top? Here comes Gibbs, and hey, wanna throw a bone to the Shrub? They bite.
This is one big soap opera.
It may not be in that order, or exactly like that, but it could be close. Just think about it. The scenario of events doesn’t make sense whatsoever.
I can’t imagine Kenny wasn’t open to the idea of a full time ride. It would be higher in the points than FRR was and will continue to be. Not to mention, if it went bad, would he be subbing for Ricky at the moment? I doubt it, as bad as he wants to race.
So what we have here, is something some folks might refer to as a soup sandwich. Then again, maybe some phrase about a football bat comes to mind.
On top of all that crap, Newman/Haas/Lanigan are left out in the cold and wondering what happened? Um, hello, we’re a partnership now, right? Um, guys? Hey, guys? Hello? Buhler?
Something with this deal stinks to high heaven. Even the rats won’t touch it. So what in the world happened? OK, maybe kicking off the #88 wasn’t part of it. Then again, maybe it was and Doug didn’t find out until after California. Who knows? Not me, I’m just filling in the dots on this piece of swiss cheese.
That being said, something just isn’t right about this whole deal. Maybe it was planned all along? Then why the announcement about partnering with Newman/Haas/Lanigan? A decoy? Yeah, whatever. I don’t buy it. Something went wrong, and someone got hurt.
But who? Kenny had expectations, obviously sent awry. David Gilliland? Just a pawn in the game, happy to have a ride. Ricky Rudd? No pun intended. Robert Yates? Shouldn’t his legacy remain as RYR, even with Doug at the helm? That was what it sounded like anytime he mentioned “down the road”.
My thoughts on this are pretty scattered, I know. However, I can’t say that the overall theory is that far out there. There’s much not being told. It’s the kinda stuff that’ll show up on page 385 in a memoirs style book one day. Long after this mess has been forgotten. I can only hope to read it someday, and satisfy my curiosity.Read more of this article »
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Filed Under: Dale Earnhardt Junior, David Gilliland, Drivers, Joe Gibbs Racing #18, Kenny Wallace, Kyle Busch, Nascar, Ricky Rudd, Robert Yates Racing #38, Robert Yates Racing #88, Yates Racing #28
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