Engine builder, team owner
Yates was one of NASCAR’s most successful engine builders before becoming a Daytona 500 and NASCAR Cup Series champion team owner. A graduate mechanical engineer, he joined Holman-Moody in 1967 and began building engines for H-M, Junior Johnson, Richard Petty and the Wood Brothers — all MSHFA inductees. Yates’ engines won 77 Cup races, including five DAYTONA 500s and two championships. Robert Yates Racing opened in 1988 with Davey Allison behind the wheel. It was a constant championship threat throughout the ‘90s, finishing fourth or better from 1991 through 2001, except 1993-5 when lead drivers Allison and Ernie Irvan were lost in mid-season accidents. Yates and Allison won the 1992 DAYTONA 500 and finished a fighting third in the 1991 and ’92 point standings. Dale Jarrett won the 1999 Cup title and 2000 DAYTONA 500 for Yates. Overall, Yates won 57 races and 48 poles as a team owner. Yates received the Bill France Award of Excellence (2000) and Buddy Shuman Award (2007) and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2018.