Contract Status: Driver: 2009; Primary Sponsors: 200?
#28 Team Past News and Rumors
(NOTE: some older links may not work)
Richard Petty Motorsports to run Fords in 2010, merge w/Yates: Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing announced today they have signed a letter of intent to merge operations in time for the 2010 season. The four-car team will race Fords under the Richard Petty Motorsports banner.
Richard Petty: “This is a pretty big deal for us. We’re thrilled to partner with Ford. We’ve talked with a lot of folks, but in the end it came down to the success the Gilletts and I think we can achieve with Ford Racing. Right now this deal is real new. There are lots of details still left to be ironed out so we don’t have a lot of answers for anyone right now. We’ll be working on all that in the coming days, weeks and months, but we do intend to have everything in place before the start of next season. I’ve won races with Ford and plan to again.”
Team Managing Partner Foster Gillett: “Richard and Kasey (Kahne) showed us Sunday night in Atlanta that they like winning quite a bit and Ford is going to provide the support that we need to go to victory lane more often. If you are going to compete with the other teams in this sport you need a lot of support. We bring a lot to this relationship as well. We’ve won twice this season and the power of Richard Petty is hard to beat, plus we have the support of some of the biggest names in corporate America.”
Yates Racing Co-owner Max Jones: “This is certainly a great opportunity for both Yates Racing as well as Ford Racing. I have had a long-term relationship with Ford and look forward to continuing that relationship at Richard Petty Motorsports. Over the coming weeks we will continue to work with Ford and Richard Petty to lay out the best plan for Paul Menard and all of the employees at Yates Racing. We will continue to field both the #98 and #96 Ford Fusions for the remainder of the season and look forward to continued success on the track with Paul, Bobby Labonte and Erik Darnell.”
Yates Racing Co-owner Doug Yates: “This plan is clearly in the best interest of the Ford Racing community. On a personal level, I am excited about the opportunity to focus my full energy on building Ford horsepower. We look forward to working with Richard Petty Motorsports to produce power second to none. There are many details to be worked out with Richard Petty Motorsports and as we finalize those details we will keep everyone informed.”
Director of Ford North America Motorsports Brian Wolfe: "I am very pleased that Richard Petty Motorsports has made the decision to switch to Ford for the 2010 season. They had choices to consider other than Ford and it's gratifying to us that they have enough faith in the Ford Motor Company and what we're doing to make the switch. We believe we can provide them with superior analytical tools and powertrain, and we will work with them closely on the technical front to help them become even more competitive than they are. What's also really cool to me is the chance to have someone with the class and the legacy of Richard Petty involved with Ford. Combine that with the chance to work with the Gillett family, who we have great respect for, and add some great drivers to the Ford camp, well, it's hard not to be excited about this opportunity."
Note: Paul Menard will be one of the drivers in the Petty team joining #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler and #44-AJ Allmendinger.(Richard Petty Motorsports)
and the PR doesn't mention Reed Sorenson or what car number Menard will run and with this merger, looks like the #26 Roush Fenway Racing team may now go away as they it not merge with Yates Racing now, since Yates and RPM merging is at the four car limit mandated by NASCAR. So unless something changes, two more cars/teams are lost: would expect RPM to run the #9, #19 and #43 so either the #44 team or the #98 team would go away and the #26 Ford that was rumored to be going to Yates.
UPDATE: on Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128, Sirius Speedway radio show, Reed Sorenson, current driver of the #43 RPM Dodge, was interviewed and said he knew a few weeks ago that he would not be back with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 and he is looking for a ride in 2010. Sorenson says he has enjoyed working with all his current sponsors in 2009 and a few would like to stay with him.(9-10-2009)
Kvapil has a truck ride for Nashville: Travis Kvapil, the 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion, will pilot the #51 Miccosukee Resort Billy Ballew Motorsports truck at Nashville Superspeedway Saturday, August 1, 2009. Kvapil won the 2007 Truck Series race in his last start at the 1.33-mile superspeedway just outside Nashville, Tennessee. The current Yates Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver [#28 Ford which suspended operations early in the season] has five previous Camping World Truck Series starts at Nashville Superspeedway, posting one win, two top-five and three top-10 finishes. Nashville Superspeedway presents the winner of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race with a Gibson guitar hand painted artist Sam Bass.(Billy Ballew Motorsports)(7-29-2009)
- Yates would like reduction in horsepower on cars: Support appears to be growing to cut Cup horsepower, thus cutting corner-entry speed, thus making for more side-by-side racing. David Hyder, crew chief for #21-Bill Elliott and the Woods, says putting restrictor plates on engines at tracks like this two-mile oval and California's Auto Club Speedway would greatly improve the racing. And Doug Yates agrees. "Nobody likes plates, but here [Michigan] you're going into the corners at 215 mph, which is ridiculous. And then you've got the tire problems at Indianapolis…..It's all just a physics equation - how fast you go into the corner, how much grip you have, and what that does to the tires. So I'm an advocate of taking some engine power away and making the racing better. Take at least 50 horsepower way. These Cup cars are overpowered today. We definitely need to take some power away. Every engine builder in this garage has made gains of 15 to 20 horsepower every year for 20 years…and we're going to gain another 15 horsepower next year. And it will cost us more money. The fans in the stands don't care if we've got 700 horsepower, 800 horsepower or 900 horsepower or 1,000 horsepower, they just want to see a good race. If we could take some power away, put more grip in the tires, it would make for better racing." (mikemulhern.net)(6-15-2009)
- Kvapil hoping for ride soon: Travis Kvapil, sidelined since Bristol, says his Sprint Cup career is still in a holding pattern.
“This is definitely where I want to be,” Kvapil said after flying into Talladega Superspeedway to serve as a relief driver for Sam Hornish Jr. “I feel like I can get it done at this level.” Four of Kvapil’s 110 career Cup starts came earlier this season in the Yates Racing #28 Ford. But a lack of sponsorship eventually led the organization to shut the team down. Yates Racing continues to field Fords for drivers #96-Bobby Labonte, in a Hall of Fame entry, and #98-Paul Menard. “The 28 deal, if we can get sponsors and get that [team] back on the track, obviously that’s first and foremost what we’d like to have happen,” Kvapil, 33, said. “If not, maybe another opportunity will come up. I felt like what we did last year – we ran well, ended up 23rd in points with very limited funding [should be worth something]. Currently, he said, there’s not much movement in relation to driver changes at the Cup level. Contact with interested parties has been virtually non-existent. “But it’s still early. If people are going to make [driver] changes, it will be probably another month or so before they do,” he said. As it turned out, Kvapil wasn't needed at Talladega – Hornish wound up staying in the car for the duration and eventually finished 34th. “I hate to wish bad luck on anybody, but I’m ready to go," Kvapil said. "I’m starting to get the [racing] itch real bad.”(SceneDaily)(4-29-2009)
- Kvapil open to other opportunies; hopes to return to #28: While his first goal would be to see Yates Racing revive the #28 car, Travis Kvapil said he didn't think the Yates Racing team would keep him from other opportunities. "Obviously I want to be racing," Kvapil said. "I don't like sitting on the couch. I don't like not being there, not competing. It's really hard to watch it on Sunday just knowing that I feel like I should be out there. It has just not worked out. I want to race, and if there were other opportunities that came up, we'd have to look at them as they come and cross that bridge when it comes. The Yates group told me if something did come up, they wouldn't necessarily hold me back from competing, we'd just have to work it out." Kvapil said he wouldn't rule anything out, but would like to find something at the Cup level where he feels as if he still has a lot to prove. He isn't too concerned about sitting out as far as his abilities deteriorating while he is out of the seat. If Yates Racing does find sponsorship, Kvapil said the team wouldn't need much time to get ready to get to the track. "In a matter of two or three days we could probably be ready to go to the race track," Kvapil said. "They took my handful of race cars and pushed them over in the corner and the hauler is all ready to go. They didn't scavenge any parts or pieces from the 28 bunch to go to any other team. The 28 is ready to go. we'd have to hire a few people back right away, but a number of people we had on the 28 came from within the company already, so they're there."(Scene Daily)(4-10-2009)
- Bristol could be last race for #28 UPDATE - done: Sources at Yates Racing confirmed that Sunday’s Food City 500 will be the last race in the foreseeable future for the #28 Ford driven by Travis Kvapil. Last year, the team was able to piecemeal enough sponsorship together to last the entire season for the #28, but despite some support from Golden Corral for the first five races of 2009, it wasn’t enough to keep the car going beyond this week.(SPEEDtv)(3-21-2009)
UPDATE: Yates Racing will suspend operations of the #28 Ford of Travis Kvapil due to lack of sponsorship following Sunday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The team entered the race 40th in points. A decision on how many employees will be laid off has not been made. Geoff Smith, the president of Roush Fenway Racing that partners with Yates, said most of the #28 team members will be dispersed to other parts of the organization. "It's difficult to be in a situation when you have to deal with the consequences of the economy," Smith said. "We're in a situation where there's no extra cash to support running an unsponsored car for any period of time.
If the economy picks up later in the season maybe we'll be able to pick up something for that team." The team suffered a major setback when Kvapil failed to make the third race at Las Vegas. That was compounded a week later when a blown engine left him 42nd at Atlanta.
Smith wasn't optimistic sponsorship for Kvapil will come this season. He's having enough trouble with selling sponsorship for some of his other programs, such as Aflac on Carl Edwards' car, that have asked for relief. Roush has sponsors for all of its drivers through at least 2010 except Matt Kenseth, whose deal with DeWalt expires after this year. Smith said he's working with DeWalt to find a partner for next season. "There's a lot of pressure internally and externally for sponsors to decrease participation and find a partner or pull back altogether," Smith said. "There just aren't enough sponsors on our side of the garage to go around right now."(ESPN.com)(3-22-2009)
- Kvapil done with Yates Racing? Next week's race at Bristol Motor Speedway may be #28-Travis Kvapil's last for Yates Racing this season. Sources close to the organization say Kvapil's crew has been told they will not run the next two Sprint Cup events at Martinsville and Texas, and that unless sponsorship comes along they won't run the rest of the year. The team pieced together sponsorship for the first five races hoping Kvapil would do well enough to garner more attention. Things were looking up after he finished second in the second race at California. Then he failed to qualify for the Las Vegas race and a failed engine last week at Atlanta left him 42nd with a car capable of finishing in the top 20. He's 39th in owner points with little chance of being in the top 35 guaranteed a spot in the field after Bristol. On anther front, Roush Fenway Racing has not replaced the entire crew of David Ragan's team as another driver suggested last week. Ragan has had a rough start, ranked 22nd in points, but the team is confident in crew chief Jimmy Fennig.(ESPN Insider)(3-14-2009)
- #28 Team needs sponsor to continue on: Travis Kvapil still needs sponsorship to keep racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beyond the upcoming race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Yates Racing co-owner Max Jones said Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kvapil, who finished 23rd in the points in 2008, was left without a full-time ride when Hall of Fame Racing brought Bobby Labonte and sponsor Ask.com to Yates and Paul Menard brought his family sponsorship (Menards) to the team. Points swaps among the group left Kvapil without a locked-in position in races this season. Yates Racing had pledged to run at least five races with Kvapil and then reevaluate. “Right now it’s still five,” Jones said. “We’re still talking to people. Hopefully it can be more, but we don’t have any firm commitments for more than five right now.” The team has had Golden Corral as a sponsor the last two races. “They’re very interested and they’re looking at it,” Jones said. “If we can go out here and run really well today, that would surely help. … We threw that [team] together in the last minute, and I think they’ve run really well.” Kvapil’s team is 38th in owners points, 29 points out of the top 35. Obviously getting in the top 35 in owners points would help because Kvapil would not have to worry about missing the race. One thing that gives Kvapil optimism that he might race beyond Martinsville is that the team has plans to test the new Martinsville-style track next to Rockingham Speedway.(SceneDaily)(3-9-2009)
- Golden Corral back to sponsor the #28: Golden Corral, America's favorite family buffet and grill restaurant chain, is extending its NASCAR involvement and has signed on to sponsor Yates Racing driver #28-Travis Kvapil for the next three Sprint Cup Series races [Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol in March]. It will also continue its "Race for America's Families" promotion. Each time Kvapil posts a top 10 finish, Golden Corral will give every kid in America a free buffet* as well as make a $5,000 donation to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). "Golden Corral was thrilled to sponsor Travis in the Daytona 500 and our customers, employees and veterans across the country told us they were pulling for him, too," said Chris Kuehn, chief marketing officer of Golden Corral. "We decided to extend our sponsorship because the response reinforced that this is a perfect fit for our brand and the start of the season is a great time of year to be involved in NASCAR."(Chainleader.com), see images of the car on my #28 Team Schemes.(2-27-2009)
- Farmers Insurance to sponsor Kvapil at California: Yates Racing announced that Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, will sponsor Travis Kvapil and the #28 Ford Fusion in the February 22nd Sprint Cup Series race at Fontana, California. "It’s another great opportunity for the #28 team and Yates Racing to have Farmers Insurance on board for next weekend’s race at Fontana,” said Yates Racing driver Travis Kvapil. “Yates and Ford Racing have a great intermediate track program which gives us a lot to look forward to next weekend at Fontana.”
“This is an exciting first for Farmers and we are pleased to sponsor Travis Kvapil in next Sunday’s Sprint Cup race,” commented Kevin Kelso, Farmers Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “The Farmers Insurance family of 21,000 employees and 26,000 agents from coast-to-coast are long time fans of NASCAR. We will all be cheering for Yates Racing and a big win for Travis Kvapil.” The #28 Farmers Insurance Ford Fusion will debut next Friday, February 20th during opening practice of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race weekend at Fontana, Calif. For more information about Farmers Group, visit farmers.com.(Yates Racing PR)(2-17-2009)
- Golden Corral Racing Promotion to Aid Veterans: On Sunday, Feb. 15, all eyes will be on the Golden Corral #28 Ford and its driver Travis Kvapil as he races for the checkered flag for American families and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) during the 2009 Daytona 500. If Kvapil finishes in the top 10, Golden Corral will give every kid in America a free buffet* as well as make a $5,000 donation to the DAV. In celebration of Kvapil's success, Golden Corral, America's favorite family buffet and grill restaurant chain, will turn Monday, Feb. 16, into "Kids Eat Free" Day. Families who bring a Daytona 500 race ticket or official race results from a newspaper or Web site can receive a free kid's buffet for any child 12 and under with the purchase of an adult buffet at participating restaurants. In addition to "Kids Eat Free" Day, Golden Corral will also make a $5,000 donation to the DAV, an 87-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to providing services - free of charge through its nationwide network - to disabled veterans and their families. Through Golden Corral's "Military Appreciation Monday," the company has helped raise more than $3.26 million for the DAV since the program started in 2001.(chainleader.com)(2-10-2009)
- Golden Corral to sponsor Kvapil at Daytona: Yates Racing announced that Golden Corral, America's favorite family buffet and grill restaurant chain, will sponsor Travis Kvapil and the #28 Ford Fusion in the 2009 Daytona 500 on February 15th. "It's great to have Golden Corral on board for the biggest race of the year," said Yates Racing driver Travis Kvapil. "I've always been a huge fan of Golden Corral, and now to have them on the #28 Ford for the Daytona 500 is such a great opportunity for us. I can't wait to get back down to Daytona. It's been a long off season without any testing, and I think I speak for all the guys on the #28 team, but we are all chomping at the bit to get back down there. Doug (Yates) has been working solid hours over at the engine shop getting ready for the 500, and I know we'll have a ton of horsepower under the hood of the #28 Golden Corral Ford Fusion."
"Golden Corral is thrilled to be a part of this year's Daytona 500," commented Chris Kuehn, Chief Marketing Officer of Golden Corral. "Golden Corral customers and employees have been long time supporters and fans of NASCAR and to be with Travis Kvapil and Yates Racing in the Daytona 500 is a perfect fit for our brand." Golden Corral will debut with the #28 Golden Corral Ford Fusion in the season opening practice on February 7th at Daytona International Speedway, followed by pole qualifying on February 8th and then the final-field setting Gatorade Duels on February 12th. In Kvapil's last start at a restrictor plate track, the #28 took the pole at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2008. Sponsorship opportunities are available; please see www.yatesracing.com.(Yates Racing PR)(2-3-2009)
- Yates Names Business Development Team: Yates Racing announced Jon Sands as Vice-President and Mark Gendle as Director of Business Development for the three-tiered Sprint Cup Series entry to include the #98, #28 and #96 Hall of Fame Ford. The duo will also support the #98 Nationwide Series entry with Paul Menard. Sands joined Roush Fenway Racing in 2001 after excelling in numerous areas of motorsports marketing. Sands experience ranges from Phoenix's Firebird International Raceway, New York-based Cohn & Wolfe where he oversaw Pennzoil Sprint Cup Series program, and Coors Brewing Company's Cup Series endeavors. At Roush Fenway Racing, his responsibilities included securing primary sponsorships as well as developing specialized, integrated marketing communication programs that make such sponsorship programs profitable to the client. Gendle joined Roush Fenway's marketing team after a four-year tenure with Raycom Sports. At Raycom, Gendle developed sales and marketing strategies for regional television coverage of both basketball and football in the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference. His motorsports experience began at Elevation Motorsports where he worked with clients like General Mill, UPS and Masterfoods USA.(Yates Racing PR)(1-30-2009)
- Kvapil to run at least first five races..then: Yates Racing is committed to running the first five Sprint Cup races with #28-Travis Kvapil, with any races of the season beyond that still to be determined, team general manager Max Jones said Thursday.
Jones said he hopes that sponsorship can be found, much like the team did last year when it ran an unsponsored car in several races and had several occasional primary sponsors. While optimistic that recent talks with potential sponsors will come through, Jones said the team doesn’t intend to run the team unsponsored the entire year. Kvapil’s crew chief will be Ben Leslie, who will also continue in his position as Ford Racing’s NASCAR field manager. Todd Parrott was going to be Kvapil’s crew chief, but he – and his entire team – is going to work with #96-Bobby Labonte, whose Hall of Fame Racing team will be operated by Yates Racing in a deal announced last week. Kvapil will have no points to fall back on in getting into the first five races. His points from 2008, when he finished 23rd in the driver standings, went to #98-Paul Menard, who brought sponsorship to the team.(SceneDaily)(1-23-2009)
- Menard to get owners pts from other Yates team UPDATE 38 to 96; 28 to 98: from a NASCAR Press Conference at Daytona for the Fanfest. NASCAR Ramsey Poston asked the questions: Has any determination been made at Yates what the point affiliation will be for your team? Are you going to start from scratch? Are you going to get one of the other cars on points, and is there more concern or more excitement about starting out the year with a totally new bunch and how critical is it going to be to gel quickly with that group?
PAUL MENARD [#98 Menard's Ford]: As far as I know we're getting points so we'll be locked in. I'm not sure if it's #28 or #38 points, but one of them will slide over.(NASCAR PR)(1-17-2009)
UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing today the #96 Ask.com Ford Fusion and Bobby Labonte as the manufacturers’ wild card entry into the famed Budweiser Shootout following NASCAR’s rule change on Friday. “The #96 joined the Ford family at the right time,” said Hall of Fame Racing Co-Owner, Tom Garfinkel. “We’re pleased to get Hall of Fame and Ask.com into the Shootout and have an early chance to start working towards solid top-five and top-10 finishes this season. We are pleased to be working with Bobby Labonte and Yates Racing and look forward to seeing this combination of talent come together for the first time in the Shootout.” Labonte and the #96 will also receive Yates Racing points from the #38, piloted by David Gilliland in 2008. The transfer will put the #96 in 27th position going into the Daytona 500 in February. Yates Racing’s #98 Menards Ford Fusion will start the 2009 season in 23rd position after a points transfer from the #28. Paul Menard will drive the machine for the full 2009 season. Travis Kvapil will start the season as a fresh entry in the #28 Yates Racing Ford. Sponsorship opportunities are available; please contact Jon Sands with Yates Racing at 704-720-4621.(Yates Racing PR)(1-19-2009)
- Yates and HOF partner up, new sponsor UPDATE2 Labonte to drive: Hall of Fame Racing [#96] and Yates Racing [#28, #38, #98], are forging a relationship that is expected to include sponsorship from Ask.com, one of the few companies with new money to spend in the sport.(Sports Business Journal), no other details mentioned.(1-12-2009)
UPDATE: Yates Racing and Hall of Fame Racing (HOF) announced an alignment of their two teams. Under the agreement, Yates Racing will operate the #96 Sprint Cup entry of Hall of Fame Racing for the full 2009 Sprint Cup schedule. Doug Yates and Max Jones will continue as co-owners of Yates Racing, while Tom Garfinkel and Jeff Moorad will continue as co-owners of Hall of Fame Racing. With the recent expansion of the Yates Racing facilities, the #96 Ford Fusion will operate out of the Yates Racing complex, located in Concord, N.C. “This partnership with Hall of Fame is a great stepping stone for the Yates organization,” said Max Jones, co-owner and General Manager of Yates Racing. “Through this partnership, we are able to continue the expansion of our shop and field another Sprint Cup entry. We, along with Ford Racing, welcome Hall of Fame Racing and look forward to a very successful season.”
“Jeff Moorad and I knew it would take time to construct the right model to improve our competitive position in the sport and we think we’ve come a long way to achieving that through our association with Yates Racing,” said Tom Garfinkel, co-owner of Hall of Fame Racing. “We’re proud to be associated with Doug and Max and Ford Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.” The Hall of Fame Racing entry will make its competitive debut at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, February 12 during the Gatorade 150 qualifying races.(Yates Racing PR)(1-13-2009)
UPDATE 2: sources tell me that Labonte could drive for Yates Racing, which may be the #96 Ford which makes sense since the #96 is out of the top 35 in owners points and Labonte is a past Cup champ, so he would have a past champions provisional to use [since Labonte was the Champ in 2000, he would get the spot before #21-Bill Elliott, who was the 1988 champ, but after #14-Stewart, who was a champ in 2005], also hearing the #98 Yates Racing Ford will use the #38 Yates Racing owners points for the 1st five races, guaranteeing Paul Menard and sponsor Menards of making the 1st five races of 2009.
AND Labonte will drive the #96 car for Yates Racing, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday. Hall of Fame Racing announced earlier in the day that it has aligned itself with Yates Racing to run the 96 for the entire Sprint Cup season. Team officials said a driver announcement would come on Wednesday. Sources said Labonte, who had been in discussions with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing for the #8 car, will be that driver as part of a three-car operation. Sources said the car will be sponsored by Ask.com. Labonte and Yates officials could not be reached for comment regarding Labonte.(ESPN)(1-13-2009)
AND II:NASCAR.com is reporting: Bobby Labonte will drive the #96 Ford in 2009, three sources on Tuesday evening. A formal announcement is to be made Wednesday, according to the sources, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity.(NASCAR.com)(1-13-2009)
- Parrott leaves Yates; to GEM? UPDATE 3 No, back at Yates: Todd Parrott, a second-generation racer with more than two decades of racing experience, was released from Yates Racing after leading the #28 Ford and driver Travis Kvapil to a 23rd-place finish in the point standings.(FoxSports), no word where Parrott ends up or who will be Kvapil's crew chief in 2009.(11-18-2008)
UPDATE: After spending a year building a relationship with Todd Parrott, #28-Travis Kvapil will have to get acquainted with a new Sprint Cup crew chief next season at Yates Racing. "Especially with a driver and crew chief, there are a lot of details or quirks you learn about each other," Kvapil said Thursday. "Todd found out a lot about me, about what I like this year. At the same time, we weren't content with how we ran, 23rd in points, and I guess the team felt we needed a change." Max Jones, the team's co-owner and general manager, gave Kvapil no indication of who his crew chief would be beyond someone with Cup experience. Parrott's role with Yates, if any, is undetermined. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(11-21-2008)
UPDATE 2 - Parrott to GEM? Hearing crew chief Todd Parrott, who recently left Yates Racing, could end up at Gillett Evernham Motorsports, reuniting with #19-Elliott Sadler. Sadler and Parrott worked together when Sadler drove the #38 M&M's Ford for Yates. Parrott would replace Rodney Childers who is supposedly headed to the #00 to crew chief David Reutimann.(12-3-2008)
UPDATE 3: Yates Racing's Travis Kvapil said today that Todd Parrott will return as his team's crew chief for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. Kvapil told SceneDaily.com that a Nov. 20 story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that said Parrott had left the organization wasn't correct. "Todd's going to crew chief in 2009 again," Kvapil said. "I know there was some talk that he retired or quit, and none of that is true. He is still under contract. I'm excited to take what we established last year and work together again in 2009."
In the Journal-Sentinel report, Kvapil was quoted as saying that because of the team's lack of consistency in 2008 that the organization has decided a change in leadership was needed. "Todd found out a lot about me, about what I like this year," Kvapil said in the report. "At the same time, we weren't content with how we ran, 23rd in points, and I guess the team felt we needed a change." It was unclear why there was a discrepancy over whether or not Parrott had left the team. The #28 Yates Racing team has yet to secure a primary sponsor for the 2009 season, but Kvapil said he believes the organization is close to signing a deal soon.(SceneDaily)(12-10-2008)
- Latest on Yates Racing: Sponsorship issues are again a question for the team [Yates Racing] next season, but both #28-Travis Kvapil and #38-David Gilliland are expected to be back in what will grow to a three-car stable with the addition of #98-Paul Menard. The former DEI pilot brings his family's lucrative home improvement store sponsorship money with him to Yates, which will provide the financial resources the team so desperately needs. Veteran crew chief Larry Carter, who helped Jamie McMurray turn around his 2008 season, moves over from Roush to call the shots for Menard next year. "I'm really looking forward to starting this new chapter of my life with Yates Racing and behind the wheel of the #98 Ford Fusion," said Menard. "The #98 has been to Victory Lane 25 times, many times with Marvin Panch and Lee Roy Yarbrough. It's exciting to be starting with (team co-owner) Max (Jones) and Doug (Yates), and having Larry Carter on the box making the calls. I've seen how solid the Roush/Yates engine program has been over the years and I know we can have a really good season in the #98 Menard Ford Fusion." [the last win for a car #98 was John Andretti at Daytona in July 1997]. Kvapil will also have a new crew chief with the team's decision to release veteran Todd Parrott, although no official announcement of his replacement has yet been made.(CBS Sports)(12-9-2008)
- All Sport to sponsor Kvapil for three races: Yates Racing announced today that All Sport, a leading isotonic sports drink company which is a subsidiary of Big Red, Inc., will sponsor the #28 entry with driver Travis Kvapil for a total of three races in the remaining Sprint Cup Series schedule. The primary sponsorship will debut at Martinsville Speedway on October 19th and the race will mark the first time All Sport has been a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series. The All Sport brand has a history of success in auto racing. From 1994 through 1997 the brand was the primary sponsor for Tommy Kendall and his Ford Mustang in the Trans-Am Series. Kendall drove the All Sport Ford to three consecutive series championships in 1995, 1996, and 1997 while also winning eleven straight races in 1997. Kendall’s win streak rocketed the All Sport Ford into the record books as he surpassed Mark Donahue’s previous record of eight consecutive wins which had stood for nearly 30 years. Yates Racing’s General Manager and Co-Owner, Max Jones, was the General Manager of Roush Fenway’s Trans-Am series at the time of All Sport’s and Kendall’s success. The #28 All Sport Ford Fusion will debut on October 19th, 2008 at Martinsville Speedway. The remaining two races of the primary sponsorship are the Sprint Cup Series events at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami. For more info about All Sport go to www.drinkallsport.com. A subsidiary of Big Red, Inc., All Sport, Inc. is based in Austin, Texas and distributed by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.(Yates Racing)(10-16-2008)
- Kvapil 100th start: Sunday’s race at Talladega will be #28-Travis Kvapil’s 100th career start in the Sprint Cup series.(Yates Racing PR)(10-1-2008)
- Menard to leave DEI UPDATE 2: Paul Menard will leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season to drive for Yates Racing, The Associated Press has learned. Menard is expected to announce Tuesday that both he and his sponsorship will move to Yates, a person familiar with Menard's decision told The AP. The person requested anonymity because Menard had yet to make his announcement. DEI officials were not immediately available to comment Monday night. Without Menard, DEI has just one full sponsor in Bass Pro Shops for #1-Martin Truex Jr. He recently agreed to a one-year extension with DEI that takes him through 2009. Sponsorship from the U.S. Army is expected to leave DEI at the end of the year - perhaps for Tony Stewart's new team [#39-Ryan Newmani s runored] - and that leaves DEI without funding for the #8 Chevy that Aric Almirola will pilot. #01-Regan Smith, the fourth driver in DEI's current stable, has had very limited sponsorship all season. Yates has been fielding two cars this year with no full-time sponsorship. Instead, it's pieced together several different limited programs for #38-David Gilliland and #28-Travis Kvapil while receiving support from Roush Fenway Racing.(in part from the Associated Press), hearing an announcement could come sometime this week.(9-29-2008)
UPDATE: Menard's presence secures them [Yates Racing] funding for at least one full-time team in 2009, but will mean the axe for either #28-Travis Kvapil or #38-David Gilliland if enough sponsorship isn't found to expand to three cars. In the meantime, contraction is now almost a certainty for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., who now must find sponsors for Menard's #15, Regan Smith's #01, and Aric Almirola's #8. A source tells Frontstretch.com Smith's #01 has been floated around to possible investors, and it's almost a certainty Smith will not return to the team in 2009. Menard and DEI could not be reached for comment.(Frontstretch)
UPDATE 2: Paul Menard has reached an agreement to drive for Yates Racing in the Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2009 season. “This is a great opportunity and I’m glad to be joining the Yates Racing organization next season,” said Menard. “I think a lot of what Doug Yates and Max Jones are doing over there building for continued success. I’m excited to be a part of their future and excited to work with Travis (Kvapil) and David (Gilliland). You look at what Doug and the Ford Motor Company have done in this sport, they’ve created a lot of horsepower and hoisted quite a few trophies over the years. I’d like to help continue that for both of them.” Paul Menard’s Ford Fusion will feature sponsorship from Menards, as well as associate sponsors including: Johns Manville, Super Clean, Quaker State, Pittsburgh Paints, Moen, Sylvania, Energizer, Turtle Wax, Vertis, Peak and Nibco. Yates Racing General Manager Max Jones sees Menard as a fresh addition to his current roster. “Paul is one of those guys I’ve personally been watching for the last two years; I think he’s ready to take the next step in this series and become a driver we hear a lot about on the track in 2009.” While details of Menard’s car design and car number have yet to be finalized, Team principal Doug Yates sees Paul really fitting in at Yates Racing. “It’s a positive addition for us to get a guy like Paul in camp here," said Yates. "He’s been through adversity in his first year in Cup and shown tremendous improvement in his second year. He’s a racer, a guy who likes to be at the shop a lot, from what I understand, and that’s what we like here. Plus, he already has a good relationship with our current drivers, so adding that third source of data should help our entire team rise up.”(Menards Racing/Co-Pilott PR)(9-30-2008)