Sunday, February 11, 2007

From the Bottom to the Top

From the Bottom to the Top

(we HOPE!)

The Bud Shootout is over, Tony Stewart wins, and David Gilliland comes in at second. Following the strong testing results, and the strong practice results, it appears that things are looking up for Robert Yates Racing, We Hope!

David is showing himelf to be able to think logically through the challenges of a 70 lap exhibition event, on an unfamiliar track, giving an omen to the 500. Todd Parrott and Ricky Rudd were both providing advice and guidance to ensure David would have a great finish.

I observed smart pretty thinking from David. In the final laps of the race, David may have felt there was opportunity to pass, but he decided to stay where he was and finish the race. Yes, he could have jumped out and tried to win, however, he seemed to know as a rookie that no one would follow him! (Isn't it weird that for several years of racing at plate tracks, Elliott Sadler has made moves to run for the lead, and no one seems to follow him? What is with THAT?)

At any rate, David showed focus, perseverance, and calmness under stress. (Todd Parrot must be thrilled to have no driver tantrums! It has to be a great relief!)

While surfing the net to read all of the glowing articles about David, I discovered an amazing article:
Yates plans to hand team to son after season

I was stunned by the comments reported in this article. I knew that Robert Yates was in a huge funk last year, but who wouldn't be? Dale Jarret decided to accept a bigger paycheck with another team and another manufacturer, and Elliott Sadler spent the first half of the season denying it, but ultimately admitted that he was shopping for jobs, and managed to (for the second time of his two team career,) get out of his contract to drive elsewhere.

Robert, in the article, has a few comments that are most upsetting to any Yates Fan!

"I'd go home like Friday nights or something and say I wanted to check in (to a hospital), I'm going to die tonight," Yates said. "And they're like, 'You're not going to die, there's nothing wrong with you.' I really felt that bad. And really, that's just how much this business works on you. I hated it.


Yates said he became so stressed by his team's poor performance that his body began to stop functioning. "A mess" physically, Yates 1didn't believe his health problems were stress-related until his doctor prescribed "green pills" - he isn't sure what they were - to help take the stress away.

What a shame! Robert Yates has been working for years to keep teams to the forefront. I cannot begin to understand the stress he has suffered, with the loss of Davey Allison, and the injuries of Ernie Irvan.

With the struggles he and his organization have suffered, it is amazing that he still perserveres. The 2006 year had to be another extremely low point, and yet Robert is still here for the year.

David Gilliland is showing promise. Many thought he was put into the Cup competition far too early. His first races were indeed a bit shaky. Todd Parrott came on board, testing ensued, and we saw improvement with every race. Now that Ricky Rudd is also mentoring, the outlook is very bright indeed!

Ricky has brought skill and knowledge back to the teams. My fingers are crossed that the Yates team will start on their comeback.

With this statement in mind:

If everything goes according to Robert Yates' plan, his NASCAR team will rebound from a gut-wrenching season, and he will retire at the end of the year, handing the team over to son Doug.

one can see that Robert is hoping that he has a one-two punch to complete a strong season, and retire gracefully. Robert, all of my hopes are for that strong season, and if you decide to retire....I understand, but this race fan will miss you.

In the meantime, may Robert's teams lead the way to the checkered flag. Several times!