Paul Newman and Carl Haas were back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, announcing their partnership with Robert Yates Racing to compete in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The new team will be known as Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing...
Paul Newman and Carl Haas were back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today, announcing their partnership with Robert Yates Racing to compete in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The new team will be known as Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing effective immediately. In addition to Newman, Haas and Yates, participants in the pres conference included Doug Yates, Mike Lanigan and Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology.
"NASCAR Nextel Cup racing is rapidly moving, technology-wise, to engineering areas that Newman/Haas/Lanigan has years of experience with already," said Dan Davis, director of Ford Racing Technology. "And Robert Yates Racing brings years of engine development and race craft in the sport that is invaluable to this operation. Put that expertise together, along with joint ownership that is clearly committed to winning, and we have a Ford program that will be a contender for years to come."
With the introduction of the car of tomorrow to the NEXTEL Cup Series, "you're starting to see laboratory testing take the place of track testing," said Davis. With the experience of Newman Haas Lanigan Racing in the Champ Car World Series, "you have an activity that has done that for a long time and an activity that knows about the cars and the tracks." Putting the two teams together will elevate the sport.
"I am very proud of our accomplishments in the Champ Car World Series and hope we can have the same success in NASCAR," added Carl A. Haas, who has been a team owner in NASCAR's Cup series on two previous occasions. "We have been looking to add other forms of racing to our Champ Car program and when the opportunity came along to work with Robert Yates Racing, a team that shares the same drive for success that we do, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I think that the NASCAR and Champ Car programs can learn something from each other and only enhance the championship level that Robert Yates Racing and Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing have competed at in previous years."
Current Nextel Cup drivers Ricky Rudd and David Gilliland pilot the No. 88 and No. 38 Ford Fusion's, respectively. The agreement also includes RYR's Busch program with Stephen Leicht, driver of the No. 90 Ford Fusion.
The press conference started on a light note when Robert Yates made the comment that Paul Newman regarded him as a "good cheater." Newman did not respond.
Later in the press conference, Newman indicated that a champ car could run on the ceiling at 150 mph, "and we hope to do that with a stock car." Yates was joking when he was quick to add that he "wouldn't be cheating that good."