Rudd, Yates happy after one year

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - On September 13, 1999, Robert Yates announced Ricky Rudd would drive the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford of Robert Yates in 2000 and beyond. One year later, the combination of Rudd's talent and Yates original team is ...

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - On September 13, 1999, Robert Yates announced Ricky Rudd would drive the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford of Robert Yates in 2000 and beyond. One year later, the combination of Rudd's talent and Yates original team is yielding results better than what Rudd hoped it would. "We saw ourselves as a possible top-10 team this year," Rudd said. "To be seventh in points is a little better than where I thought we would be. "We have 13 top-10 finishes and seven top fives. We had cars very capable of winning the races at Michigan, Pocono, Watkins Glen and a few other places. "I thought we might have a win by now -- we've been very close. As long as we're there consistently, the wins will come along." A successful NASCAR Winston Cup team consists of many variables working together. Rudd sees his hiring a year ago as one part of the plan. "Robert hired me to be the driver. He hired Michael McSwain as the crew chief. We are pieces of the complete package being put together. The main pieces are in place, we just need a little bit more fine tuning." Yates echoes those sentiments. "Hiring Ricky was a big step for us putting the 28 back to where it needs to be," Yates said. "We need to keep building around him. The main pieces are in place, but we need to keep working to give him more. "When Ricky became available he was the driver I wanted in this car. I think we've let him down a little in some places, but we're working on that. I think it's coming together extremely well. I'm happy with the direction we're going." Rudd and Yates realize that it takes time to build a winning team. "People see the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford and they think of the old days with Davey Allison or Ernie Irvan," Rudd said. "In Winston Cup racing, when teams have success everyone starts hiring people away. That's what has happened here, this team lost a number of quality people. "Also, this team has such strong and long-term support from Texaco/Havoline. The car looks the same, but you have to realize that the team is almost completely different. "We have added a lot of very good people and Robert works hard to get and keep the best people in each position. I think a year after our decision we're on the right track. I'm really proud of what we're doing."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Robert Yates , Davey Allison