Doug Yates, co-owner of Robert Yates Racing, reacted to the announcement that Dale Jarrett will be leaving the team after the 2006 season. DOUG YATES, Co-Owner -- Robert Yates Racing WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY? ...
Doug Yates, co-owner of Robert Yates Racing, reacted to the announcement that Dale Jarrett will be leaving the team after the 2006 season.
DOUG YATES, Co-Owner -- Robert Yates Racing
WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO THE ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY? "Robert Yates Racing and Dale Jarrett have had a great history together and have accomplished championships and many wins. We're sad to see Dale gone, but in this sport you've got to take care of business. He has to take care of his business and we have to take care of our business. We want to do the best for Ford, UPS and all of our fans for the rest of the year and end this thing on a positive note, and then wish him all the best in the future."
THIS OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. HOW DID IT GET TO THIS POINT? "Obviously we're in the last year of our contract together and he came to us and said that he had an offer. We told him that we were willing to counter that offer, so we matched it to show him that we were committed to keeping him here until his retirement. He said he would think about it and told us that he really wanted to stay here and really loved our race team and what we've built together. A little time later, though, he came back and said they made him an offer that he couldn't refuse. We told him we understood and wished him well. He's doing what he needs to do and we wish him the best. It's sad because we've had a great time together, but we just need to make sure we remember all the good things and finish it off on a good note."
WERE YOU SURPRISED HE OPTED TO LEAVE IF YOU MATCHED THE OFFER? "Like I said, they made him an offer he couldn't refuse. That part doesn't surprise me because Toyota's history and background is throwing a lot of money around and here is one of those examples. It is what it is. We have to make good business decisions for our business and the employees of our company and the future of our company, and he does as well for his family."
NOW IT'S TIME TO REPLACE HIM. HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS SEARCH? "First of all, I want to make sure that everybody knows that we are fully committed to Dale Jarrett and UPS and Ford in carrying this thing out to the end of the year. I think what will happen is now that Dale has made his announcement, people are going to realize that the 88 is a good seat with a good car number, good sponsor and good history. I think that will create some awareness. We've been talking to some people, but we never started talking to anyone until Dale made his decision."
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF UPS AND IT'S SPONSORSHIP? "As of today, UPS has to make a decision. We wish more than anything that UPS will stay with us. We've had a great six-year history together and feel like we can carry that on in the future and bring along the next star to drive the truck, but that's their decision. That's a business decision for them and we'll know in the near future where they're going to be. Whether they're here or not, we're committed to the future of Robert Yates Racing and making it strong. We're going to race two cars next year and I think there will be a lot of people out there that would like to be on that 88 Ford Fusion."