Garage Chatter: Charlotte

Yates reorganizes: In an effort for the Yates family to have more control over their race teams, Robert Yates Racing has released Eddie D'Hondt as General Manager of the organization. "This is a performance business and the performance is not ...

Yates reorganizes: In an effort for the Yates family to have more control over their race teams, Robert Yates Racing has released Eddie D'Hondt as General Manager of the organization.

"This is a performance business and the performance is not where we want it. We made some changes within the team to address that and some of the things we felt together is that we need to be more involved and in that we made the decision to make a change," said Doug Yates.

Amongst other changes, Raymond Fox III, who had been crew chiefing the No. 90 Busch car, will move back to the No. 38 Ford and serve as a liaison between the Busch and Cup teams.

It has been a rough couple of seasons for RYR. They have just one win in 2005 and have gone winless this season and scored just one top five finish. Neither Yates driver is in Chase contention, with Dale Jarrett in 12th and Elliott Sadler in 15th.

Jarrett announced two weeks ago that he will not continue his tenure at RYR and will flee for Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota in 2007. It has also been rumored that Sadler may be looking at his options, which would leave Yates seriously devoid of talent.

To add insult to injury, No. 88 crew chief Slugger Labbe has been suspended through Pocono for rule infractions at Richmond.

RYR also announced that they had changed their minds about Sadler no longer running in the No. 90 Ford in the Busch series. The entry list was changed to make Sadler the driver for this weekends Busch event at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

As reported by Motorsport.com several weeks ago, Sadler admitted to having an out clause in his contract, but said as of right now has no plan to exercise it, "I've been reading stuff about 'contract this and contract that' and I haven't looked at my contract - yes, I do have an out if I want an out, but who cares? I want to get this team running. My responsibility is to get that No. 38 car up front each and every week and I understand that if I don't run good right now, we're going to have a hard time getting a good driver to come over to Robert Yates Racing."

Kenseth says Stewart incident behind them: Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart's on track brouhaha during the Nextel All-Star Challenge seems to have blown over. Stewart was upset after being wrecked in the Open and flung blame on Kenseth. The reigning champion got into a verbal sparring match with Kenseth's crew chief Robbie Reiser and several members of the No. 17 Ford team.

But Kenseth assured last week was last week, "It was just a racing accident. I didn't leave him room enough to get in there. I didn't even realize he was there until it was too late. So, that was my fault and he didn't get out of the gas. If it had been a normal race he probably would have got out of the gas and gave it to me, which I still think he should have."

Knaus reportedly close to signing: Jimmie Johnson reached a contract extension last week with team owner Rick Hendrick to stay as driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet through 2010. Crew chief Chad Knaus is reportedly close to also signing a three-year contract extension.

Waltrip buys way into 600: Michael Waltrip failed to qualify for Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 making it the first time since 1998 the veteran hasn't secured a position for a Cup race. But that didn't stop him.

Proving that a big wallet pretty much gets you anything you want: Waltrip bought a starting position by purchasing the entry of Derrike Cope's No. 74 car, which made it into the race.

Waltrip will put a new engine in the car but use the vehicle Cope qualified with - he will also put the Napa logo on the car.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Derrike Cope , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Jimmie Johnson , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler , Chad Knaus
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Yates Racing