SPEEDWAY, Indiana - Robert Yates Racing has never looked as good as they did at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. Yates horsepower gave the assist, as the No. 88 and No. 38 Ford's of Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler grabbed second and third ...
SPEEDWAY, Indiana - Robert Yates Racing has never looked as good as they did at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. Yates horsepower gave the assist, as the No. 88 and No. 38 Ford's of Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler grabbed second and third place in the 11th running of The Brickyard 400.
"Two and three, and we were one of the best cars here, both of them were great cars," said an elated Robert Yates. "It's some sort of year we're having. We love this place. It's been good to us. It's where we need to be.
"They're doing a great job. I'm having a lot of fun right now."
Yates should be having fun.
He has one driver (Sadler) solidly in position to compete for the 'Chase for the Championship', and another (Jarrett) within 55-points of reaching the top ten in points, with five events to go.
"It was a really big day for us," commented Jarrett. "Looking at the points, this is really good for us. I don't have any idea where everybody else finished, but I know I had to gain on them because they weren't in front of me.
"These are the kinds of days we need, and we need them badly in the last five races."
It is a real resurgence for Yates, and especially the No. 88 team. Last season, Jarrett had only one top-five result (a win at Rockingham) and 20 finishes of 21st or worse. This season seemed to be going the same path, until some of the magic was pumped back into veteran racer Jarrett.
Despite six results of 21 or worse, Jarrett has earned seven top-ten finishes; three of which have come in the last four events.
"The amount of effort put forth by Robert Yates is incredible," said Jarrett. "I know everybody out here works hard, but I know what happens at RYR. Even though some of the results in the past year and a half haven't shown what we've been doing.
"I think know that we are starting to show that all of those efforts have been worthwhile."
The efforts, obviously, have been paying off. The fledgling No. 38 team of Elliott Sadler, which looked so lackluster last season, has wheeled themselves into contention for the championship.
Sadler has sat firmly in the top ten all season long, and shows no sign of slipping down the ladder before NASCAR resets the points after the 26th race of the season. Currently, Sadler is sixth in points, 421 markers out of first.
Sadler's results this season have been surprising, after a disastrous season in 2003, where Sadler had 20 races where he finished 2116 or worse. Despite nine top-ten's, the inconsistency marred the 38's efforts all of last season.
Team Yates found some mojo during the off months, coming back strong out of the box at Daytona, winning one of the Gatorade 125 events, and finishing second at the Daytona 500. They marched on, scoring the win at Texas, and racking up nine top-ten results.
Sadler said earlier this weekend that he felt like "people weren't paying attention to his team" and "they were flying under the radar". After this weekend, one thing is for sure for both Sadler and Jarrett; they've got everyone's tongues wagging and are squarely a blip on the NASCAR radar screen.