Jim Yates Disappointed With Crew Chief Departure

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 7, 2000) -- The abrupt departure of crew chief Rickie Smith has disappointed Pro Stock driver and team owner Jim Yates. Smith, despite being under contract with Jim Yates Racing, quit the team to accept an offer as crew...

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 7, 2000) -- The abrupt departure of crew chief Rickie Smith has disappointed Pro Stock driver and team owner Jim Yates. Smith, despite being under contract with Jim Yates Racing, quit the team to accept an offer as crew chief and driver for Pro Stock owner Ken Koretsky after just two NHRA races. Smith informed Yates of his decision on Saturday, March 4.

"I know how badly Rickie wanted to drive, but I didn't think he would break our agreement during the season," said Yates, driver of the SplitFire/PEAK Pontiac Firebird. "I am deeply disappointed in him, not only as a business associate, but as a friend. I also have a serious problem with anyone who would offer Rickie a position knowing that he was under contract with Jim Yates Racing.

"We will continue to be a serious contender for the championship," Yates added, also noting that Smith's departure may have a major impact on the team's ability to field a second car for son Jamie. "There is the possibility that Jamie might miss some races." Jamie Yates reached the semifinals of the most-recent NHRA race in Phoenix.

Yates will assume the crew chief role in the interim.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jamie Yates , Rickie Smith
Teams Yates Racing