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Robert Yates-Dale Earnhardt

Ford 222

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I was traveling last night and listening to an episode of Dave Moody interviewing the late Robert Yates. Mr Yates stayed that in 95 I think it was when Ford was begging him to take the Quality Care sponsorship and create a new team he was talking to DE and Earnhardt was on board at one point to move from the 3 to the 88? Could you imagine? 75% of his fans would have had heart attacks from heartbreak. It appears they were good friends and respected each other. Said they both thought multiple car teams were not good. Robert Yates was very respected and loaded with integrity so can’t imagine he would lie? Especially a whopper like that?
Ultimately RY said he wanted to use another driver to beat Dale so he resurrected Dale Jarrett who was wanting one last chance and if he couldn’t make it was going to the PGA.
Oh and he didn’t want to take the QC sponsorship from Bud Moore but never went into specifics on how he was convinced to do so? I can’t remember, did BM fold when he lost the QC sponsorship?
 
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mack

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First I've ever heard this. That would have been earth shattering had Sr bolted from Chevy. Yates was Bobby Allisons engine builder when he won the title in 1983. Bud lost Quality Care eventually to Yates, and he struggled to stay in Cup. Last race was in 2000. He sold out after that. Bud was at D-day in WWII. He was the real deal.
 

Ford 222

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First I've ever heard this. That would have been earth shattering had Sr bolted from Chevy. Yates was Bobby Allisons engine builder when he won the title in 1983. Bud lost Quality Care eventually to Yates, and he struggled to stay in Cup. Last race was in 2000. He sold out after that. Bud was at D-day in WWII. He was the real deal.
Yes he was. I never realized it until after he had left the sport. Always heard him referred to as a WW 2 hero but never heard the specifics? D-Day participant is certainly enough. Wow...
 

mack

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Yes he was. I never realized it until after he had left the sport. Always heard him referred to as a WW 2 hero but never heard the specifics? D-Day participant is certainly enough. Wow...
And a very humble man. The sport needs more guys like him today. Straight up hero, yet very nice to everyone. Bobby Allison won the Daytona 500 with Bud in 1978. The events of that week were incredible. Bobby wound up starting 34th and went on to win it. Good stuff.
 

Ford 222

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And a very humble man. The sport needs more guys like him today. Straight up hero, yet very nice to everyone. Bobby Allison won the Daytona 500 with Bud in 1978. The events of that week were incredible. Bobby wound up starting 34th and went on to win it. Good stuff.
Know where I can find that story?

I looked up the Wiki article on Mr Moore and he had 4 Purple Hearts and 2 Bronze Stars for his time in Europe. Captured 16 Germans in a German held town with a German speaking Jeep driver.

Was offered a trip from Unocal I think to go back and retrace his steps from Utah beach through his 9 months in country but wouldn’t go since there was racing to do. Love it
 

mack

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I read the story about the 78 Daytona 500 in Bobbys autobiography.
 

Formerjackman

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I don't doubt that Dale and Robert were friends, but as tight as Dale and Richard Childress were, and coming off of four championships in five years, I can't imagine that Dale ever gave such a move serious thought. Besides, with the 88 car, RYR was going to be a two car team too, so how would that placate Dale's desire to not be on a two car team? Also consider that in this era, Dale Earnhardt WAS the public face of Chevrolet, maybe ALL of General Motors. That would be a pretty huge deal to walk away from.
 

rowdy3

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I don't doubt that Dale and Robert were friends, but as tight as Dale and Richard Childress were, and coming off of four championships in five years, I can't imagine that Dale ever gave such a move serious thought. Besides, with the 88 car, RYR was going to be a two car team too, so how would that placate Dale's desire to not be on a two car team? Also consider that in this era, Dale Earnhardt WAS the public face of Chevrolet, maybe ALL of General Motors. That would be a pretty huge deal to walk away from.
I believe Jr said the deal was really close to happening. Dale was ready to switch but something happened and Dale stayed with RC.
 

Formerjackman

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I'd have to see more evidence before I signed onto this theory. Not only have I not ever heard one single person suggest it in the last 25 years, on the surface it doesn't make one lick of sense on ANY level, from a personal standpoint, a racing standpoint, or even a business standpoint. If Dale Earnhardt was ANYTHING in life, he was loyal to the people that helped get to the top. RC is pretty damn high on that list. I'm just not ready to believe that in the midst of racing Jeff Gordon for a third straight title, he was over whispering in Robert Yates' ear.
 

rowdy3

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I'd have to see more evidence before I signed onto this theory. Not only have I not ever heard one single person suggest it in the last 25 years, on the surface it doesn't make one lick of sense on ANY level, from a personal standpoint, a racing standpoint, or even a business standpoint. If Dale Earnhardt was ANYTHING in life, he was loyal to the people that helped get to the top. RC is pretty damn high on that list. I'm just not ready to believe that in the midst of racing Jeff Gordon for a third straight title, he was over whispering in Robert Yates' ear.
https://altdriver.com/racing/robert-yates-dale-earnhardt-dale-earnhardt-jr-nascar-dale-jarrett/

I think Jr said his dad forgot about the contract and when he sent it it was too late or he lost it. This has been posted before.
 

Snappy D

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I've heard this before within the last year, all my years as a fan and I had no idea until the last 12 months or so. I also find it hard to believe that Earnhardt gave it much though as him and Childress were pretty close friends and after listening to Jr's podcast with RC from last week, I find the whole Yates thing even harder to believe. I dont think Earnhardt would leave Richard like that, especially being the face of GM Goodwrench, General Motors and Chevy, the whole thing was built around Earnhardt. Cant get much better than than I would say.
 

Formerjackman

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I would take that article with a grain of salt. First off, how does Yates know Dale signed it, if he never gave it back? I don't have any doubt that Ford WANTED Earnhardt, and I don't even have trouble believing that Ford cajoled Robert into handing Dale a contract, and MAYBE Dale told Robert he signed it, but I still don't believe for a second that Dale was ever serious about pulling the trigger on it. I spent most of my life listening to NASCAR people massage and misremember events that took place 10-50 years in the past, so without hard evidence, I am skeptical of many of these stories, and since the two guys that would know for sure are dead, we will likely never know. Maybe somebody should ask Teresa....
 

hidesert cowboy

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I believe the story, in fact if you listened to the dale jr download recently when RC was a guest, RC himself admits dale had LOTS of conversations about leaving and driving for other teams. He knew dale talked to others about driving for them. I think he even thought it was likely it might happen. You guys get all wrapped around the axle about the ford vs chevy thing and how these guys can't possibly be lead away to another make. The same thing happened when tony stewart and kevin harvick switched to fords. It was like kevin harvick was going to step forward and refuse to drive a ford because he is a "chevy" man. trust me on this, you guys are crazy and couldn't be any less accurate. If volkswagon came in and offerd to pay these guys enough money they would drive volkswagons. lordy be, some of this is just a joke.

the story also makes sense because quality care was a competitor to goodwrench service. That would have created a big stir hiring their biggest competition away. looking back on it, it would have been a great move for dale sr to have made.
 

StandOnIt

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I believe the story, in fact if you listened to the dale jr download recently when RC was a guest, RC himself admits dale had LOTS of conversations about leaving and driving for other teams. He knew dale talked to others about driving for them. I think he even thought it was likely it might happen. You guys get all wrapped around the axle about the ford vs chevy thing and how these guys can't possibly be lead away to another make. The same thing happened when tony stewart and kevin harvick switched to fords. It was like kevin harvick was going to step forward and refuse to drive a ford because he is a "chevy" man. trust me on this, you guys are crazy and couldn't be any less accurate. If volkswagon came in and offerd to pay these guys enough money they would drive volkswagons. lordy be, some of this is just a joke.

the story also makes sense because quality care was a competitor to goodwrench service. That would have created a big stir hiring their biggest competition away. looking back on it, it would have been a great move for dale sr to have made.
It's isn't a joke. More drivers than not have started their careers and finished them driving for the same Manufacturer.
 

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Was this around the same time RC and DE had a dust up because DE dated RC's daughter?
 

Greg

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Was this around the same time RC and DE had a dust up because DE dated RC's daughter?
I remember that rumor strongly in 1992. Dale won only one cup race that year and the people just had to speculate on the cause. .
I don't know if it was true or not.
I do know that rumors are easily spread, and I know many of them are built on very flimsy evidence, if any at all.
So much so that l discount all of them until the story has some credibile evidence.
 

Greg

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I remember a Yates interview in Stock Car Racing magazine, late 80s or early 90s.
The subject of Digard going down was mentioned. Yates discounted Gardners intelligence for not hiring Dale Earnhardt to drive while he was available. It was like that was enough in Yates mind to seal DiGards fate.

Net result: It is easy for me to believe that Yates would have made the offer.
 

mack

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I had heard the abysmal 92 season for Earnhardt was attributed to personal issues at RCR. That could encompass all sorts of things. I have no way of knowing, doesn't matter anyway. I kinda figured the 92 season was a letdown for the #3 in part because the Fords were so good. Look at the season Kulwicki, Elliot, Allison and Martin had. The Fords were bad fast. Sr won the 600 and that was it. I'd say whatever the problems were, they bounced back pretty well. Won the title in 93 and 94. We'll never know the details probably. Lot of water under the bridge since then.
 

Formerjackman

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I believe the story, in fact if you listened to the dale jr download recently when RC was a guest, RC himself admits dale had LOTS of conversations about leaving and driving for other teams. He knew dale talked to others about driving for them. I think he even thought it was likely it might happen. You guys get all wrapped around the axle about the ford vs chevy thing and how these guys can't possibly be lead away to another make. The same thing happened when tony stewart and kevin harvick switched to fords. It was like kevin harvick was going to step forward and refuse to drive a ford because he is a "chevy" man. trust me on this, you guys are crazy and couldn't be any less accurate. If volkswagon came in and offerd to pay these guys enough money they would drive volkswagons. lordy be, some of this is just a joke.

the story also makes sense because quality care was a competitor to goodwrench service. That would have created a big stir hiring their biggest competition away. looking back on it, it would have been a great move for dale sr to have made.
A couple of points: I think most of that talk about Dale driving for other teams was early on when RCR had yet reach the level of being a championship team. Also, I get your point about drivers and manufacturers, BUT, Dale and Chevrolet was no ordinary relationship, and I don't think there there is any question that he would have lost more fans then he would have gained from switching to Ford, which was a BIG deal with the merchandise sales involved. I understand how the game is played, and there isn't a driver in my lifetime that I would be more shocked if they left a team or changed manufacturers than Dale Earnhardt, even Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson. I have no doubt that people were trying to lure Dale away, and I wouldn't be shocked if Dale let them make their pitches, but you will have to show me a LOT more for me to believe anything ever went beyond that. Remember that in this time frame, Dale and RCR looked to be an unstoppable juggernaut, and Dale was close to launching his own team ownership deal where he would not only lean heavily on Richard Childress, but develop joint ventures. It would be hard to imagine any other car owner being as open to their driver building a competing race team while still driving for them, but that is the kind of relationship Dale and Richard had. Besides why in the hell would you leave a team that was in the hunt to win its fifth championship in six years to drive for a team that had one near miss in almost a decade of competition? Yes, Dale liked to make money, but he liked winning a hell of a lot more.
 

Formerjackman

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I had heard the abysmal 92 season for Earnhardt was attributed to personal issues at RCR. That could encompass all sorts of things. I have no way of knowing, doesn't matter anyway. I kinda figured the 92 season was a letdown for the #3 in part because the Fords were so good. Look at the season Kulwicki, Elliot, Allison and Martin had. The Fords were bad fast. Sr won the 600 and that was it. I'd say whatever the problems were, they bounced back pretty well. Won the title in 93 and 94. We'll never know the details probably. Lot of water under the bridge since then.
Well, you're right the Fords were VERY strong in 1992. This was the year when ALL the Ford teams began running the "Yates" cylinder head developed by Robert over the previous year or so, and the GM teams were playing catch up, switching from the Small Block Chevy's original 1955 design 23 degree valve angle cylinder heads to a new 18 degree design. Eventually the GM teams WOULD catch up, but they took a pretty good beating in the horsepower department for pretty much all of 1991-1992. Also, if you want some insight into what was going on at RCR in 1992, listen to Dale Jr's podcast with Kirk Shelmerdine a few weeks ago. Some of what he says in the podcast echoes some things he talked about when I was around him on a few occasions in 2000. I don't think he was comfortable with his place in the team as it continued to grow and grow, and I think he felt that by 1992, he had taken the team as far as he thought he could take it. He is certainly a throwback to a much simpler time in racing.
 

Fordracing7

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I don't doubt that Dale and Robert were friends, but as tight as Dale and Richard Childress were, and coming off of four championships in five years, I can't imagine that Dale ever gave such a move serious thought. Besides, with the 88 car, RYR was going to be a two car team too, so how would that placate Dale's desire to not be on a two car team? Also consider that in this era, Dale Earnhardt WAS the public face of Chevrolet, maybe ALL of General Motors. That would be a pretty huge deal to walk away from.
The contract was signed here is the story

http://www.popularspeed.com/dale-dale-show-robert-yates-tried-to-hire-dale-earnhardt/
 

nitetrain

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I thought Robert Yates said that when it came down it was he or Ford that said they want to beat Dale and the Goodwrench car not hire him and "beat" him that way.
 

Formerjackman

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Once again, that story sort of contradicts itself, and I STILL don't think there was any chance in hell it was going to happen.
 

Formerjackman

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It’s not like it would have been the first time senior drove a Ford.

View attachment 40179
True, but the world of Dale Earnhardt had changed a little since 1982-83. Remember when Bud Moore told Richard Childress that Dale would bankrupt him by tearing up cars and engines? Almost twenty years after Dale's death, RC is STILL living off what Dale built for him. :)
 

Snappy D

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Was this around the same time RC and DE had a dust up because DE dated RC's daughter?
Wait what? Is this true? I never heard of this, so Dale was dating RC’s daughter in 92 which would entail him cheating Theresa? I find that really hard to believe. And RC’s daughter would be young enough to be Dale’s daughter at that point. That’s a huge WTF from me.
 

mack

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And throw this in the mix also, after Daveys untimely death in 93, Ford wanted a guy that could beat Sr. The Ford stable was already stout, and they bolstered it with Ernie Irvan. It was a big slap in the face towards Morgan-McClure when Ernie bolted them for Yates. Irony abounds, Ernie got his first win in the Kodak Lumina at Bristol after he took over for Rick Wilson. Sterling landed the Kodak ride after Ernie left. And who beat Yates and Ernie in the season opening 94 Daytona 500? Sterling and MM Racing. Ernie was a good mix at Yates. But, he wasn't Davey. That guy was more than special to Yates. I was proud to see Yates win a title with DJ. It had to be bittersweet. Davey was really in a great spot. That was a heartbreaking sutuation. Still is.
 

mack

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Well, you're right the Fords were VERY strong in 1992. This was the year when ALL the Ford teams began running the "Yates" cylinder head developed by Robert over the previous year or so, and the GM teams were playing catch up, switching from the Small Block Chevy's original 1955 design 23 degree valve angle cylinder heads to a new 18 degree design. Eventually the GM teams WOULD catch up, but they took a pretty good beating in the horsepower department for pretty much all of 1991-1992. Also, if you want some insight into what was going on at RCR in 1992, listen to Dale Jr's podcast with Kirk Shelmerdine a few weeks ago. Some of what he says in the podcast echoes some things he talked about when I was around him on a few occasions in 2000. I don't think he was comfortable with his place in the team as it continued to grow and grow, and I think he felt that by 1992, he had taken the team as far as he thought he could take it. He is certainly a throwback to a much simpler time in racing.
I miss the days of Schelmerdine, Barry Dodson, Tony Glover, Tim Brewer, etc. Most of those guys weren't overly educated, but they were racers to their core. They learned the sport coming up through the ranks. They were all sharp as tacks. And throw Gary Nelson in that mix too. He might have been the sharpest. Ernie Elliot wasn't no slouch either.
 

Team Penske

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so Dale was dating RC’s daughter in 92 which would entail him cheating Theresa?
There were a couple of wives before Theresa that had his babies and he cheated on them also.
What is so hard to believe he cheated on her also??
 

Snappy D

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There were a couple of wives before Theresa that had his babies and he cheated on them also.
What is so hard to believe he cheated on her also??
Eh you would think he knew he had everything going for him at this point and Theresa was helping him build the business empire, why on earth would he chance that with the by god the Boss’s daughter?! Just seems crazy to me.
 

Greg

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Eh you would think he knew he had everything going for him at this point and Theresa was helping him build the business empire, why on earth would he chance that with the by god the Boss’s daughter?! Just seems crazy to me.
I would not believe it based on Richards personality alone, there would have been a split.

Rumors are amazing, he could have just smiled at the girl and the rumor leachs ran with the gossip.
 

Greg

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I never thought the 3 car was the best in terms of speed for a sustained period of time. Dale was just tenacious always hustling for every inch and they didn't throw away races with foolish mistakes.
 

Fordracing7

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Once again, that story sort of contradicts itself, and I STILL don't think there was any chance in hell it was going to happen.
Another case of believing what you want to believe lol....unbelievable.....lol anyway the facts are right there and you're the only guy who doesn't want to see it. If it wasn't true Childress,Jr, Doug Yates could all come out and say that Robert was just pulling a leg but I guarentee it's true, in the end Sr. Couldn't leave RC and Chevy what's so hard to believe there?
 

Snappy D

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I never thought the 3 car was the best in terms of speed for a sustained period of time. Dale was just tenacious always hustling for every inch and they didn't throw away races with foolish mistakes.
In their championship years...They never broke, those cars were bullet proof.
 

hidesert cowboy

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Continue to live in the brand loyalty fantasy. Doing so shows a very limited understanding of the business of nascar. Very very few drivers only drive for one make. Jeff Gordon, Jimmie, and dale jr are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. Oh but wait Jeff did drive fords with bill davis, brand loyalty is hogwash, the sport is a business first and Formost. I think 92 was the first year for radial tires? Listen to the RC and shelmerdine dale jr download interviews for insights into the the thinking at the time. Another really good one was the Steve park interview so much there I never knew
 

Formerjackman

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Another case of believing what you want to believe lol....unbelievable.....lol anyway the facts are right there and you're the only guy who doesn't want to see it. If it wasn't true Childress,Jr, Doug Yates could all come out and say that Robert was just pulling a leg but I guarentee it's true, in the end Sr. Couldn't leave RC and Chevy what's so hard to believe there?
Facts? We have one side of a story 20+ years after the fact with zero corroborating evidence of an event that regardless of the reason, did not happen. That's mighty thin in my book. Show me more, and I might be inclined to see it your way. By the way, the ONLY thing I'm disputing in the whole story is that there was ever much of a chance of it actually happening. We know that Joe Gibbs gave Dale Jr. a check, but I don't think there was much chance of THAT happening either.
 

Formerjackman

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Continue to live in the brand loyalty fantasy. Doing so shows a very limited understanding of the business of nascar. Very very few drivers only drive for one make. Jeff Gordon, Jimmie, and dale jr are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. Oh but wait Jeff did drive fords with bill davis, brand loyalty is hogwash, the sport is a business first and Formost. I think 92 was the first year for radial tires? Listen to the RC and shelmerdine dale jr download interviews for insights into the the thinking at the time. Another really good one was the Steve park interview so much there I never knew
Just for the record, I am not suggesting that the reason Dale stayed with RCR was because he had some kind undying love for Chevrolet. I'm suggesting he did it for BUSINESS reasons. Rick Hendrick was offered the Dodge deal in 1999, but turned it down. Why? BUSINESS REASONS.
 

Formerjackman

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Wait what? Is this true? I never heard of this, so Dale was dating RC’s daughter in 92 which would entail him cheating Theresa? I find that really hard to believe. And RC’s daughter would be young enough to be Dale’s daughter at that point. That’s a huge WTF from me.
That story was thrown out there during the 1992 season, but I for one have never heard a single fact to back it up. Maybe somebody else HAS. Just to throw some facts into the discussion, during the time this supposed "affair" was taking place, Tina Childress Dillon was working at RCR. I believe her husband Mike was too, she had a toddler at home (Austin), and gave birth to Ty early in 1992. Exactly WHEN was this affair supposed to have taken place? Especially with a guy that was lucky to be anywhere near home two nights a week? The supposed affair also doesn't explain why suddenly the #3 team ran so bad in one season, and then miraculously bounced back to championship form. If something like that DID happen, I don't think you just sweep that all under the rug and move on like nothing ever happened, at least that quickly. It also doesn't explain the complete lack of response from the aggrieved spouses. As for Dale's cheating with other women, I really have no idea, but the given reasons I have always heard for the breakup of his first two marriages was being too broke to keep the lights and heat on half the time and being gone racing all of the time.
 
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