Yates Family Emotional in Narration of Late Robert Yates’ NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Speech

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Approaching the Class of 2018 Induction Ceremony Friday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, five of the some of the sport’s most accomplished and respected participants knew the night would be one of memories.

However, when the sport lost inductee and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning car owner Robert Yates last October, Induction night took an emotional turn.

In his place for his 2018 Induction speech was Dale Jarrett, who drove Yates’ Ford to the Daytona 500 win in 1996 before scoring the Cup title in 1999.

Narrating a speech written by Yates before his death, Class of 2014 member Jarrett was honored to hold the position as an emotional video production was shown during the narration.

“If I can say I met a genius, it was Robert Yates,” said Jarrett. “He knew everything about a racecar and the things that made it work. Unbelievable everything he could do.”

Among Jarrett’s 32 Cup wins, 29 came with Yates power under the hood, including his final career win in 2005.

“Looking at every driver who drove for him, their best years driving a racecar were the years at Robert Yates Racing,” Jarrett said. “That says a lot.”

For the Yates family, Friday night was the first time they had heard Yate’s speech. And for Robert’s son Doug Yates, it “capped off the night” hearing his father’s final written words.

“They asked us if we wanted to see it this morning, and I couldn’t live with that all day long,” Yates said. “It was just so well done. To have Dale deliver it, it was a special moment. I can’t wait to go watch it again because, to be honest, my heart was just about to jump out of my chest. I was trying not to cry. I’m really proud.”

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