Yates decsion by Homestead; team with DEI?

November 12th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Yates decsion by Homestead; team with DEI?

Robert Yates said Saturday that the fate of his #88 team will be known prior to heading to Homestead, Fla., next week for the Nextel Cup season finale. While Yates would provide no specifics, Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Steve Hmiel said there have been negotiations between the two entities. The negotiations have centered on DEI's purchasing the team's shop and equipment, as DEI has long been looking for a way to expand its capacity. The team will begin fielding a third full-time Nextel Cup Series team when Paul Menard moves to Cup next season. Hmiel said the negotiations have not involved simply buying the rights to the #88, which would bring with it the owner points earned by Dale Jarrett this season. If, however, DEI bought the shop and equipment, with Yates fielding only the #38 on his own, DEI could acquire the #88's owner points as part of a larger purchase. "If we can have more capacity, the number would be a bonus," Hmiel said at Phoenix International Raceway. "We've heard Team Red Bull has made an offer to buy the number, but we're not looking to buy just the number." A number of obstacles remain, as RYR fields Fords and DEI runs Chevrolets, so it would have to be determined whether the shop was split into two separate entities; or whether RYR ran on its own or struck a deal with another Ford operation, perhaps Wood Brothers Racing. That would leave Robert Yates Racing with just the #38 team next season. RYR has fielded two teams on a full-time basis since 1996, but is losing both driver Dale Jarrett and sponsor UPS from its #88 after the season. Yates systematically danced around the issue on Saturday, saying only that he had four options to consider. Talk in the garage is that a decision by Yates must come by Tuesday. Yates said fielding just one car is an option, especially after crew chief Todd Parrott reminded Yates that he once fielded his two cars out of separate shops. And whether or not a deal is struck with DEI, Yates said he'll still be in the sport next year with the #38 team and driver David Gilliland.(SceneDaily.com)

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