CALE YARBOROUGH - 3/27/1939 - is a farmer, businessman and former NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver and owner. He is one of only two drivers in NASCAR history to win three consecutive championships. He was the second NASCAR driver to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated (the first was Curtis Turner on the 26 February 1968 issue. Yarborough attended the second annual Southern 500 in 1951 as a young spectator without a ticket (he climbed under the fence). In 1956 he made his first attempt in the Southern 500 as a teenager by lying about his age, but he was caught and disqualified by NASCAR. In 1957, Yarborough made his debut as a driver at the Southern 500, driving the #30 Pontiac for Bob Weatherly, starting 44th and finishing 42nd after suffering hub problems. He ran for Weatherly two years later, and finished 27th. In 1960, Yarborough ran one race, and had his first
career top-fifteen, a fourteenth-place finish at Southern States Fairgrounds. In 1962, Yarborough ran eight races for Buesink, Don Harrison, and Wildcat Williams. He earned his first top-ten at the Daytona 500 Qualifying Race, when he finished tenth. Yarborough started 1963 without a full-time ride, but soon signed on to drive the #19 Ford for Herman Beam. His best finish was fifth twice, at Myrtle Beach and Savannah Speedway, respectively. He began the next season driving for Beam, but soon left and finished the year with Holman Moody, finishing sixth at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The next season, he drove for various owners before picking up his first career win at Valdosta Speedway driving the #06 Ford for Kenny Myler. Yarborough drove for Banjo Matthews at the beginning of 1966. Despite two consecutive second-place finishes, he left the team early in the season and ended the year driving the #21 Ford for the Wood Brothers. He won two races in 1967 at the Atlanta 500 and the Firecracker 400. Yarborough also ran the Indianapolis 500 in 1966 and 1967 driving Vollstedt-Fords. After running the season-opening Middle Georgia 500 for Bud Moore Engineering, finishing 21st, Yarborough ran the rest of the season for the Wood Brothers, winning his first Daytona 500 in a duel with Lee Roy Yarbrough, the Firecracker 400, which made him the
second driver in history to sweep both Daytona events, and his first Southern 500 garnering a total of six wins that season. In 1969 Ford Motor Company produced a Cale Yarborough Special Edition Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II. It was a white Mercury Cyclone (fastback) in white with a red roof and stripe. The Spoiler II was outfitted with a special aerodynamic front end. This was a limited edition homologation special that was made to satisfy the NASCAR 500-car minimum production regulations. There was only one engine choice available in the
Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II, a 351 cubic inch Windsor. A very similar car was also produced by Mercury in 1969 as a white car with blue trim as the "Dan Gurney Special". Yarborough continued to drive a limited schedule for the Wood Brothers in 1970, winning his second consecutive Michigan 400 and the American 500 for the first time. At the end of the season, Yarborough was released after Ford withdrew factory support for NASCAR teams. He drove four races in 1971, posting one top-ten in Daytona in the #3 Ray Fox-owned Plymouth. He also ran in the Indianapolis 500, finishing 16th in a Gene White owned, Firestone sponsored Mongoose-Ford. Yarborough mostly focused on driving USAC races in 1971 and 1972. He also ran his final Indianapolis 500 in a Bill Daniels
sponsored Atlanta-Foyt, finishing 10th. In 1973, Yarborough returned to NASCAR and ran every NASCAR Grand National race in a season for the first time in his career, driving the #11 Kar-Kare Chevrolet for Richard Howard. He won four races, including his second Southern 500, the National 500 and the Southeastern 500 at Bristol in which he led every lap, and had nineteen top-tens, finishing second in points. In 1974, Yarborough won a career-high ten races, but lost the championship by nearly 600 points. Midway through the season, Yarborough's team was bought by Junior Johnson with Carling
sponsorship. Yarborough swept both races at Riverside International Raceway, captured his fourth Atlanta 500, and his second consecutive Southern 500 and third overall. Despite his successful 1974 campaign, the team began 1975 without major sponsorship, and missed three races, before Holly Farms became the team's primary sponsor. The following season, Yarborough won nine races, including four in row late in the season along with the Firecracker 400, in winning his first career Winston Cup Championship. He repeated his nine-win performance in 1977, a season in which he finished every race and did not finish outside of the top-five during the last eleven races of the season, earning him his second championship. Another highlight of the season was his second
Daytona 500 victory, earning him a cover appearance on Sports Illustrated, the SECOND NASCAR driver so honored. He also scored two victories in IROC IV, finishing second in the standings. In 1978, his team switched to Oldsmobiles and received new sponsorship from 1st National City Travelers Checks. He matched his previous career high of 10 wins, including leading every lap of the Nashville 420, his fourth Southern 500 and first Winston 500 at Talladega, and won his third consecutive championship. Yarborough began the 1979 season with Busch Beer sponsorship and getting into a fight with Donnie and Bobby Allison after the Daytona 500, when Donnie and Yarborough wrecked while racing for the lead on the final lap. This was the first NASCAR 500 mile race to be broadcast on live television in its entirety (through CBS Sports). The confrontation and the exciting race that led up to it are credited with starting the mass growth of NASCAR. Yarborough won a career-high and modern-era record fourteen poles in 1980, captured six races including sweeping the events at Rockingham, and scoring wins at Bristol, Michigan, Texas and Atlanta. Yarborough barely missed out on his fourth championship in five years, losing the championship to Dale Earnhardt by 19 points. At the end of the season, Yarborough announced he was leaving the Junior Johnson team and would run a part-time schedule for the rest of his c
areer. He was replaced by Darrell Waltrip. Yarborough won 55 races while driving for Johnson from 1973–1980, compiling an amazing winning percentage of 26%. Yarborough competed in 18 races in the 1981 season in the #27 Valvoline Buick for M.C. Anderson, winning his fourth Firecracker 400 and his fifth Coca-Cola 500 at Atlanta, finishing in the top-ten a total of six times. Yarborough competed in 16 races in 1982, winning three, including his hometown Southern 500 for the fifth and final time. In 1983, Anderson closed his operation, and Yarborough moved to the #28 Hardee's Chevrolet owned by Harry Ranier, competing in 16 events. He won four races, including his third Daytona 500, his sixth
Atlanta Coca-Cola 500, and swept both events at Michigan. In 1984 he repeated by winning his fourth Daytona 500, becoming the second driver to score back-to-back wins, the Winston 500 at Talladega, a race that featured 75 lead changes, and the Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500. Yarborough also captured the IROC VIII championship. In 1985 after his team switched to a Ford, he won his first Talladega 500 and scored his final win in the Miller High Life 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 1986, Yarborough won his final career pole at the Firecracker 400. In 1987, he left the Ranier-Lundy team and
purchased Jack Beebe's Race Hill Farm team. Yarborough took the Hardee's sponsorship and began running the #29 Oldsmobile Delta 88 as an owner/driver, posting two top-five finishes. He ran his final season in 1988 in an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, entering ten races and posting two ninth place finishes. He retired at the end of the year. Cale Yarborough bought out the Race Hill Farms team in 1986 and moved the team from Connecticut to South Carolina and he renamed the team Cale Yarborough Motorsports. He got one win in 1997 at the Pepsi 400 with John Andretti wheeling the RCA sponsored Ford. Andretti beat out Terry Labonote by 2/100th of a second to grab the win. Yarborough was a team owner for 371 races, and such drivers as himself, Dale Jarrett, Dick Trickle, Lake Speed, Jimmy Hensley, Derrick Cope, Jeremey Mayfield, Greg sacks and others. They posted 13 top 5 finishes. Cale closed his team in 2000. For his race career Yarborough ran in 560 CUP events. getting 83 wins, and 255 top five finishes. He won the CUP Championship three consecutive times from 1976-1978. He also won the Daytona 500 four times, the FireCrackers 400 (Daytona summer events) on three occasions. He claimed the Southern 500 win on five occasions, had six wins in the 500 mile events at Atlanta, and won 16 of the 32 races held at Bristol and Nashville from 1973-1980. In 1984, he became the first driver to qualify for the Daytona 500 with a top speed of more than 200 miles per hour (it came on his first lap). On the second lap he got loose coming off of turn #4, and the car flipped and the car was destroyed. They had to go across the street to Volusia Mall to get their short track car that was on display for race fans to see. Yarborough still led a race high 89 laps, but would have to slingshot by Darrell Waltrip on the final lap to get the win using the short tack car. He also won a race at Jefferson GA at Jefco Speedway in 1968 (the track I was the flagman at for several years).
LEE ROY YARBROUGH - 9/17/1938 - 12/7/1984 - was a NASCAR racer. His best season was 1969 when he won seven races, tallied 21 finishes in the top-ten. Yarbrough grew up on the west side of Jacksonville, Florida, and developed an affinity for speed at an early age. When he was 19, Yarbrough found his way to a local dirt track. Yarbrough won that race at Jacksonville Speedway in the spring of 1957. Yarbrough started his racing career in NASCAR's lower tier Sportsman division. After winning 11 races, Yarbrough moved up to the more powerful Modifieds and won 83 features in a three-year span. Yarbrough won two short-track races in the 1964 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Two years later, Yarbrough scored his first superspeedway win at Charlotte. Driving an unsponsored and lightly regarded Dodge Charger owned by Jon Thorne, Yarbrough dominated the race, leading for 450 of the 500 miles in the October 16 National 500. His big opportunity came in 1967. Junior Johnson, who had retired from racing by this time, was not having much success with Darel Dieringer. When 1969 rolled around Lee Roy and Junior were ready. With a year to adjust, the team entered 30 of the 54 races and won seven. "It was a great year," recalled Johnson. "We won half the races we ran. I'm not taking anything away from my car, but you just have to give it to him (Yarbrough). He was beyond any other driver there was at that particular time with taking chances and just going beyond what anybody thought anybody would do. He just out-nerved most of the drivers that he ran against. He'd just keep going into corners deeper and deeper. Whatever it took to beat somebody, that's what he did." Lee Roy drove for Junior Johnson from late 1967 through 1970. During his tenure with Johnson, he won 10 races, including the 1969 Daytona 500. Yarbrough found himself trailing Charlie Glotzbach by 11 seconds with ten laps remaining. On the final lap, Yarbrough ducked to the low side to make the pass, but a lapped car was in that lane. Yarbrough dived to the low side in turn 3 to clear the lapped car, nearly clipping the apron. He took the lead from Glotzbach and dashed under the checkered flag a car length in front to win the 500. Next, he won Darlington's Rebel 400 in the final four laps, then won Charlotte's World 600, lapping the entire field at least twice. He also bagged the summer 400-miler at Daytona, prevailing in a late-race battle with Buddy Baker, making him the third driver in NASCAR history to sweep both Daytona races. Yarbrough won the summer race at Atlanta International Raceway despite a 102-degree fever. He captured The Southern 500 by passing David Pearson on the last lap. He won by a full lap at Rockingham in October, overcoming a lap deficit when a flat tire sent him into the wall. By season's end, Yarbrough had seven wins to his credit and was named American Driver of The year. He was the first driver to win NASCAR's version of the Triple Crown - the Daytona 500, the Firecracker 400 and the Southern 500. He was a supremely confident driver throughout his stock car racing career. In his early years, he was as cocky as they came, often bragging that he could do things with a fast car that others couldn't. And much of the time, he was correct. After his successful 1969 season, Yarbrough’s performance record trailed off. A victim of the factory withdrawal, Yarbrough had to scramble to locate rides in Sprint CUP events. He won once in 1970 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and only entered six races in 1971. There was one more chance for still more glory, in 1970, the inaugural California 500 INDY Car race at the brand new Ontario Motor Speedway. It was a competitive race right from the start with Lloyd Ruby, Al Unser, Dan Gurney, Peter Revson swapping the lead and saw Lee Roy running close to the leaders all the time. With 14 laps to go Al Unser had taken the lead and looked like he would be the first to the checkered hankie. Then, suddenly, gear box issues forced Al into the pits and from out of nowhere came Lee Roy to claim the lead. But, just as suddenly as Yarbrough had taken the lead, his offenhauser engine blew with nine laps to go, and relegated him to a eighth place finish. LeeRoy had reached the top of his career. His life became problematic and filled with mysteries, but he also had many demons inside. He was a brawler, who got the reputation as the only man tough enough to take on the gigantic Tiny Lund. He was one of the first to lavish praise on his crew members during post-race interviews, and he was often heard thanking the Lord for his driving talents. And then as suddenly as he rose upwards, the downward spiral set in. He had a bad crash during a test session while driving for Junior in April 1970. After that he started drinking pretty bad, and using painkillers. He spent days sitting, or out on a lake in a boat, drinking. Some folks thought it might have been caused by Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but he was ever the same after that hard crash. In fact he couldn't remember fellow driver Cale Yarborough picking him up in Texas a few days later and flying him home. The he couldn't remember flying on to Martinsville, or running in the race at Martinsville. At Indy On May 8, 1971 Yarbrough was driving a Dan Gurney Eagle when he spun and crashed hard in turn one. Lee Roy spent the next few months in and out of the hospital with many different ailments and memory lapses. In 1972, he drove in 18 NASCAR races with nine top-10 finishes. That was his last year of competition. His racing career ended at the age of 33. He an his last race driving the #45 Potter Ford at Martinsville. Over the next few years, he was picked up several times by Jacksonville police. Sometimes it was for fighting, at other times it might be drunkenness. He wandered the streets aimlessly. On the morning of February 13, 1980, he was at his mother's house in Jacksonville. It was the day of the twin 125-mile qualifying races at Daytona. Lee Roy was destitute and his mind was playing tricks on him. He put his hands around his mother's neck and said, "Mama, I hate to do this, but I've got to kill you." One of his nephews that was in the house heard the commotion and came in. Looking around, he grabbed a quart jar of preserves off the kitchen table and busted it on Lee Roy's head. The police came and took him to a psychiatric ward. Eventually he was judged incompetent to stand trial. It was at that time doctors discovered the lesions in his brain. Then on Dec.6,1984 Yarbrough had a violent seizure and fell striking his head. He was rushed to Jacksonville's University Hospital where he died the morning of Dec.7,1984. The doctors said he died of internal bleeding in the brain. In 1990, he was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. For his NASCAR career Yarbrough ran in 198 races collecting 14 wins. Lee Roy was truely a great racer no matter of the vehicle he raced. His best career Indy car finish came in 1971 in Trenton NJ where he finished third behind winner Mike Mosely, and Wally Dallenbach Sr.
ROBERT YATES - is a NASCAR engine builder and former owner of the Sprint Cup Series team Yates Racing, owned since 2007 by his son Doug. He purchased the team from Harry Ranier in 1988, with driver Davey Allison. The team finished second in its first race, the 1988 Daytona 500, being edged by Davey's father and NASCAR legend Bobby Allison. In 1991, Larry McReynolds [now a NASCAR analyst with Fox and Speed Channel] joined the team as crew chief and led Davey to five victories. In 1992 the Yates Racing started the season with a bang with Davey winning the Daytona 500, joining his father Bobby a three time Daytona 500 winner. The win also put the Allisons in an exclusive club, joining Lee and Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr as the only father/son winners of the Daytona 500. In 1992 Davey again had another dominant year winning five races again, despite a broken hand suffered at Pocono in June and a cracked rib. Davey also experienced a personal tragedy in August when his brother Clifford was killed in Busch race at Michigan International Speedway. Going into the last race at Atlanta all Davey had to do was finish sixth or better to clinch the Winston Cup title, but a collision with Ernie Irvan on the 251st lap damaged Allison's car and knocked him from contention. In 1993 the team struggled, although Davey did win the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond in March. This was Davey's last win before he was killed in a helicopter crash at Talladega in July. Several drivers filled the seat of the #28 car including Lake Speed and Robby Gordon until Yates lured Ernie Irvan away from Morgan-McClure Motorsports. With Irvan behind the wheel the team won at Martinsville in a car setup by Alison, the team also won at Charlotte in the Mellow Yellow 500 when Irvan led all but six of the races 334 laps. In 1994 the team got off to a fast start with Irvan finishing second to Sterling Marlin [which was Marlin's first win in 276 races] at the Daytona 500, two weeks later Irvan won at Richmond just like Davey Allison did the year before, Irvan would follow that win up a week later by winning the Puralator 500 at Atlanta. In May the team won at Sonoma, California. In August Irvan came within ten laps of winning the Inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, before cutting a tire and handing the race to Jeff Gordon. Irvan was in contention for the Winston Cup title before he was critically injured in practice crash at Michigan a week later. Kenny Wallace finished out the year in the #28 Texaco-Havoline Ford Thunderbird. In 1995 Dale Jarrett took the wheel of the #28 car while Irvan continued to recover from his injuries, Jarrett won at Pocono in July. In October Irvan returned to the track driving a second Yates car #88 sponsored by Texaco-Havoline in a race at North Wilkesboro, N.C. Irvan led six laps and finished sixth. In 1996 Yates expanded to two full-time teams with Irvan back behind the wheel of the #28 Texaco-Havoline Ford and Dale Jarrett driving the #88 car with sponsorship from Ford Qualitycare/Ford Credit. The new team wasted no time showing its muscle with Jarrett, under the leadership of rookie crewchief Todd Parrott won the Busch Clash at Daytona and the Daytona 500. Irvan secured the outside pole for the Daytona 500 alongside Dale Earnhardt Sr. who was in his eighteenth attempt to win the Daytona 500. Irvan also won his Gatorade Twin 125 Qualifying Race [now Gatorade Duel]. Jarrett also won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte and the Brickyard 400 and at Michigan in August and finished third in the final Winston Cup points standings. Robert Yates was given his first championship as a NASCAR owner in 1999 with Dale Jarrett. His engines had won championships with him as an engine builder before, notably 1983 with Bobby Allison and DiGard Motorsports, and also with Darrell Waltrip. After that season the team began to slump a little. Eddie D'Hondt joined the team as Manager after leaving Evernham Motorsports and the team seemed to be heading in the right direction with the hiring of Mike Ford. Shortly after that RYR found itself with a team that was improving and becoming a contender again. Elliott Sadler joined Robert Yates Racing for the 2003 season and won two races for Yates in 2004. Yates retired as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Team Owner after 2007, giving Yates Racing to his son, Doug. In 2009 Yates Racing fielded it's final car. It was driven by Paul Menard that season. Yates Racing final top five finish came in 2008 with David Gilliland at the wheel, while driver Dale Jarret would lead the team to it's final victory in 2005 as Jarret drafted past Matt Kenseth on the final lap to get the win. After the 2009 season when it merged with Richard Petty Motorsports.
JJ YELEY - 10/5/1976 - is a NASCAR driver. Nicknamed "J. J." (Jimmy/Jack; after his father and a close family friend). His legal name is Christopher Beltram Hernandez Yeley. He is currently a competitor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, driving the No. 36 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Yeley won the 1997 edition of Indiana Sprintweek and captured the Rookie of the Year Award in the USAC National Sprint Car Series despite starting relatively few races. In 1998, Yeley competed in four Indy Racing League (IRL) races, including the Indianapolis 500. His one top-10 finish in these four races was at Indianapolis, where he finished 9th despite a spin on the first turn of the first lap, which nearly collected eventual race winner Eddie Cheever, Jr. Yeley signed with Joe Gibbs Racing, starting 17 of 34 races in the 2004 NASCAR Nationwide Series and achieving four top-10 finishes. In that year, he also made two starts in the Sprint Cup #11 car. In 2005 Bobby Labonte made his announcement in November that he was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing. On November 12, at Phoenix International Raceway, Yeley was announced as the new driver for the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet. Yeley's best Cup finishes of 2006 came at California Speedway and Loudon, where he finished 8th; his best Nationwide Series finish came on June 17 at Kentucky Speedway. His 2007 was filled with rumors about being released from Joe Gibbs racing. At the 2007 Coca-Cola 600, Yeley scored a career high second place finish on a fuel gamble, with Casey Mears actually scoring the victory. Exactly three weeks later, at Michigan, Yeley took his first career pole at the Cup level, beating Jimmie Johnson by one one thousandths of a second (.001). During the middle of the 2007 season Joe Gibbs announced that his team would be switching to Toyota in 2008. Gibbs also announced that Yeley would not return for 2008. Gibbs ended up signing Kyle Busch to drive the #18. Yeley moved to Hall of Fame Racing, an affiliate of JGR, replacing Tony Raines in the #96 DLP Toyota. His struggles continued, as the team fell from being in the top 35 every week with Raines behind the wheel to struggling to make races on a weekly basis. On August 6, 2008, Yeley was released from his contract to drive for Hall of Fame Racing. In 2009, he moved to the Camping World Truck Series, driving the #73 Chevrolet Silverado for Tagsby Racing. He was also named to take over the Mayfield Motorsports #41 Sprint Cup Series entry effective immediately following the indefinite suspension of owner/driver Jeremy Mayfield due to a substance abuse violation on May 9, 2009. Yeley drove at Daytona in 2010 for Daisy Ramirez Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. This was the team's debut and he finished a career-best 10th after starting 36th. Yeley was announced as the driver for the Whitney Motorsports #46 Sprint Cup Series car on May 4, 2010. Yeley raced his way in the 2011 Daytona 500 in the Gatorade Duels for Whitney Motorsports, a team that failed to qualify for the 2010 event. For 2012, Yeley signed with Robinson-Blakeney Racing to drive the No. 49 Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series. He also drove the team's No. 28 Nationwide Series car in that series' season-opening race at Daytona. Halfway through the season, Yeley moved to Max Q Motorsports to drive the No. 37 in a partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing. Both the No. 49 and the No. 37 were mostly start and park efforts. In 2013, Yeley moved to Tommy Baldwin Racing to drive the No. 36 Chevrolet, with sponsorship from Golden Corral at races on superspeedways. United Mining, Accell Construction, and several other companies also served as primary sponsor throughout the season. Yeley ran his first full season (in a non-start and park ride) for the first time since 2008. No word on 2014 plans. At this point in his career Yeley, has posted a best CUP finish of second; two top fives, and eight top tens. He also has 13 top five finishes in the Nationwide series with a best of second at Memphis and Kentucky.