Hot 20 – The Yates legacy will come to life under the hood of a third of the Charlotte field

When one of the legends in the sport leaves us, we remember. If a man is known simply by the company he keeps, Robert Yates did very well.

As a team owner, he was the boss to such NASCAR luminaries as Davey Allison, Larry McReynolds, Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, and Ricky Rudd. His boys led him to 57 Cup wins over parts of nearly 20 campaigns. Jarrett and Allison allowed him to celebrate three Daytona 500 wins and a pair of July races. They each brought him a World 600 victory. He was a five-time winning owner at Talladega. Thanks to Jarrett, he got to kiss the bricks twice at Indianapolis. The boys helped him to a pair of Bristol wins. Six Richmond triumphs, two each delivered by Irvan and Jarrett, with Allison and Rudd chipping in the other two. In 1999, Jarrett delivered a Cup championship. Yes, Yates knew talent, and they produced for him.

Robert Yates also knew engines. Not only was there a Yates engine powering Jarrett, they also sent Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip to the top of the mountain. Yates Engines provided the gusto that provided 77 Cup wins, and continue to do so under the guiding hand of his son, Doug.

NASCAR owner, engine maker, and Hall of Fame inductee in the class of 2018, Robert Yates leaves us at 74 years of age.

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When the engines come to life this Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, a third of the field will have Roush-Yates power plants under the hood.

1. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 3059 POINTS – 5 Wins
Could sit Saturday night and still rank among the top dozen.

2. KYLE BUSCH – 3041 POINTS – 4 Wins
Elliott did not try to block him or send Kyle into the fence and lost. Chase needs a new plan.

3. KYLE LARSON – 3034 POINTS – 4 Wins
Ganassi has won 16 titles – 7 IndyCar crowns, 5 Grand-Am, 4 Champ Car. One appears missing.

4. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 3020 POINTS – 2 Wins
Not sure if he be a Hatfield or McCoy, but Rowdy wants to womp him low and womp him high.

5. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 3017 POINTS – 3 Wins
Not only is he NASCAR’s most decorated active driver, but also its highest paid. Sorry Junior.

6. KEVIN HARVICK – 3015 POINTS – 1 Win
Wants the future of the sport, Mr. Elliott, to win soon. As for what Mr. Busch thinks…

7. DENNY HAMLIN – 3013 POINTS – 2 Wins
“NASCAR drivers should be making NBA, NFL money.” I wonder if track owners will pony up?

8. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 3010 POINTS – 2 Wins
Sometimes a gamble earns you seven points and advancement in the Chase.

9. RYAN BLANEY – 3008 POINTS – 1 Win
Give a kid a checkered flag, and that Kyle Larson cap he was sporting comes right off.

10. CHASE ELLIOTT – 3006 POINTS
The day he decides to be a selfish jerk on the track is the day he will head to Victory Lane.

11. MATT KENSETH – 3005 POINTS
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the next WWE heavyweight champion.

12. JAMIE MCMURRAY – 3003 POINTS
Ganassi came close in 2005 to a title, but Stirling Marlin broke his leg. This was his replacement.

13. RYAN NEWMAN – 2067 POINTS – 1 Win
No doubt he loves his crew chief, but probably loves Stenhouse’s just a bit more.

14. AUSTIN DILLON – 2065 POINTS – 1 Win
Won the last time he was at Charlotte. Another would be a lovely consolation prize.

15. KASEY KAHNE – 2046 POINTS – 1 Win
Can he do for Leavine Family Racing what Kurt did for Furniture Row?

16. KURT BUSCH – 2044 POINTS – 1 Win
19th was his best first-round finish, and that is just not good enough. It really is not good at all.

17. CLINT BOWYER – 750 POINTS
Sixth place finish at Dover was good. His crew chief’s $10,000 fine…not so much.

18. JOEY LOGANO – 741 POINTS – 1 Win
If Kim Jong-un had launched those bad boys on Wednesday, Joey would have been safe.

19. ERIK JONES – 728 POINTS
If Hamlin is right, we might need a bottle drive to help top up Erik’s salary for next season.

20. DANIEL SUAREZ – 653 POINTS
Suarez could take the next three races off, and still would easily claim a spot in our Hot 20.

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