Doug Yates forging his own way without Dad by his side
Forgive Doug Yates for feeling a little restless as NASCAR braces for 2008. For the first time in his life, he doesn't have dear ol' Dad calling the shots, writes Marty Smith.
Updated: January 9, 2008, 2:03 PM ETBy Marty Smith | ESPN.com
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The fathers-and-sons heritage in racing is deeply rooted, no matter the racing genre and regardless of whether father and son are competitors or merely fans.
Racing dads coax their boys into squirreling around underneath cars when they get too old and fat and lazy to do it themselves, and the next thing you know they've groomed a racer. Racing dad fans coax their boys into shuffling over to the fridge to grab another beer when they're too old and fat and lazy to do it themselves, and the next thing you know they've groomed a racing fan. Fundamentally, sons just want to hang out with the ol' man. Doug Yates felt that way Monday. For the first time in his life he was standing in the Daytona International Speedway garage area, staring at the clean slate of a new season, without his dad, Robert, the patriarch of the family racing business. He is fidgety. Not alone, but lonely. There he stands, turning wrenches, smack in the center of a stark new reality: The Robert in Yates Racing is gone from the equation."Being down here without my dad is really weird -- first time ever," Yates said Tuesday morning during a lull in Sprint Cup Series testing. "I find myself wondering what he'd do and how he'd do things."
AP Photo/John RaouxTravis Kvapil hopes to add to the 28's legacy driving for Yates Racing in 2008.
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