Sunday, November 12, 2006

Villeneuve Out Of The Picture At Roush Racing; Changes Coming at Yates?

Jacques Villeneuve will almost certainly not be a part of the Roush Racing lineup next season.

Villeneuve had been negotiating with the team about a possible 2007 Busch Series schedule, but Roush Racing General Manager Geoff Smith said Saturday that there is only a remote chance of the former Formula One champion joining the team. "We're nowhere in that regard," he said. "There are general discussions that are going on, but I don't see us being able to make an arrangement to pull together a program. It's possible, but it's an outside shot given the timing of the year."

Sources tell Sirius Speedway that Villeneuve’s representatives have also been burning up the telephone lines to Robert Yates Racing, which has yet to name a driver for its #88 Ford next season. However, speculation in the Nextel Cup garage says Yates may actually be negotiating to sell the #88 half of his operation to Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

Yates refused to comment on the stories this weekend, but DEI's Steve Hmiel confirmed that talks have taken place to have DEI purchase the #88 from Yates, along with the 2006 owner points earned by Dale Jarrett. Team Red Bull has also reportedly made an offer to purchase the #88 from Yates, but Hmiel said DEI’s offer is for the entire operation; not just the number.

"We've heard Team Red Bull has made an offer to buy the number,” said Hmiel, “but we're not looking to buy just the number. If we can have more capacity, the number would be a bonus.”

A number of obstacles remain to be negotiated – including conflicting manufacturer commitments to Ford (RYR) and Chevrolet (DEI), but if a deal can be struck, Yates would be left with only David Gilliland’s #38 next season. RYR has fielded two teams on a full-time basis since 1996. Yates refused all comment on the matter Saturday, saying only that he has four different options to choose from. He admitted that fielding a single car is on his list of options, and sources say a decision on whether to sell the #88 to DEI must be made by Tuesday.


  1. So if the 88 is purchased, then the 38 becomes a single car team? Call me stupid...

  2. Anonymous9:32 PM

    Hmm man Yates well that is a bummer. Would be nice if he would sell JUST the number and pocket some money and then bring back the #28. Fat chance of that happening though if he is going to sell of all the cars and equuipment that goes with that 88 car.

  3. Anonymous8:42 PM

    Wishful thinking on my part, but I'd like to see Yates team up with the Wood Bros. With 3 Cup teams both Schrader and Jon Wood could run the full season instead of this ridiculous idea of sharing the 21.

  4. Anonymous2:31 AM

    To bad Robert Yates is so stuck in his ways. Let see, Yates and Robby Gordon were working on a merger/partnership. Supposably Gordon had a sponsor lined up for the #88 car. Yates did not like the deal Gordon made him and called it off the day before papers were to be signed. Yates was sure he would find that sponsor on his own. Even said they were willing to be picky to have that sponsor they could be proud to have. It has not happend. The same weekend Ford annonced Gordon to there line up, Ford also said they would see what they can do to help Yates fund both teams. Then the rumor comes out that they might be a single car team for 07 if they dont find a sponsor. Now the word is that DEI is bidding to buy the whole company and retire Yates from Nascar. Could Yates distroy is company anymore? I bet the Yates / Gordon deal is looking good now! Ford has to be overwelmed with how there drivers are leaving and now there teams are willing to sell to Chevy owners and or Toyota Red Bull has been in the mix. Yate's buisness skills are really showing now and its a wonder he has been as successful as he has.

  5. Anonymous2:00 PM

    Sounds like a plan...Sell the 88, pocket the money, then bring back the 28. Yates should have never stopped using the #28, with it's history & all.

  6. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Yates is on again, off again with his decisions. Of course it's hard to leave something you love doing, but when it comes down to one's health, health should be the winning choice. I highly doubt RYR will ever be back in contention like in years past; they have been off the radar screen for too long to catch up with the top teams. IMO Yates needs to sell out completely and Doug can continue building engines for Ford, which at this point is their only strong hold.

  7. Anonymous10:24 PM

    Jacques buys RYR, - he has the money and Ford will back him, and he has the international name recognition that NASCAR longs for, he drives for a couple of years along with adding a young driver then when he retires in a half a dozen years he is an owner in NASCAR all with Ford's support.