Yates Racing and Hall of Fame Racing have announced that their two teams will align in 2009, with Yates operating the No. 96 NASCAR Sprint Cup car. The deal is not a merger. Doug Yates and Max Jones will continue as co-owners of Yates Racing, while Tom Garfinkel and Jeff Moorad will continue at the helm of Hall of Fame. However, the No. 96 will run as a Ford Fusion this season, fielded out of the Yates Racing complex in Concord, N.C.
No driver was announced for the #96 Ford. Yates currently had three drivers in its stable last season; Travis Kvapil, David Gilliland and Paul Menard. Only Menard’s #98 is believed to be sponsored for 2009.
A press release issued by the team late Tuesday said that Yates will field three cars this season, without outlining the individual car numbers or drivers. The #96 was 39th in owners points last season, and will have to qualify on speed for at least the first five races of the season.
Hall Of Fame’s Garfinkle said of the move, “Jeff Moorad and I knew it would take time to construct the right model to improve our competitive position in the sport, and we think we’ve come a long way to achieving that through our association with Yates Racing.”
Yates Racing’s Jones called the alliance, “a great stepping stone for the Yates organization,” saying it will allow the team to expand its shop and field an additional Sprint Cup entry.
The release did not mention sponsorship, but Hall of Fame Racing is believed to have partial backing from DLP HDTV for this season. Sirius Speedway reported Monday that the Yates/HOF alliance will soon announce additional sponsorship from Ask.com.