The Frontstretch: Voices From the Heartland: Kudos To Yates For Giving Up the Eights by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday September 20, 2007

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Today I would like to use this weekly column to send a personal and public "Thank You" to Mr. Robert Yates.

You see, his selfless giving of the number 88 to the Hendrick organization for Dale, Jr. to use, has actually helped solve many of my own personal problems. Granted, it's probably not the personal problems my friends and kin would think I should worry about, but they were things that were lingering in a dark corner of my mind and it is good to be rid of them.

The first problem started over a year ago when my all time favorite NASCAR driver, Dale Jarrett, left Robert Yates Racing. I have tons of 88 stuff! Luckily, (and as I predicted) Jarrett's long time sponsor, UPS, decided to go with Dale when he went to Michael Waltrip Racing so, other than his number changing to 44, all my hats, shirts and other stuff were still publicly accepted. While the stuff that had the UPS logo and the ‘88' were still good, it was the things that just had the number on them that caused me a bit of concern. If I wear one of the many hats that is emblazoned with just the number 88 on it, would people think I was a Ricky Rudd fan? Luckily for this year anyway, it wasn't too big of a worry because I happen to like Ricky Rudd, but what would happen if some other yahoo started driving the 88?

Then there was the No. 88 go kart to consider. I spent some good coinage to get those graphics and numbers! What if say, Johnny Sauter had been stuck in the 88 of RYR? The guys at the track would have hounded me mercilessly and I would have been the laughing stock amongst all my fellow karters! Thankfully, Robert Yates has prevented all that from happening.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is a cool guy. He's not my favorite driver, but I don't dislike him either. Now with Jr. in the 88, people will look at my go kart and think I am a Jr. fan, and that I can live with. Not only that, but with the primary colors of my kart being green and purple, any Mountain Dew or Amp stickers I find will fit right in. Even my racing gloves, which are of course, printed with a big 88 on them, will still be fashionably accepted. Thank you Robert Yates.

Fortunately, my "88" problems are not as bad as some people may have. Consider all those that actually have a number 8 tattoo. Tattoos are usually strategically placed and for the most part, centered, on which ever body part they happen to be on. Simply adding another eight may not look right! Guys all over the country will be heading to the gym to bulk up a bicep to make room for the extra 8.

All in all, I'm very happy that Jr. will be driving the number 88. Of course, being an ‘old school' type of guy, my first association of the number 88 will always be Dale Jarrett but Dale, Jr. is ok too. Actually, I consider myself very lucky, I could have been a Rusty Wallace/Miller Lite fan! I still feel sorry for all those guys!

Stay off the wall,

Jeff Meyer

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09/21/2007 06:50 AM

Yes, Robert Yates is a very nice and caring person. He done something for Jr. the STEPMOTHER would never have done. I’m sure since she didn’t want Jr. to have the #8 it will dig her a bit when she sees him driving the 88. Now the whole world knows what Jr. and Kelly had to put up with. No matter what kind of a front you try to put on, your true colors will show sooner or later.

09/21/2007 07:23 AM

At least you can show that you helped Dale Jarrett pay for his airplane and his other toys. If you go ahead and buy alot of Dale Jr. stuff, you can help his finance his private jet. I read one year that Dale, Sr. bought a jet with his souvenir money. That’s when I quit buying souvenirs. The fact that if NASCAR is on the souvenir, they also get a cut confirmed the decision. I sure don’t want to pay for Brian France’s toys.

Margo L
09/21/2007 07:27 AM

Yates is a nice guy , but lets be honest, he got a fistfull of cash for the 88. That was his main motivation. Now JR is going to have to produce some driving results for a change.

09/21/2007 10:00 AM

Hey now,what’s with the crack about Kurt Busch. He could be considered a lateral movement to Rusty Wallace. Just be thankful you didn’t have the number 20 before Tony got it.

Wasn’t the Buddy Baker or Darrell Waltrip in the Gatorade #88 before Dale changed from the 28 to 88 Texaco Havoline?

Fun article.

09/21/2007 12:59 PM

I remember the Melling’s doing the same thing for Bill Elliott to drive the # 9 again, now that was a classy act.

Barry Kentrup
09/21/2007 07:11 PM

I agree that Mr. Robert Yates is a “stand-up guy”. This just goes to show what teresa is NOT. You think Yates got a lot of cash for the 88; how much did Jr. make for teresa…

Evil vindictive people do not change, i haven’t seen a caring bone in her body.

I was always thankful for her, that she and Dale kissed, before he went out on the track, at Daytona. I felt that she could always remember how that kiss felt, on those lonely nights, when she missed him. Now, I wish he had flipped her off, she would have gotten her “just desserts.”

Just one man’s opinion.

Bully for Robert Yates a TRUE gentleman.

09/22/2007 12:10 PM

Thank goodness you are still able to accessorize Jeff LOL! Thank you for putting an entertaining spin on the events pertaining to the 88! Keep it up and Smile your outlook is inspiring!
Robert Yates and the 88


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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