Yates still looking for sponsor Max Jones, co-owner of Yates Racing, with drivers David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil, provides an update regarding the search for sponsorship and how he believes the season has started, during a Monday morning one-on-one interview with Ford Racing.
Jones has watched his teams get off to a solid start in 2008. Kvapil posted the organization’s first top-10 finish in only his third race with an eighth-place run at Las Vegas while Gilliland registered a ninth-place effort last weekend at Bristol.
MAX JONES, CO-OWNER – NO’S. 28 AND 38 YATES RACING FORD FUSIONS
BOTH DAVID AND TRAVIS HAVE TOP-10 FINISHES THROUGH THE FIRST FIVE RACES, SO HOW DO YOU FEEL THINGS HAVE GONE AT THE START OF THIS YEAR?
“I think they’ve gone really well. To have two top-10s in the first five races, that’s a tribute to all the guys and the effort they’ve put into an organization that’s only been around for four months. There were other opportunities and things that happened to us that would have ended with top-10s, so I think we run strong every weekend. So to come out of the gate strong like that is really good.”
DAVID MENTIONED THAT FREECREDITREPORT.COM ONLY HAD A RACE OR TWO LEFT AND THE SEARCH FOR SPONSORSHIP CONTINUES. HOW DO THINGS LOOK DOWN THE ROAD?
“We’re still searching like we did when we decided to do this on December 1. It’s not something you can just pick up the phone and call somebody, but there’s a lot of excitement around it and us running well has helped that. We’re moving up in the points and I think there’s a great opportunity for a company out there to showcase their products with a car that’s running up in the front every weekend.”
FROM WHAT YOU’VE SEEN IN THIS PROCESS IS IT JUST A CASE OF A PERFECT STORM TYPE OF SITUATION, WHERE THE ECONOMY HAS LIMITED THE POOL OF POTENTIAL SPONSORS?
“I think there are a couple of things. The media plays up how gloom and doom everything is, but I don’t even know how many other teams are looking for sponsors. I think that we’re in a completely different boat than any other team I can think of out there. We’re kind of a start-up team, but I don’t like using that word. We’ve got Roush Yates engines and we’ve got Roush Fenway cars. We’ve got two drivers that can definitely get it done and we’ve put together a group of guys that are bolting cars together and doing a really good job there, so I think there’s a great opportunity for somebody. We’re not a start-up team from the standpoint that we have to race our way in every weekend. If you look at it, there are a lot of these Fortune 500 companies in this sport and we just haven’t been able to connect with the right company that recognizes the fact that this is a great opportunity for them to market around NASCAR. We know that NASCAR works or all of those companies wouldn’t be involved. We’ve just got to get the word out and get somebody to see us and see that opportunity.”
YOU AND DOUG YATES BOTH HAVE SAID FROM THE BEGINNING THAT YOU ARE COMMITTED TO RUNNING A FULL SEASON. HAS ANYTHING CHANGED IN THAT REGARD AFTER FIVE RACES?
“That’s been our thought from day one and it’s still there. We’re committed to run. We’ve had some partners come on with K&N and freecredit and Zaxby’s, so we’ve gotten help, along with our Ford support that we appreciate. We couldn’t be doing this without Ford Motor Company, so we’re committed to do this. It would have been nice to have a full sponsor signed up for Daytona, but realistically it takes a little time. We’ve talked to a lot of people and people are talking to us and you just don’t walk in and close one of these deals. You’ve got to talk and they’ve got to do their research and we’ll just have to keep working on it. There’s a lot of activity around it right now when you run like we did this weekend. There have already been a few phone calls and e-mails this morning that saw the cars on TV and heard the broadcast. They’re talking about it in the media room and they talked a lot about it on TV. I was listening to Sirius radio driving home [Sunday] night from Bristol and they talked about the Yates organization and how Doug has put this group together and we need to continue it. So I think there’s a lot of support from NASCAR and the media, so it’ll all come together.”
PLUS THE FACT YOUR TEAMS ARE SOLIDLY IN THE TOP 35, WHEREAS SOME OTHER ESTABLISHED TEAMS ARE BELOW YOU IN THE STANDINGS.
“We’ve had our share of misfortunes and little things that have happened to us where we should have had better finishes, but the guys have done a great job. Both David and Travis have gone out and they haven’t wrecked. They’ve finished and gathered as many points as they could, so it’s not their fault at all that they haven’t gotten the points that they should have. There have been things that have happened on the cars that shouldn’t have happened and we’ve rectified that, so they’ve done a tremendous job. They’re two really talented drivers and Doug and I both are really proud to have in our organization and driving our cars.”