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Yates Racing renew same drivers for 2010 Yates Racing team co-owner Max Jones says he hasn’t soured on his driver lineup despite having seen some good days go bad and some bad days remain bad. “I won’t say I’m disappointed, but it’s not the outcome we were hoping for the first half of the year,” Jones says. “We’ve had some good runs from both teams, but we haven’t been consistent enough. We have a lot of work to do. … When we’ve had good cars and we’ve run up [near the] front, we haven’t been able to close the deal, and that’s what hurt us.” After a first year at Yates Racing where Travis Kvapil finished 23rd in points and David Gilliland was 27th in a pair of underfunded cars, Jones’ expectations rose with Menard bringing his family sponsorship and Hall of Fame Racing providing the Ask.com sponsorship with Labonte as the driver. The team has an alliance with Roush Fenway Racing and is housed in a building next to the Roush Fenway campus and gets its cars as well as technological and marketing help from the organization. “Everybody’s frustrated,” Jones says. “Our expectations coming into the year, I felt that Paul could be in the top 20 in points, and I felt like Bobby was a top-15 driver and maybe working our way into the Chase For The Sprint Cup. People may think that’s far-fetched, but I don’t think so. That’s attainable. Not this year, with the way we’ve dug ourselves in the hole, but I think that the organization and the drivers are capable of doing that if we put everything together.”
The Hall of Fame alliance, where Yates Racing fields the cars, is a one-year deal (as is the Ask.com sponsorship), and Jones hopes that it continues. He says that Menards is a two-year deal that runs through 2010. Whether Yates Racing gets another team siphoned from Roush Fenway Racing, which must cut from five teams to four after this season, is still to be determined, Jones says. Roush Fenway Racing President Geoff Smith has said he hopes to move a team to Yates but that it would depend on sponsorship. “I’m sitting here today hoping I have two [cars],” Jones says about 2010. “I feel good about that. The Hall of Fame program, they’re working really hard on their end of it, and we’re working really hard on sponsorship, too. We have another year on Paul’s program. … I don’t know all what they’ve got going on over at Roush Fenway.” SceneDaily
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