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Robert Yates Racing Announces 2006 Lineup

Robert Yates
Robert Yates
MOORESVILLE, N.C. , ( November 28, 2005) ----- Robert Yates Racing (RYR) announced its lineup for the 2006 NASCAR season. The lineup includes the addition and reassignment of key team members for both the #88 UPS and #38 M&M’S® Chocolate Candies NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, as well as the #90 CitiFinancial NASCAR Busch Series team.

Effective immediately, Richard “Slugger” Labbe is the crew chief for the #88 UPS Racing Team and driver Dale Jarrett while Tommy Baldwin, Jr., becomes the crew chief for the #38 M&M’S Chocolate Candies Team and driver Elliott Sadler. Both Labbe and Baldwin bring with them experience and success that includes wins in the Daytona 500 (Labbe with driver Michael Waltrip in 2003 and Baldwin with driver Ward Burton in 2002).

“Both Slugger and Tommy have had success in their past endeavors with other teams in the NEXTEL Cup Series,” said Eddie D’Hondt, general manager for RYR. “We’ve been aggressive in the off season. It is our goal to get both of our teams in the Chase for the Championship in 2006. We are really pleased with the staff we’ve put together and delighted to have Slugger and Tommy on board.”

Labbe, a former RYR employee, returns after spending time serving in the crew chief role during the last few seasons for Michael Waltrip at Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and most recently for Jeremy Mayfield at Evernham Motorsports. Baldwin also joins RYR from Evernham Motorsports where he led the team efforts for young driver Kasey Kahne since 2004.

“This is a great opportunity for me to be able to come back here in this capacity,” Labbe said. “Robert (Yates) has been an incredible person to know and work with. I’ve known him and Dale (Jarrett) for a long time, and to have this opportunity is an important one for me personally. I am really looking forward to 2006.”

“There is potential for great success next season at RYR,” said Baldwin. “Robert has built a strong foundation here and it’s exciting to be able to step in and work with Elliott and the #38 Team. I think we’ve only seen the beginning of what Elliott can accomplish behind the wheel and I look forward to the task of leading this team to the next level.”

Kevin Buskirk, who has been serving in an interim crew chief role for the #38 M&M’S team, will become the Technical and Performance Director for all of RYR. Additionally, the team has added Ed Guzzo to the organization and he will serve as the Production and Operational Director.

In addition to the personnel changes with the NEXTEL Cup Series programs, RYR announced its driver lineup for the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season and plans to compete in all 35 events. Sadler will drive the #90 CitiFinancial Ford for 16 events in 2006 while drivers Stephen Leicht and Matt McCall will share the driving duties during 17 events as part of the RYR Driver Development program. In addition to Leicht and McCall, Belgium driver Marc Goosens will compete in both the Busch Series road course races in 2006 as part of a joint effort between RYR and Rile Technologies, the championship team in the Rolex Series.

RYR will continue to prepare for 2006 and beyond, looking for the right opportunity to grow into a four-team organization that competes in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.


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