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Racing serves as motivation in Robert Yates’ cancer fight

Daytona 500 Qualifying

DAYTONA, FL - FEBRUARY 11: Team owner Robert Yates, looks on during qualifying for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 11, 2007 in Daytona, Florida. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

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Despite his ongoing fight with liver cancer, NASCAR team owner Robert Yates can’t wait for racing to resume this season. It’s one of the things that keeps him motivated and makes enduring treatments a bit easier, his son says.

During Monday’s Ford conference call with the media, son Doug Yates was asked how his father is doing.

“My dad is hanging tough,” the younger Yates said. “He’s got two more chemo treatments and then hopefully they can go to surgery, but he’s hanging tough.

“He gets excited when we start racing, so he’s ready for us to get to Daytona. After the Rolex, standing there in Victory Lane with (Ford officials Dave Pericak and Raj Nair) and the guys from Ford and Chip Ganassi, I had Chip call (the elder Yates) up.

“That was really special to me and gave him some more encouragement. … Hopefully, he’ll get through this thing.”

MORE: Legendary NASCAR team owner Robert Yates is in the race of his life

Robert Yates Racing competed in NASCAR’s Cup series for 20 years, from 1989 through 2009. It earned 57 wins, 270 top-five and 433 top-10 finishes, and won the Cup championship in 1999 with NASCAR Hall of Famer and NASCAR on NBC analyst Dale Jarrett.

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