NASCAR Legend, Robert Yates, Reveals Heartbreaking Update On Cancer Battle

Credit: RacingOne / ISC Archives

“These are big, bad, ugly tumors. He has no chance of survival without the surgery,” Dr. John Martinie revealed in an emotional and eye-opening February article from The Charlotte Observer.

Robert Yates, a world-renowned NASCAR team owner and master engine builder, was first diagnosed with a very serious form of liver cancer back in October 2016 – and has been fighting for his life ever since.

Continuing in that ‘Observer’ article, Dr. Martinie revealed that Yates’ best option was surgery, saying, “His best chance is getting into the operating room and getting to the tumor….Then he will have a very, very good chance of being alive after five years.”

Today, Yates was honored by Danica Patrick and her team with a throwback paint scheme for the forthcoming race at Darlington and will have his name replace Patrick’s above the driver’s side door in a tribute that meant so much to him.

During the paint scheme reveal, Yates spoke with Bob Pockrass from ESPN about his battle with cancer – and revealed a heartbreaking situation involving two doctors and what appears to be mixed information.

Apparently, Yates visited several of his doctors last week during the course of his treatment. The first doctor explained to him that his liver cancer had grown 36% and advised him to look for a suitable hospice. This, in and of itself, would have been a hard-hitting blow to anyone trying to overcome something like this – however, the second doctor only added to the situation. Just hours after visiting the first doctor, Yates tells Pockrass that his second doctor advised him that his cancer had not grown at all.

 “I need both doctors and I need a little cheerleading, too,” Yates continued. “I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.”

Robert Yates has always tried to maintain a positive outlook when speaking about his diagnosis and treatments, previously sharing with The Observer, “So many people have cancer, so I’m always reminded that I’m not by myself,” Yates said. “But a friend asked me recently how tough having cancer was. You know what I told him? It’s tougher than winning the Daytona 500.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with Yates and his family as he aims to conquer this disease. 

Watch the beautiful video below of Yates during the announcement of the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees.