DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Bruce Yackey has been around racing almost his entire life. The 46-year-old began working at his uncle’s local repair shop fixing and then later building small engines.
After graduating in 1984, Yackey began racing mini-stocks at Big Country Speedway in Cheyenne and knew then what he wanted to do in racing.
It appears Yackey made the right decision.
Racing has brought Yackey much happiness and success. Happiness with his wife Christi, who he met at the track in Cheyenne years ago, and three children — Brian, Brett, and Heather.
“I met Christi at the race track and she has been a great supporter to me in my racing and has always been willing to help me whenever and however she can,” Yackey said.
Success has been winning races and championships – a lot of championships.
Yackey has won numerous titles at all levels of racing, highlighted by six titles at Colorado National Speedway">Colorado National Speedway with his most recent track titles won in 2008 and 2009. Yackey also celebrated winning a NASCAR regional title in 1997 with one very special memory during the season.
“We went to Nashville to celebrate winning the regional title with Kristi pregnant with our first son Brian,” Yackey added. “It just so happens that Kristi went into labor and later delivered Brian in Nashville. So we stayed in Nashville a couple of days and came home with Brian.”
Brian, like his parents, also enjoys racing and helps out with Yackey’s team that is led by his father-in-law, Butch Bailey, who is the crew chief.
“You spend so much time working and racing the cars that it is nice when you can have your family participate with you,” Yackey added. “My middle son Brett works on the tires and is a big help and Brian also helps out and actually started racing last winter in the Enduro Winter Series we have out here (in Colorado)."
In the early 1990’s Yackey and partner Dave Gee bought out an owner of the repair shop they worked at and renamed it Greeley Automotive Machine. It is out of this shop that Yackey and Gee have built an impressive racing engine operation.
Yackey, who is affectionately called ‘Bruce the Moose’, is challenging Rick Smith for the state and track titles this season and Smith uses his engines as well.
“Rick and I race hard each week and love putting on a show for the fans,” Yackey said. “While I want to win as a race every time I am on the track, I also enjoy seeing cars with our engines win races too. It tells me we are doing something right.”
Yackey keeps his three race cars at a shop at his home so he remains close to the family, although he spends many nights in the garage.
“Kristi goes to the track and brings the kids and they are getting old enough now to get involved in the racing,” Yackey added. “Kristi will spot for me and the kids all help out too so that makes it even better when I can celebrate with them there.”
Yackey enters this weekend leading Smith in the Colorado state points in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series standings 287-254. Both drivers have seven top-10 finishes in eight races with Yackey scoring three wins while Smith has visited Victory Lane twice.
I think it is going to be a battle all season to win the track points and state championship,” Yackey added. “But we are going to have fun as a family no matter what and work hard to get there.”