Sam Yarbrough, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has established himself as a Late Model Stock Car driver that has to be dealt with any time he is on the race track. In 2021, Yarbrough and car owner Robert Elliott will take their operation up a rung and race in the CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car series.
“Roberts wants a car in that series and I was the next guy up,” Yarbrough said in a telephone interview after putting his two kids to bed.
The Myrtle Beach Speedway closed in 2020. Like so many other historic tracks in America, it was a victim of the progress of man. Yarbrough won 60 features and five championships at Myrtle Beach, both track records. He was the 2020 track champion and won the final feature at the track.
Yarbrough won championships at Myrtle Beach in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2020. He had a large fan following all through his career. Bryan Hopkins, of Conway, S.C., said he went to Myrtle Beach Speedway for years just to watch Yarbrough.
Yarbrough said he is not related to former NASCAR Cup star Lee Roy Yarbrough. When asked about the best drivers he has raced against, Yarbrough had a very impressive list.
“There are so many good ones,” Yarbrough said. “I would say the best were (Lee) Pulliam and (Frank) Deiny. Marty Ward is good and he is hard to pass. He makes it awful hard to get in front of him. I had to wait for him to make a mistake and slide up the track. Then I was around him and gone.”
David Roberts, of Gray Court, S.C., has won championships at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway and Anderson, S.C. Speedway. Roberts said he likes to race with Yarbrough.
“Sam is a good smooth driver, a clean driver,” Roberts said. “We get along really well. He is exceptional at Myrtle Beach”
Yarbrough has won multiple state championships. The car he races is a Chevrolet with a Ford engine. The sponsors are Robert Elliott Properties, Aaron’s Sales and Leasing, Renegade Fuel and oil.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” Yarbrough said. “I don’t know what I would do if it wasn’t for Robert Elliott.”
Elliott is more than the driver for the Elliott car. He is in the shop five days a week working on the car getting it ready for the race.
“I get two paychecks,” Yarbrough said. “I am a mechanic and driver.”
Yarbrough is looking forward to the challenge of the CARS Tour and will be a first-time member of the Touring 12, which is an incentive program the series uses for 12 drivers to compete in every race during the season.
Yarbrough’s teammates Matt Cox and Chad McCumbee got the 2021 season started off with a pole and a victory in Saturday’s IceBreaker at Florence Motor Speedway, which should give Yarbrough and his team a lot of momentum heading into the first CARS Tour race on Saturday, March 6th at Dillon Motor Speedway.
Cover photo by Andy Marquis.