CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 24: (L-R) Robert Yates and Winston Kelley react after Yates is announced to the NASCAR Hall of Fame during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Day at NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 24, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

NASCAR Hall of Famer and legend opens up about his battle with a illness that could kill him

Legendary NASCAR owner Robert Yates is in the middle of battling liver cancer, but the 74-year-old told NBC Sports he is going to fight and hopefully beat the disease.

"I'm going to fight it," Yates said. "I plan to beat this if God is willing."

Yates went through his first treatment on Oct. 31, 2016, and he has endured chemotherapy and other treatments since then. He said he was misdiagnosed by a doctor last week who told him he only had four weeks to live.

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Yates, who won two Daytona 500s with Dale Jarrett and one with Davey Allison, said winning the historic race was easier than battling cancer.

"One day I'm beating it, the next day I'm not beating it," Yates said.

Yates is being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January, and he won 57 races as the owner of Yates Racing. He said he still likes to remain active despite losing weight from the cancer.

"If I get up and get out of the house and go to the farm and get on a tractor or lawnmower or bulldozer or something, I can stay on that all day long," Yates said. "Sitting on it, pushing dirt and trees, I love it. I go home that night and sleep better. Sitting in a chair promotes sitting in a chair. I sat in the chair too much last week."

Yates won his first championship as a NASCAR owner in 1999 with Dale Jarrett.

"I've got a lot to be thankful for," Yates said.

(h/t NBC Sports)