Yeley awarded Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy Yeley awarded Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy

The 2003 USAC Triple Crown winner's year was capped off when the Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association announced last night at its annual celebratory banquet that J.J Yeley earned the Jerry Titus Memorial Trophy, making the young star the "Driver of the Year".

J.J. Yeley charges from the tail to win the second "E" Main.
Photo by Lonnie Wheatley.
Yeley was unable to attend the gala, as the USAC star midget/sprint driver was in Tulsa, Oklahoma competing in the 18th Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals.

In this event he had to move from the "F" main where he started fourth to work his way into a starting position for the "A" Main, but it was not a surprise that he did.

Yeley's competition in Tulsa was tough as it included racing against his USAC car owner and friend, Tony Stewart. Yeley may not have won the Chili Bowl but he became the first driver to improve 69 positions to take third place in the competitive midget race that brings storied competitors to the indoor track.

Yeley's 2003 was a busy year as the talented driver went from one USAC racing series to another across the U.S. and it already appears that the young man will be bouncing around the country again in 2004.

Yeley recently signed with Joe Gibbs Racing to run events for the team in ARCA, NASCAR Busch Series and a selected NASCAR Cup races.

J.J. Yeley.
Photo by Kenneth Plotkin.
Yeley won the USAC Silver Crown, National Sprint and National Midget titles in the 2003 season. He is the second driver to accomplish that feat in a single season. Yeley's car owner and mentor, NASCAR Cup driver Tony Stewart was the first USAC driver to win all three titles in one season in 1995, before going on to win the 1997 Indy Racing League title and become NASCAR's Winston Cup titleholder in 2002.

Recently, Yeley was also named the top driver by the Eastern Motorsports Press Association.