Daytona Shootout: JJ Yeley race notes

Yeley Finishes 16th in Budweiser Shootout J.J. Yeley, driver of the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, finished 16th in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The Budweiser ...

Yeley Finishes 16th in Budweiser Shootout

J.J. Yeley, driver of the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry, finished 16th in Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

The Budweiser Shootout is a non-point, exhibition race featuring pole winners from the previous Sprint Cup season and past Budweiser Shootout winners. This year's field included an event-record 23 drivers.

Yeley started 11th in the 70-lap race, but handling and tire issues hampered his efforts in getting to victory lane.

"We started out being real conservative and making sure we didn't have any tire issues," said Yeley, who earned his Shootout berth by winning his first career Sprint Cup pole on June 15, 2007 at Michigan International Speedway. "In practice, we made 23 laps and delaminated the right front (tire), so we just took it easy in the first part. The car drove really good, maybe we just had it too secure. We struggled with the car being really loose yesterday, so we freed it up a little bit and probably didn't go quite far enough. We still had a little bit of a tire issue -- the right-front blistered a little bit as did the right-rear. We were just kind of riding around out there, taking it easy. At that point, we knew we didn't have a car that was capable of winning."

Unfortunately, the night wasn't completely without incident.

On lap 65, Kurt Busch spun in Turns 3 and 4 ahead of Yeley. In trying to avoid the incident, Yeley made contact with Ryan Newman, causing minor damage to each car.

"We just wanted to make sure we brought it back in one piece," Yeley said. "For the most part, it's not too bad. We got in the back of Newman when the '2' car wrecked. We'll take this one back and I think we've got a good car for the '500.' We'll see how we qualify tomorrow."

Despite the disappointing finish, the Shootout gave Yeley and the DLP HDTV team valuable knowledge for next week's 50th running of the Daytona 500.

"I learned that the cars just move around a lot more than the old ones," Yeley said. "It takes a little while to get acclaimed to it. We just didn't have enough off the corner and I don't know why we were struggling there. I'll sit down with the Brandon (Thomas, crew chief) and look at it."

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , J.J. Yeley