Yeley Fights Ill-Handling Race Car at California Interstate Batteries Team Finishes 29th During Hot Day in Fontana J.J. Yeley, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), fought an ill-handling race car and...
Yeley Fights Ill-Handling Race Car at California
Interstate Batteries Team Finishes 29th During Hot Day in Fontana
J.J. Yeley, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), fought an ill-handling race car and finished 29th in Sunday's Cal 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at California Speedway in Fontana.
On a day where temperatures topped 100 degrees at the start of the 500-mile race, right from the get-go Yeley fought a car that was tight on initial entry and extremely tight from the center off the corner.
"The car was a little bit free on entry and extremely tight on exit," said Yeley. "We fought that and it seemed like we made more adjustments trying to fix the center and off and trying to make it turn better. It kept making the car looser and looser. I just couldn't carry any corner speed. I was just really uncomfortable the whole race.
The Interstate Batteries Team went to work on the car during several early pit stops, putting in and taking out spring rubbers, making track-bar and air-pressure adjustments, and even closing the right-front shock. None of the changes seemed to improve the loose entry and tight condition off the corner.
While more wholesale changes later in the race improved the car slightly, it turned out to be a long, hot, and frustrating night for Yeley and Co.
"For being as hot as it was I definitely worked harder tonight than I can ever remember working in a very long time--especially to finish 29th," said Yeley. "I'm definitely disappointed."
Yeley's JGR teammates --Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin -- finished 13th and 19th, respectively, in the Cal 500. Stewart remains second in points, where he's 317 markers behind series leader Jeff Gordon. Hamlin held steady at third, 344 points arrears Gordon. Like his teammates, Yeley also maintained his point standing, as he continues in the 20th spot.
The next event on the Nextel Cup schedule is the Sept. 8 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live, high-definition coverage provided by ABC beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m.