Planes, rentals and race cars: Yeley's wild adventure between Michigan and Mid-Ohio.
For journeyman racer J.J. Yeley, double duty is nothing new.
Yeley, only the second USAC Triple Crown winner to compete full-time in the Sprint Cup Series — the first being Tony Stewart, is once again making the journey between tracks this weekend to satisfy his commitments in the No. 23 Toyota Camry for BK Racing and the No. 28 Toyota Camry for JGL Racing.
By the time I got back to the track for qualifying, I was on the five minute clock
J.J. Yeley on trying to race in two different states on the same weekend
“It should have been the easiest (double) because it’s the closest between the two, but unfortunately the schedules overlap each other,” Yeley said. “So it’s been a little bit of a struggle. It’s put some stress on my team owners — which I apologize for — but this is the best way that I feel I can give each race team the best product, is by letting me set the car up and get it the way I want it for the races.”
Juggling between Michigan and Ohio races
Yeley’s weekend started with first Cup practice on Friday. After about an hour running in race trim, he made a made dash to Lenawee County Airport where he caught a prop plane and took off for Mid-Ohio and the first Xfinity Series practice. Yeley, 38, who is currently 13th in the Xfinity Series point standings, arrived for the final 25 minutes of practice, completed two laps in Happy Hour and then returned to Michigan for Cup qualifying.
“I had Ron (team owner Devine) on one line, Joe (Williams, crew chief) on the other and I missed a turn coming back from Adrian (Mich),” Yeley said. “By the time I got back to the track for qualifying, I was on the five minute clock.”
Yeley qualified 37th for the Pure Michigan. He spent Friday night in Ann Arbor, participated in second practice Saturday morning at MIS — where he logged 32 laps and was 40th on the speed chart.
“With the new package that the Sprint Cup cars are running at Michigan, I’m not exactly sure what to even expect for tomorrow,” Yeley said. “I know with the little bit of practice I had today, they punch a big whole in the air, so there will be a lot of drafting.
“But again, until you get 43 car out there, you really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
At 9:30, Yeley scooted off to Adrian again to catch his 45-minute flight for Mid-Ohio and qualifying at 11:15. He’ll start 26th in the No. 28 Toyota for the Mid-Ohio 200 — his third and final commuter double of the year.
“It’s all good,” Yeley said. “It’s the last one of the season.”