Last Time Out; Daytona International Speedway: J.J. Yeley overcame the odds and qualified for the "Great American Race" during last Thursday's Gatorade Duels at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, guaranteeing Whitney Motorsports their first start in the Daytona 500. Unfortunately, the team's hard-work was short lived as engine failure just 10 laps into the 208-lap event erased the North Carolina-based team from competition.
Welcome Home: Phoenix, Arizona is the home of former IROC competitor J.J. Yeley. Before moving out East to pursue a full-time career in Motorsports, Yeley grew up in the desert and is the initial location where his successful racing career was launched.
Phoenix Fast Facts: The 34-year old Yeley has six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at PIR. In those six starts, Yeley qualified a series track best of fourth in 2007 and also finished a respectable 14th in the same event. Seven starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Phoenix have included a best start of fourth in 2005 with a best finish of sixth in 2006. Yeley finished six of those seven starts inside the top-15 and has completed all but one of 1,417 laps available.
Not Just In A Stock Car: In addition to competing at Phoenix International Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series, Yeley, the former USAC Silver Crown champion also made one start in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 1998 for Sinden Racing. PIR was the first of five races for Yeley in the open-wheel vehicles that year.
Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway Pre-Race Quotes: J.J. Yeley, driver of the No. 46 AAMCO Transmissions / Ohsweken Speedway Chevrolet Impala:
On Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway: "Phoenix is obviously a special place for me because it's my hometown track. We're going there this weekend looking for a little redemption after the disappointing finish at Daytona. We're glad to have AAMCO Transmissions back on-board and hope to give them what they deserved in Daytona on Sunday at Phoenix."
On His Fondest Phoenix International Raceway Moment: "I remember going to the Copper World races at PIR when I was seven or eight years old with buddies who I raced go-carts with. Playing in the infield, which was still desert-like with cactuses, sand, etc. We did a lot of bike riding and made race tracks out of the sand. It just makes Phoenix feel more like home."
On His Fondest Personal Phoenix Moment: "I ran the IZOD IndyCar Series race at PIR in 1998 and I had to do a media event at a local restaurant. It was there, I met my future wife, Kristen. It's a place I'll never, ever forget."
On His Thoughts About PIR Being Repaved and Reconfigured Following Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500: "It will change the way many of the competitors will think of PIR, it will be interesting to see how much different the track and the setups change when we go back in October."
-source: jj yeley PR