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Jim Yates Hopes to Thrive in Hot Conditions at Southern Nationals Virginia Pro Stock Driver Sixth Going into Busy Part of NHRA Schedule COMMERCE, Ga. - The 2005 POWERade Series schedule is little more than one-quarter finished and Jim Yates...

Jim Yates Hopes to Thrive in Hot Conditions at Southern Nationals
Virginia Pro Stock Driver Sixth Going into Busy Part of NHRA Schedule

COMMERCE, Ga. - The 2005 POWERade Series schedule is little more than one-quarter finished and Jim Yates feels like he's just getting started.

Yates finds himself sixth after six of 23 events. His 315 Pro Stock points put him one behind fifth place and a mere 64 behind No. 3 in a championship race that's beginning to heat up like the upcoming weather on a streak of six races in seven weeks.

The Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals kicks off the grueling slate at Atlanta Dragway, Friday through Sunday.

"I think we've seen all the different weather combinations this year that we usually see," the Occoquan, Va.-based driver said. "We haven't had an opportunity to test our B&W Pontiac as much as we normally would, but we're getting used to what engine combinations and car combinations the car likes.

"We're looking at the season as a four-quarter game, and this is only the second quarter. So far, we've been the most improved team this year and that's exciting for us. We want to leverage that excitement to our overall performance."

Yates, the 1996-97 NHRA Pro Stock champion, has won twice and finished second once at Atlanta Dragway.

With hot weather forecast, Yates expects racing conditions here to be similar to those in Bristol, Tenn., May 1.

"And we believe we'll be using a similar racing combination the next weekend at Columbus (May 22)," he said. "That should give us an opportunity to shine."

The third of three races in a row - Topeka, Kan., May 29 - may follow the same pattern.

Stops in Chicago, Englishtown, N.J., and St. Louis complete the busiest part of this year's schedule. And, if form holds, the latter two races could be run in the same slippery conditions Yates favors.

-yr-

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