Sea Ray Boats Joins Jim Yates' New Pontiac GTO for U.S. Nationals Virginia Pro Stock Driver Seeks First Win in NHRA's Most Prestigious Race When Jim Yates debuts his new Pro Stock Pontiac GTO at the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Sept.
Sea Ray Boats Joins Jim Yates' New Pontiac GTO for U.S. Nationals
Virginia Pro Stock Driver Seeks First Win in NHRA's Most Prestigious Race
When Jim Yates debuts his new Pro Stock Pontiac GTO at the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Sept. 2-5, it will have Sea Ray Boats as a sponsor.
"I want to thank Carlton Phillips and Bob Bagley, co-owners of Prince William (Va.) Marina, for making this association happen," said Yates. "We are excited about hitting the Indianapolis Raceway Park track with our new GTO that will feature a fancy paint scheme. Sea Ray Boats joins B&W and Wiley-X Eyewear as our sponsors for the U.S. Nationals."
Yates, meanwhile, was anxiously awaiting completion of the GTO.
"I was at Jerry Haas' shop after the Memphis race (Aug. 21) and the car looked like it was all together," Yates said. "I walked away and came back a little later and the entire body had been taken off because the car was getting ready to go to the paint shop. When it came back, all the finishing work had to be done."
Yates planned to pick up the car Monday and immediately take it to Gateway International Raceway, not far from Haas' St. Louis-area shop, for test sessions Tuesday and Wednesday before driving to Indianapolis to prepare for Friday night's first qualifying session.
"From what we hear, the GM engineers did an excellent job creating an extremely stable race car with a good aerodynamic package," added Yates.
Steve Schmidt, Yates' engine supplier, lives in Indianapolis and has been working on creating more horsepower to complement the GTO's better aerodynamics.
"Steve says he's made improvements in horsepower so we should be able to turn some heads with our GTO's looks and performance."
None of the Occoquan, Va.-based driver's 24 career wins has come at drag racing's oldest, most prestigious event, something he's hoping to remedy come Labor Day afternoon. He'd also like to climb a rung or two in the standings. Currently tenth (764 points), Yates is 46 behind No. 8 and 103 out of sixth spot with six races remaining.
Yates will have five qualifying attempts to solidify a berth in the top 16 -- Friday at 6:15 p.m., Saturday at 1:15 and 6:15 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.