Joliet II: Jim Yates preview

Positive Test Results Boost Yates' Confidence for CarQuest Nationals JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 30, 2004 - This is the kind of stuff Hollywood movies were famous for 50 years ago . . . trials, tribulations, never-give-up attitudes were prominent, and...

Positive Test Results Boost Yates' Confidence for CarQuest Nationals

JOLIET, Ill., Sept. 30, 2004 - This is the kind of stuff Hollywood movies were famous for 50 years ago . . . trials, tribulations, never-give-up attitudes were prominent, and they always seemed to have happy endings:

Hard-working, dedicated NHRA Pro Stock racer runs the gamut of "Murphy's Law" situations during first 19 POWERade Series events, missing starting line-ups by as few as one or two-thousandths of a second. He can't seem to get a break.

Cast Jim Yates in the starring role. That sums up his current campaign.

Yates, his wife Toni, son/crew chief Jamie and the crew have experienced elation, frustration and every feeling in-between this year while chasing POWERade points. They haven't given up, nor will they.

They will have the Sea Ray Boats/B&W Pontiac Grand Am ready when qualifying begins Friday for Sunday's CarQuest Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

In February, when the championship chase began, Yates was confident he could finish solidly in the top 10. That's when the roller-coaster ride began, and it hasn't stopped.

Yates missed the 16-car line-up Fall National line-up in Dallas Sunday by five-thousandths of a second, running a best of 6.824 seconds. The bump spot was 6.819 seconds.

The team tested at St. Louis Tuesday and Wednesday, concentrating on improving the chassis and their chances of securing a place in Sunday's line-up. The results were encouraging.

"We were running our backup motor, trying to get the chassis to work better," said Yates. "We're still a little short on power. Our engine builder, Bob Ingles, is working on our good motor in New York. He ran it on the dyno Thursday morning and it really looked promising. We could use a bright spot in our weekend.

"We got our chassis running good during testing. If we can pick up a couple more horsepower we should be ready to go out and rock and roll with the best of them. We're pretty excited with what we have so far."

Weather forecasts call for cooler temperatures during Friday and Saturday qualifying, conditions that favor cars that can produce very quick elapsed times.

"This is a great race track," added the Occoquan, Va., driver who was runner-up in the 2001 spring race here. "We're looking forward to an exciting weekend."

And a happy ending.

Qualifying runs Friday are at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m., followed by sessions at 12:15 and 3 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

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Series NHRA