Jim Yates Eager to Try New Pontiac GTO at Season-ending Auto Club Finals The concluding race in this year's POWERade Series competition may be at hand, but Jim Yates continues working with an eye on February 2006, when the new season...
Jim Yates Eager to Try New Pontiac GTO at Season-ending Auto Club Finals
The concluding race in this year's POWERade Series competition may be at hand, but Jim Yates continues working with an eye on February 2006, when the new season begins.
The Auto Club Finals, Nov. 3-6 at Pomona Raceway, officially ends things and Jim and Jamie Yates, his son/crew chief, will be plotting combination strategies for their Sea Ray Boats/B&W/Wiley-X Eyewear Pontiac GTO. This will be the GTO's sixth race -- a relatively small number compared to other Pro Stock cars entered -- and changes are necessary to find out what the chassis likes and doesn't like in various racing conditions.
For example, Jim Yates admits struggling with the tune-up in the altitude conditions of Las Vegas two weeks ago. He does, however, liken Pomona Raceway's conditions to those of Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.
"We think we'll have conditions close to those we ran in at Reading, and that's a good thing for us," added Yates. He qualified fifth and drove his way into the finals in Pennsylvania, and would love to do it again Sunday afternoon.
He has experienced winning at the Las Angeles County Fairgrounds site twice (1996 and 1998 Winternationals) and he was runner-up here in 2002.
"We're excited to be going back to Pomona because we did well there at the beginning of the year and we hope to adapt the combination we used then on our Grand Am to our GTO," said Yates, who qualified No. 1, setting the track Pro Stock record at 6.699 seconds at the Winternationals. "It will be a good opportunity for us. We have a good combination for that track and our GTO definitely is faster and a better car. Steve Schmidt has been working on our engine since the Las Vegas race and we may have more power at Pomona, too."
"I'm anxious to get there and let the clutch out."
Yates will have four qualifying attempts, 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. He likes the idea of one run on each of the first two days instead of two each on Friday and Saturday that is the norm at almost every other track.
"We'll be able to focus our concentration on one run a day on Thursday and Friday," he commented. "A lot of times we've made the combination better so we could run a little faster."
Yates, who sits 10th in points with 941, would prefer running a little faster than everyone else when eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m.