Topeka: Jim Yates preview

Testing Provides More Answers as Yates Prepares for Summer Nationals TOPEKA, Kan. - Taking advantage of the geographic locations of St. Louis and Kansas City may have given Jim Yates and his B&W/Wiley-X Pro Stock Pontiac team an advantage going...

Testing Provides More Answers as Yates Prepares for Summer Nationals

TOPEKA, Kan. - Taking advantage of the geographic locations of St. Louis and Kansas City may have given Jim Yates and his B&W/Wiley-X Pro Stock Pontiac team an advantage going into Friday's opening round of qualifying for Sunday's O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

Interstate 70 is within a Tiger Woods drive of Gateway International Raceway, near St. Louis, site of the June 26 NHRA national event. It also afforded Yates an opportunity to continue testing and work on different combinations that could be used this weekend while en route to Kansas capital.

"We were testing clutch and car combinations for the race track conditions to see what it takes to get the car up and down the track," Yates said. "The weather looks good and should be the same on all weekend. That will give us an opportunity to sort through the combinations on the track."

This was an important stop, too, because Gateway and Heartland Park tracks are similar, thus providing valuable information Yates may use this weekend and again in four weeks when the NHRA tour stops at St. Louis.

"Conditions at St. Louis were quite similar to what we'll be seeing this weekend," said Yates.

The Occoquan, Va.-based driver is eighth in a tightly-bunched POWERade Series point battle. He has 378 points and is 10 points out of sixth place.

"We want to capitalize on what we learned testing, have an error-free weekend, win rounds on Sunday and get that win," Yates said.

Yates has two victories (1996-97) at HPT in five final rounds. He was the low qualifier here on three occasions (2002, 1996-97).

This is the last of three races in three weeks, a situation Yates believes is beneficial.

"The three races in a row gave us the opportunity to get comfortable with the car and the changes we're making," he concluded.

Yates begins competition with qualifying Friday and 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., followed by runs at noon and 3 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's eliminations commence at 11 a.m.

-jyr-

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Series NHRA