Yeley, DLP HDTV Team, Endure Another Tough Day at Atlanta J.J. Yeley and the No. 96 DLP HDTV/Hall of Fame Racing Team started 37th and 500 miles later finished 37th in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor ...
Yeley, DLP HDTV Team, Endure Another Tough Day at Atlanta
J.J. Yeley and the No. 96 DLP HDTV/Hall of Fame Racing Team started 37th and 500 miles later finished 37th in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
After passing several cars early in the 325-lap event, the third-year team got into an early hole they couldn't dig themselves out of when on lap 19 Yeley brought the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry to the pits to change what he thought was a flat right-rear tire. The unscheduled, green flag stop put Yeley a lap down.
"I guess it was just driver stupidity," said Yeley, as it was later determined by the DLP crew and Goodyear officials that the tire had some blister marks, but hadn't lost air. "The car started out really awesome, but it kept getting looser and looser. It felt like the car was laying really hard on the right-rear tire. At the time, I didn't want to cut a tire down and spin out because it really felt like the right-rear tire was going flat. They said there were some blister marks on it, but it hadn't lost much air.
"It's just disappointing because it puts you that far behind and you never have a chance to catch up. You never have track position, and when you're a lap down to the leaders, they come back around on you in a hurry. We were off car-wise, but the finish definitely doesn't reflect how we ran. We felt like we had a 20th- to 25th-place car, but we never got an opportunity to show it."
Adding insult to injury during the same trip to pit road, Yeley was penalized by NASCAR officials for exceeding the pit road speed limit of 45 mph. NASCAR was forced to bring Yeley back down pit road to serve a pass-through penalty at the mandated pit road speed. He returned to the race three laps down and never had a chance to recover from the unfortunate chain of events.
Yeley, who had worked his way up to 28th-place before the unscheduled stop, finished the race five laps down.
Yeley's 37th-place result dropped him three spots to 35th in the championship point standings. After four races, Yeley has 298 points, three points behind 34th-place Jeremy Mayfield and 18 points ahead of 36th-place Sam Hornish Jr. Hall of Fame Racing also sits 35th in owner points, with an 18-point buffer between the 36th-place No. 77 team of Penske Racing.