Mid-Race Accident Ends Yeley's Chances at Charlotte A mid-race accident caused J.J. Yeley to finish a disappointing 38th in Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Yeley, who ran ...
Mid-Race Accident Ends Yeley's Chances at Charlotte
A mid-race accident caused J.J. Yeley to finish a disappointing 38th in Sunday night's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Yeley, who ran between 20th and 30th throughout much of the early part of the race, was making progress on the handling of his No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry as he and Hall of Fame Racing crew chief Steve Boyer tinkered with chassis and tire pressure adjustments.
Despite being down one lap due to a long green-flag run at the outset of the 400-lap race, Yeley's lap times were improving as the 600-mile event wore on.
Unfortunately, on lap 298, Yeley and Dale Earnhardt Jr., made contact in between turns three and four of the 1.5-mile oval.
"The 24 (Jeff Gordon) looked like he was trying to stay on the lead lap," Yeley said. "As they (Gordon and Earnhardt) went into turn three, it looked like he moved the 88 (Earnhardt) up, he got in the marbles and bounced off the fence. I was running up in the same spot and I don't know why he slowed down as fast as he did, whether he was going to try to get to pit road, but he came to an abrupt stop there. I was just trying to get off the fence and get down out of the road and couldn't get turned quick enough and I ran in the back of him. When I did, it punctured the oil cooler and made it to where the DLP crew had to cut the front clip off this thing to get it going again.
"I was a lot faster running around the top. I just moved down to the bottom to let (Earnhardt) go by and just passed another car and was getting my momentum built back up. As I dove into turn three, I saw him get up there and it didn't look like he was going to hit the fence and then he got into it. I just had no place to go and couldn't get slowed down and couldn't get turned and ran right into the back of him."
The DLP crew worked feverishly for 45 minutes in the garage area making repairs to the front end of the DLP HDTV Toyota. When the work was complete, Yeley had a new front end, but returned to the track in 39th-place, 45 laps behind the leaders.
He managed to gain one spot and finish 38th, having completed 353 of the 400 laps.
The 38th-place result kept Yeley 36th in the championship driver standings, with a post-Charlotte total of 751 points. The No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing entry is 37th in the series' owner standings, with 779 points, 154 markers behind the 35th-place No. 55 car of Michael Waltrip Racing.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the June 1 Best Buy 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT with live, high-definition coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 1:30 p.m. The race will also be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 128.