Las Vegas: JJ Yeley preview

Looking for a Change of Luck in Las Vegas CORNELIUS, N.C. (Feb. 26, 2008) -- If there is ever a place to get on a roll, it's Las Vegas. Much like the guy or girl at the blackjack table, J.J. Yeley and the DLP HDTV/Hall of Fame Racing team are...

Looking for a Change of Luck in Las Vegas

CORNELIUS, N.C. (Feb. 26, 2008) -- If there is ever a place to get on a roll, it's Las Vegas.

Much like the guy or girl at the blackjack table, J.J. Yeley and the DLP HDTV/Hall of Fame Racing team are hoping to get on a hot streak this week in Las Vegas as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the UAW-Dodge 400.

After disappointing finishes at Daytona (25th) and California (29th), the DLP team will look to reverse its fortunes and hopefully finish near the front -- and possibly get some sleep in the process.

Sleep?

After spending 12 days in Daytona, the team tested at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn., the day after the 50th Daytona 500 before departing for California last Thursday. Weather caused the majority of the California race to be conducted on Monday, so the team did not arrive in Charlotte until late Monday night.

On Thursday, they'll head to Las Vegas for the three-day race weekend before moving on to Phoenix for a two day NASCAR test next Monday and Tuesday.

Just like anyone who has spent time in Las Vegas, the DLP HDTV team's schedule has been hectic, full of plenty of late nights, constantly changing, and full of ups and downs. But with a little luck, perhaps a jackpot -- or victory lane -- can be found.

J.J. YELEY, driver of the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota Camry:

What are your overall thoughts heading to Las Vegas?

"It should be pretty interesting to see how the (Las Vegas) test is going to vary from the (Las Vegas) race. There wasn't a whole lot of racing going on (during the test) and, after spending a little more time in these cars, aerodynamics is going to be more critical than it's ever been, just from the lack of downforce in these cars. The cars are very fast at Las Vegas. I'm just not sure how the racing is going to be. Hopefully the groove will open up and there will be two- or three-groove racing like we've kind of seen at Vegas in the last year since they resurfaced it. If not, track position is going to be very critical and having a car that rolls through the center of the corner is going to be key to keeping the momentum and not getting passed."

How difficult does the week become with the rain delay in California?

"Mentally, it's just that you're ready to go racing and you're ready to race and get home. It becomes a tough time because you spend a lot of time traveling back to Charlotte. Fontana is one of the longest trips we have. Then we come back to race at Vegas and go right into a two-day test at Phoenix. It just stretches the two weeks out. I know a lot of guys had planned on going home and are now just going straight to Vegas."

You've finally had a race with the new car on an intermediate track. How does it handle?

"It really seems to lose front downforce when you get behind somebody. Depending on what your track position is, you're going to really have to be critical and take a look at the circumstances you're in and adjust accordingly. If you take two tires and get track position, you might have to tighten the car up quite a bit because you are going to get near the front and gain downforce, whereas if you are in the middle of the pack, you're always going to be too tight."

What is your favorite part of Las Vegas?

"It's a fun place to go. The race track is great. The new garages are a great thing for the fans. I was a big fan of the old race track, when it was more flat. I always thought that the racing was extremely good. The track is beautiful and hopefully we'll put on a great race."

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers J.J. Yeley
Teams Hall of Fame Racing