Michigan II: JJ Yeley race report

After Two-Day Wait, Yeley Fights Loose Race Car at Michigan Many might remember their parents telling them that good things come to those who wait. But after waiting two days for the rain to subside at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in...

After Two-Day Wait, Yeley Fights Loose Race Car at Michigan

Many might remember their parents telling them that good things come to those who wait. But after waiting two days for the rain to subside at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, J.J. Yeley wasn't rewarded with the finish he had hoped for.

The driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) fought a loose-handling race car on the rain-washed, 2-mile oval to finish 25th in Tuesday's 3M Performance 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.

The race, originally scheduled for Sunday, was the first Nextel Cup race run on a Tuesday since July 4, 1978 at Daytona (Fla.), when the Firecracker 400 ran on its traditionally scheduled Fourth of July date.

Yeley was confident in his race car after Saturday's final practice, but after two straight days of rain postponed round No. 23 on the 36-race Nextel Cup schedule, Yeley felt the changes in the race track affected his car more than anticipated.

"I guess something we worried about during practice was getting loose because we were like that in the June race here," said Yeley, who started from the pole in that June race at Michigan. "I felt pretty confident in how the car finished Happy Hour. Obviously, there were completely different track conditions without having any rubber. The race weather was overcast and we struggled with that all day."

While he started 31st, Yeley battled his way through the field to as high as 21st near the halfway point of the race, but after several adjustments by crew chief Steve Addington, the car never came around to Yeley's liking.

The No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet eventually went a lap down during a long, green flag run that started on lap 99 and lasted until lap 177 as Yeley continued to battle his loose race car into and out of the track's sweeping, high-banked corners.

"I just didn't have a lot of confidence in the car and I couldn't get the wheel turned very well," said Yeley. "Seemed like the more Steve adjusted on the car, we could fix the center and the exit, but could never do much for the entry. We could run good lap times halfway through a fuel run all the way to the end, but on the front end of a run we were getting killed on speed. We brought it back in one piece and we were better than we were here in the spring, but still off from where we wanted to be."

-credit: jgr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers J.J. Yeley