A mid-race accident caused J.J. Yeley to finish a disappointing 34th in Saturday night's Crown Royal presents the Dan Lowry 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Yeley, driver of the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota...
A mid-race accident caused J.J. Yeley to finish a disappointing 34th in Saturday night's Crown Royal presents the Dan Lowry 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
Yeley, driver of the No. 96 DLP HDTV Toyota for Hall of Fame Racing, started 43rd on the .75-mile oval. Holding down the field's shotgun position proved treacherous, as Yeley quickly found himself a lap down just 33 circuits into the event thanks to a long, green flag run that was set at a blistering pace.
Just past the halfway point, Yeley was two laps down, but still working with crew chief Steve Boyer to find a better handle for the No. 96 machine. But their collective tinkering went for naught on lap 231 when Yeley became involved in an accident on the backstretch with Dave Blaney and Carl Edwards.
"I'm just real disappointed," Yeley said. "We were the first car two laps down, so we weren't really racing anybody. The 22 (Blaney) dove beneath me coming off of turn two and got loose, moved up the race track and then the 99 (Edwards) hooked me in the right-rear corner and I was turned into the wall. We were just trying to mind our own business and get out of Richmond with a decent finish. It's been tough since we've been here. The DLP guys worked hard to get me back out there and gain some spots."
While in the garage area for repairs, Boyer and the DLP team replaced the right A-frame, right shock and right sway-bar. Yeley returned to the track in 42nd position, 43 laps behind the leaders. Still, he managed to gain eight spots -- and valuable points -- by finishing the event in 34th.
The result dropped Yeley one spot to 36th in the championship driver standings, with a post-Richmond total of 612 points. The No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing entry is 38th in the series' owner standings, with 640 points, 117 points behind the 35th-place No. 77 car of Penske Racing.
The 28-point difference between owner and driver points is due to the No. 96 car receiving 28 points for attempting to qualify at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last weekend, where they did not make the field. The driver does not receive those same points, however.
The 43rd-place car at each event receives 34 points, while the first car that failed to qualify receives 31 points and the second car that misses the race is awarded 28 points.
Clint Bowyer led only the final 13 laps en route to winning the Crown Royal Dan Lowry 400 to score his second career Sprint Cup victory and his first at Richmond. Bowyer's only other Sprint Cup victory came in September 2007 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
Kyle Busch, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr., rounded out the top-five, while Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were 11 caution periods for 62 laps, with eight drivers failing to finish the 410-lap race, which was extended 10 laps past its scheduled 400-lap distance due to a green-white-checkered finish.
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule is the May 10 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The race begins at 7:20 p.m. EDT with live, high-definition coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at 7 p.m. The race will also be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 128.