Brainerd: Jim Yates preview

Yates Making Progress; Wants to Show It at Brainerd, Minn. BRAINERD, Minn., August 11, 2004 - Its midweek and Jim Yates is manning the phones. There are frequent calls to Illinois and New York. No, Yates isn't a political pollster; he's a Pro...

Yates Making Progress; Wants to Show It at Brainerd, Minn.

BRAINERD, Minn., August 11, 2004 - Its midweek and Jim Yates is manning the phones. There are frequent calls to Illinois and New York.

No, Yates isn't a political pollster; he's a Pro Stock driver from Virginia checking his works in progress - engines being built in New York and a race car undergoing an examination in Illinois.

"We're trying to make things better," said Yates, driver of the Sea Ray Boats/B&W Pontiac Grand Am. "Bob Ingles is working on getting us more horsepower and Rick Jones is just giving the chassis the once-over. Just routine stuff."

The chassis, engines, Yates and crew will meet at Brainerd International Raceway Thursday to prepare for the Lucas Oil Nationals, Friday through Sunday.

This will offer another opportunity for Yates, his crew chief/son Jamie and the team to show the progress they believe they're making.

"We're all working hard . . . just to get ahead," said Yates. "I think we are reaching that corner where we begin making progress. And we are enthused about that."

One reason Yates is excited is the expected arrival of the Ingles-built DRC3 engine that has been in the works for several months. Another reason is knowing the chassis will be nearly perfect as the crew tunes it for four quality qualifying runs - two Friday at 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. and two Saturday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"We are anxious to try the new motor, but we plan to start qualifying with our current race motor," Yates explained. "It depends on how the existing motor runs Friday. Then we can put in the new motor and run it Saturday."

Yates is hoping to have more horsepower when the new engine is installed.

"You never know what the motor will be like until you run it," he said. "Sometimes the dyno readings are more generous with horsepower readings than what it gets at the track."

With eight of 23 races still on the POWERade Series docket, Yates believes the team still has an opportunity to claim a top 10 position before the AAA Finals, November 14, at Pomona, Calif.

"We have a little ways to go, but we should be able to start winning more rounds on Sunday if things work out," concluded Yates, who is 13th with 464 points.

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Series NHRA