Bristol: Jim Yates preview

Jim Yates Pleased with New Hot-weather Combination Going to Bristol It's Vital for Upcoming NHRA Schedule, Summer Heat BRISTOL, Tenn. - NHRA's 2005 POWERade Series has been moving along in first gear for almost three months, providing...

Jim Yates Pleased with New Hot-weather Combination Going to Bristol
It's Vital for Upcoming NHRA Schedule, Summer Heat

BRISTOL, Tenn. - NHRA's 2005 POWERade Series has been moving along in first gear for almost three months, providing competitors with enough time to test and fine-tune racing combinations in stops at Pomona, Calif., Gainesville, Fla., and Las Vegas, to name a few.

One more stop remains -- at beautiful Bristol Dragway this weekend -- before the series shifts gears, going from gentle to virtually sadistic. Ahead are six races in seven weeks, beginning May 13-15 at Atlanta Dragway and concluding June 26 at St. Louis.

"We're driving right into the hot weather," said Pro Stock driver Jim Yates, "so it's imperative that we have a good hot-weather combination ready, because we are going to need it."

Yates and his B&W Pontiac Grand Am team believe they have a good baseline for the heat Mother Nature may have in store, thanks to a tune-up that produced good qualifying numbers in 80-plus degree weather at Las Vegas.

"We were excited and happy with the way our Grand Am ran in Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's first round at Las Vegas [April 16-17)," Yates said. "We ran exceptionally well in Saturday's second session on a hot race track."

Yes, he did, producing a 6.881-second elapsed time that held up for second-best of the session that was run during the hottest part of the afternoon. His first attempt earlier in the day was No. 5 for the session, but the 6.878-second time was his best of qualifying and solidified a berth, at 13th, in Sunday's line-up.

While the weather may not be as hot this weekend, Yates and his son/crew chief Jamie must deal with Bristol's altitude, which robs engine power.

"It's very important that we have a Grand Am that goes down hot race tracks," Jim Yates noted. "We expect that kind of weather for those six races that come after Bristol."

Yates was runner-up at Bristol in 2001 and believes he's capable of winning this time around, with Steve Schmidt horsepower in a Jerry Haas chassis that has been responding to changes made by Jamie Yates.

Yates is sixth in series points with 264.

-jyr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jamie Yates , Steve Schmidt , Jerry Haas