More Testing on Docket for Jim Yates Before Thunder Valley Nationals Pro Stock Driver Continues Search for Winning Combination BRISTOL, Tenn., April 26, 2004 - On land, Jim Yates drives the Sea Ray Boats/B&W Pro Stock Pontiac Grand Am, competing...
More Testing on Docket for Jim Yates Before Thunder Valley Nationals
Pro Stock Driver Continues Search for Winning Combination
BRISTOL, Tenn., April 26, 2004 - On land, Jim Yates drives the Sea Ray Boats/B&W Pro Stock Pontiac Grand Am, competing for victories in the NHRA POWERade Series.
On water, Yates sits at the helm of his Sea Ray boat when there's time between races. It provides a quiet, calming atmosphere when compared to his racing pursuits. But rest assured; Yates' thoughts are never far from his race car and what it'll take to drive it into the winner's circle this season.
While enjoying a brief respite from drag racing competition, Yates was mapping plans prior to arriving for the fourth annual O'Reilly's Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, April 30/May 1-2.
First up was a test session at Maryland International Raceway in Mechanicsville, Md., where experiments in engine parts and tune-ups, plus scuffing in new tires were planned.
"We have some new parts Bob Ingles, our engine builder, wants to try and we have some clutch ideas Jamie (Jim and Toni Yates' son/crew chief) wants to try to see what happens," said Yates. "You never know unless you try them."
Disappointed at dropping from the top 10 following a race in Houston (April 18), Yates is ready to climb back in there.
"We are excited at the way things have been going," commented the driver from Occoquan, Va. "We came within nine-thousandths of a second of a round win at Houston, so we know we're making progress. But we need to keep it up."
Yates qualified ninth at Houston, his 6.757 seconds falling one-thousandth of a second away from No. 8 Larry Morgan. That gave Morgan lane choice in the opening round that, as Yates saw it, made it more difficult for him to advance to the second round.
"Qualifying in the top half of the (16-car) field has become very important," added Yates. "Getting lane choice can make the difference between winning and losing. At Houston, there was about one-hundredth of a second difference in the lanes."
Yates, who had the better reaction time (.046 to .063), ran 6.813 to Morgan's 6.787 and only trailed by nine-thousandths of a second at the finish line.
Yates is 11th with 174 points. Mike Edwards has 200 and is 10th, Rickie Smith (201) is ninth and Bruce Allen (205) is eighth.
Pro Stock qualifying is on tap at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and noon and 3 p.m. Saturday. Sunday's eliminations begin at noon.