Columbus: Jim Yates preview

Jim Yates Looking for Success at National Trail Raceway Test Session Produces Better Performances in B&W Pontiac COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jim Yates and his fellow Pro Stock drivers go into this weekend's Pontiac Performance Nationals at National Trail...

Jim Yates Looking for Success at National Trail Raceway
Test Session Produces Better Performances in B&W Pontiac

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jim Yates and his fellow Pro Stock drivers go into this weekend's Pontiac Performance Nationals at National Trail Raceway, in nearby Hebron, with few tuning notes on a track that's hosted a NHRA national event since 1972.

Nothing has changed at the track. It's still in the same place, and the racing surface hasn't been altered in any way. The primary difference: This is the first time the event will be contested in May. Tired of fighting inclement weather in the first few weeks of June, NHRA officials opted to switch.

"Typically, Columbus has always been a hot, slippery race track," said Yates, who has two second-place finishes (1994, 1998) and two low qualifier awards (1997-98) to show for 15 visits.

"A lot of cars have run good there, but we haven't been able to put anything together yet. Some drivers are good, some are lucky and some are neither when it comes to success at the different tracks on the circuit.

"Maybe we're due for a change in fortune."

That may coincide with what Yates described as a successful test session Monday at Atlanta Dragway.

"We were working on the tune-up and we made a big improvement," said the driver of the B&W Pontiac. "The car definitely ran better, but we'll wait to see how it relates to what we're doing in Columbus. It's easy to test fast, but it may not run fast when you get on a national event track. We're looking forward to getting to the track to see if we can get our power to the ground."

Yates and son/crew chief Jamie Yates experimented during qualifying at Atlanta and were pleased with the results, prompting the test session.

They may be able to dig into their tuning files to derive a tune-up when qualifying begins Friday at 4 p.m.

"The track at Columbus reminds me of the Phoenix track," Yates said, "and we had a good performance there earlier this year," he said.

-jyr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jamie Yates