Dallas Jim Yates story (Pro Stock)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 RARE BOBBLE HELPED YATES MAKE POWERFUL STRETCH RUN IN PRO STOCK ENNIS, Texas -- Jim Yates has been nothing short of dominant the last four months in NHRA Pro Stock racing,...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 RARE BOBBLE HELPED YATES MAKE POWERFUL STRETCH RUN IN PRO STOCK ENNIS, Texas -- Jim Yates has been nothing short of dominant the last four months in NHRA Pro Stock racing, but his only mistake during that span might have provided the final boost in his rocketing ride toward the Winston championship. Yates has appeared in the final round at eight of the last nine NHRA national events in the McDonald's Pontiac Firebird, winning five. But a first-round loss at the U.S. Nationals in early September at Indianapolis -- his earliest exit of the season -- was almost as important as any win. "Losing in the first round at Indianapolis was a reality check for this team, and it revitalized the program," Yates said. "Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward, and that loss there really scared the dickens out of me. It made us all realize that we couldn't take this championship run for granted." Since that loss, Yates has won three consecutive races and can clinch his second consecutive NHRA Winston championship by winning two rounds at the 12th annual, $1,604,500 Revell Nationals Oct. 16-19 at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 20th event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. An superb ability to adapt to raceday conditions, not dominant horsepower, probably has helped Yates rule Pro Stock this year. Yates, from Alexandria, Va., has qualified No. 1 eight times, only once more than second-place Warren Johnson. Yates has recorded the top speed of the race, one of the purest barometers of horsepower, only once; Johnson has done it 14 times. But Yates has eight victories this season, twice as many as any other Pro Stock driver. "If you give us enough rounds, we're going to find a combination that will win the race," Yates said. "We are so pumped up right now because we know it's within our grasp."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson