Denver: Jim Yates final summary

Virginia Pro Stock Driver Pleased with Performance DENVER -- He qualified 14th, but Jim Yates didn't drive like it Sunday in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. Yates' B&W/Wiley-X Eyewear Pontiac left the starting line first...

Virginia Pro Stock Driver Pleased with Performance

DENVER -- He qualified 14th, but Jim Yates didn't drive like it Sunday in the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Yates' B&W/Wiley-X Eyewear Pontiac left the starting line first in all three rounds, the initial two leading to upset victories, one over Jason Line, the other over V. Gaines.

Yates had a plan for his first-round race against Line, and it worked. "We knew we had a strong combination and felt we could get by him if the driver did a good job driving," he said. "And I had a fairly good light (.026 of a second)."

That, a 7.211-second run at 191.32 mph and a .089 reaction from Line, pushed him to the finish line three-hundredths of a second ahead of his rival's 7.181 at 192.19 mph.

"That was about as fast as we could've run that round."

Thanks again to a better reaction time, Yates moved into the semifinals with a narrow decision over Gaines, 7.214 at 191.00 mph to 7.207 at 192.85 mph. The winning margin was nine-thousandths of a second.

Eventual winner Warren Johnson ended Yates' day. Yates left first (.019 to .051) but Johnson drove by, winning with a7.134 at 192.91 to 7.223 art 191.19.

"I was excited with the way we raced this weekend," said the driver from Occoquan, Va. "It is so hard to race up here. There are a lot of variables to deal with.

"We had good races. Our crew did an excellent job and didn't make any mistakes on race day. Getting to go rounds on race day is a bonus because it gives you more runs to tune the car."

The showing also enabled Yates to maintain his hold on ninth place (599 points) and moved him within easy striking distance of the three drivers in front of him.

The team returns to competition Friday through Saturday in the CarQuest Nationals at Seattle.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson