Jim Yates' Pontiac GTO Runs Low E.T. in Quickest Pro Stock Field in NHRA History ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., June 16, 2006 - Jim Yates ran a career-best e.t. and speed in his Bayshore Power/Sea Ray Boat Pontiac GTO to claim provisional No. 1 ...
Jim Yates' Pontiac GTO Runs Low E.T. in Quickest Pro Stock Field in NHRA History
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., June 16, 2006 - Jim Yates ran a career-best e.t. and speed in his Bayshore Power/Sea Ray Boat Pontiac GTO to claim provisional No. 1 qualifying honors tonight at the 37th annual K & N Filters Supernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. In the quickest Pro Stock field in NHRA history, the 52-year-old Virginia resident's Pontiac GTO set both ends of the track record with a run of 6.655 seconds at 208.17 mph.
"Anytime you can be No. 1 for any session of Pro Stock right now, as tight as the field is, says a lot about how your team is doing," said Yates. "To be the fastest of the fastest is just awesome. This is the quickest Pro Stock field in history and to be No. 1 in that, at least for awhile, is good. We have to keep going. We were No. 1 in the first session this morning and we were No. 1 in the second session tonight. That's just half the challenge though. You have to qualify well, and then you have to go out and try and win one. That's a heck of a good place to start. I'd rather start there than any other place on the grid."
"The track temperature is probably more important right now than what the weather will do in the morning. The sun has gone down and the track has cooled off quite a bit. Tomorrow it may be a little bit slower, but everybody will tune up their cars with one more run under their belt, and that could make it a little faster. The track conditions may not allow it to happen. The sun will come up in the morning and it's going to be hotter. It all depends on where the temperature of the track ends up. But we get to run too, and our Bayshore Power Pontiac GTO should be able to run as fast as anybody right now. There are a couple of thousandths of a second here, a couple thousandths there, and looking at that, I think we can make some improvements for tomorrow. We're in the battle and that's the beauty of it. Whether you're No. 1 qualifier, or No. 2 or 3, it doesn't make much difference. The important part is doing the job on Sunday."
Yates, who entered this weekend's event in second place in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock standings, is looking to claim his first raceday pole since the 2005 season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. Yates has been No. 1 qualifier at this event twice (1997, 2002), won the race in 1996 and was runner-up in 1995.
"The beauty of it is that this is Grumpy's (Bill Jenkins) home track," said Yates. "Everybody from his shop is here this weekend. They took the engines home after we lost in the semifinals at Chicago and they've been working on them since Monday morning at 8 a.m. They left Grumps shop at about 9 o'clock last night when they finally got done, and they've been working really hard to get the power back to where Grumpy feels comfortable. I'm always happy, but Grumpy drives himself so hard to be the best, and that's why he's so good. That's why the number came up on the board. Jamie (Yates) did a great job with the car, don't get me wrong, but you got to have the power. You can do a perfect job with the car and still not qualify if you don't have the power. If you have the power and you do a good job with the car, then you can be on the pole, and that's awesome."
"We're excited. But there's a lot of pressure when you're running good and you feel like you have a shot at winning the championship. You want to get everything you can out of every run, ad we're that kind of crowd. We all want to win races, so no matter how good we run, this gets us excited about we can actually accomplish."
In Funny Car, Tony Bartone sits at the top of the 16-car pack in the Lucas Oil Chevy Monte Carlo after stopping the timers with a run of 4.787 seconds at 324.36 mph. Bartone is shooting for his first career raceday pole in the nitro category.
"My hat's off to the crew, Jim Dunn my crew chief, and we couldn't have done it without the great folks at Lucas Oil," said Bartone. "We're tickled pink to perform like this tonight and it makes it even more special doing this at my home racetrack. I think we have a very good shot at holding on to the No. 1 position tomorrow and I couldn't be happier. I'm actually praying for snow tomorrow."
Last weekend in Chicago, Bartone drove his Chevrolet to a career-best e.t. and speed and that effort has carried over to this weekend's race at Old Bridge.
"After the first lap last weekend in Chicago when we ran the 4.77, Jim turned to me and said, 'this is our tune-up for Friday night at Englishtown," said Bartone. "We basically were able to repeat the run with just about the same numbers. There was something that Jim saw when we made the run at Chicago, and that carried over here at Englishtown."
Qualifying highlights of the K & N Supernationals will be telecast on ESPN2 on Saturday, June 17, beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern. Final eliminations from the K & N Supernationals can be seen on ESPN2 on Sunday, June 18, starting at 4 p.m. Eastern.