J.J. Yeley, with one significant USAC milestone already tucked under his helmet, is in position to challenge two others in the coming weeks. Scoring his 10th feature victory of the 2003 season Sunday night at Lawrenceburg, Ind., he erased Sleepy...
J.J. Yeley, with one significant USAC milestone already tucked under his helmet, is in position to challenge two others in the coming weeks.
Scoring his 10th feature victory of the 2003 season Sunday night at Lawrenceburg, Ind., he erased Sleepy Tripp's 1988 record of 10 wins by June 5. Next on the hit list is Tripp's record of 15 USAC wins by July 16, which gives J.J. 18 opportunities to win five by then.
Between now and July 12, there are eight National Midget races, seven National Sprint Car races and three Weld Racing Silver Crown races. So far, he's 10-for-21 in USAC National starts! That includes four Sprint wins, four Midget wins and two in Silver Crown competition!
J.J.'s season has been so remarkable that in 32 feature starts he's finished out of the "top-5" only twice, a sixth and a 17th. He's logged three seconds, two fourths and four fifths!
The all-time USAC single-season victory record is 19, shared by A.J. Foyt (1961), Sleepy Tripp (1988) and Jay Drake (2000). Foyt won four Championship races, six Sprints and nine Midgets in 1961, while Tripp's 1988 season included 19 Midget wins, two of which were National and the rest Western. Drake won one Silver Crown race, 10 Sprints, six Midgets, one Dirt Regional Midget and one TQ Midget in 2000.
If he reaches the 15-victory plateau he'll be the 10th driver in USAC history to do so. Others have been Foyt (1961 & 1964), Tripp (1987 & 1988), Drake (2000), Parnelli Jones (1964), Rich Vogler (1978 & 1988), Billy Boat (1995), Mel Kenyon (1967), Tom Bigelow (1977) and Tony Stewart (1995).
Yeley's next chance at a USAC feature victory comes in this Wednesday night's "DuPont Automotive Finishes Midget Classic" at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill. A 30-lap feature is on tap at the 1/2-mile dirt track.