Championship Drag Racing

NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, NV
(April 6-9)

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Jim Yates
Wiley X Eyewear Pontiac GXP

Consistent effort gives Yates best qualifying results of season

Las Vegas, Saturday: Jim Yates and the SeaRay Boats/B&W Pro Stock Pontiac GTO team earned their best starting position of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Series season Saturday (fifth, 6.793 seconds at 203.19 mph) as qualifying concluded for Sunday's Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Yates, with wily veteran Pro Stock engine builder/drag racing icon Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins providing the horsepower and the engine tune-ups, will meet first-time Pro Stock qualifier Shaun Carlson (12th, 6.816 seconds at 201.79 mph) in Sunday's opening round.

"It's nice to be in the top half of the field again," Yates said. "Now we just have go out there and race.  It was encouraging to come here from Houston (following last Sunday's race) and do good qualifying.  Bill and I are making progress working together."

Yates improved on each of his first three runs, going from 6.812 seconds, to 6.804, to the 6.793 before the car spun the tires on its final effort.

"We tried something different then," added the driver from Occoquan, Va., "and it worked good for 40 feet before the car spun the tires and I shut it off.  We try to take every opportunity to get better on each run and we were disappointed we didn't get any real data on the last run.  To continue running faster, we have to make changes.  Some work; some don't."

Yates, a two-time Pro Stock champion (1996-97), was runner-up last week and starts eliminations in eighth place.

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