Championship Drag Racing

Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals
Seattle, WA
(July 21-23)

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Driver Profile
Jim Yates
Wiley X Eyewear Pontiac GXP

Yates making changes to transform Wiley X Eyewear GTO into race winner

Seattle, prerace: Anyone who prefers status quo to change need not apply for the position of NHRA Pro Stock driver. The stress would be too much.

Then again, ask veteran two-time Pro Stock champion Jim Yates about the anxiety accompanying any POWERade Series race weekend. He and Jamie Yates, his son and crew chief of the family’s Wiley X Eyewear Pontiac GTO, are constantly making adjustments to the chassis and its numerous components. Drag racing icon and wily engine builder/tuner extraordinaire Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins takes care of engine alterations.

Success in this sport is the treasured byproduct of change, and it’s what the Yates team is looking for during the Schuck’s Auto Supply Nationals at Pacific Raceways Friday through Sunday.

Jim and Jamie will be swapping a lot of chassis parts with the idea of transforming their GTO into a sea-level race contender following last weekend’s visit to Denver, where its mile-high altitude had a far a different set of challenges.

“There’s really nothing we can use in Seattle that we needed in Denver,” said Yates. “We are excited about getting back to sea level. We’ll put our basic combination back in the car and run it. I did learn some stuff in Denver to help me do a better job driving the car and I was real happy with my driving. That is absolutely the only thing we can take to Seattle.”

Yates has three runner-up finishes to his credit at Pacific Raceways.

He advanced to the quarterfinals at Denver Sunday, turning a huge starting line advantage into a victory over Larry Morgan in the opening round before just missing against Greg Stanfield by the slimmest of margins. Yates’ .044-second reaction time was enough for him to cross the finish line first despite Morgan posting a better time, 7.196 seconds to 7.147 seconds.

Yates had a .032 light to Stanfield’s .042, but Stanfield won by three-10thousandths of a second, a matter of inches, 7.221 to 7.232.


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