JJ Yeley Survives Bristol Battle
Date: March 17, 2013
Event: Food City 500 (Race 4 of 36)
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Point Standing: 27th, 91 behind leader Brad Keselowski
JJ Yeley certainly wins the award for most unique driver introduction at Bristol Motor Speedway after walking out to the Harlem Shake escorted by a dancing banana, a leprechaun, a gorilla and a pair of rabbits. Driver’s were asked to pick out a song for introductions, and immediately Yeley had something up his sleeve. Gathering together crew members, friends, his wife, and daughter, Yeley’s “Bristol Shake” was definitely the highlight to the start of the race.
Getting down to business, JJ Yeley and the No. 36 United Mining Equipment (UME) Chevy SS rolled off pit road 35th, for the start of the Food City 500. Dodging several accidents early in the race, Yeley was steadily climbing up the ranks during the first half. After 125 laps, Yeley had moved up to 14th position through great pit stops. The car seemed to be handling great.
Halfway through the race, the No. 36 UME Chevy SS started to get tight, causing Yeley to struggle with the handling of the car coming out of the turns. On lap 322, Yeley brushed the wall, leaving damage to the side of the car. Under caution, the team changed a track bar adjustment, four tires and gas. The car seemed to be handling a little better, but left Yeley several laps down.
Crew Chief Joe Lax, gave nothing but encouragement to Yeley all throughout the race. “We came in here with the big boys, let’s go out with the big boys.” Although luck was not on team No. 36’s UME Chevy SS this weekend, Lax took time at the end of the race to thank the entire crew for their continued fight all day. “Thanks for all your help boys. You work hard all week. Tough break this weekend.”
“That wasn’t the weekend we hoped for but the Tommy Baldwin Racing team showed huge improvements and never gave up,” Yeley said. “In the face of adversity, that’s all we can ask for. There are better weeks ahead, I know that and the team knows that. We’ll fight on!”
JJ Yeley finished the weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway’s Food City 500 in 27th. He is currently 91 points behind leader Brad Keselowski in the race for the Sprint Cup Championship. Next week, the entire Tommy Baldwin Racing Team is off to California for the Auto Club 400. Hopefully luck will be on their side this time!