2003 - All HammerDown! Team Member
J.J. backs up Copper World midget win - By Dick Jordan - January 30, 2005 - ...Avondale, AZ. Defending USAC Midget "Copper World Classic" champ J.J. Yeley used a pair of slower cars to make the winning move and defend his 2004 triumph in Sunday's 25-lap "Fast Signs 25," part of the 28th Annual "Copper World Classic" at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. The event afforded points toward the National and Western Midget Car Series championships. Yeley's led only the final lap of the contest in his ASE/Ford Beast/Pink Ford, making a bold move in traffic to beat Jay Drake, Nine Racing teammate Bobby East, Dave Steele and Tracy Hines to the twin checkered flags. "I knew I could make the move, even though there was a transition of the banking coming through there," said Yeley who will make limited USAC starts in 2005. "I've been in races where I've won and lost at the line, and I feel for Bobby. We just had the better luck today. I came here as a kid and watched how it was done." Michael Lewis was the pacesetter during the first 15 laps of the caution-marred event. Lewis held advantages of over a second at times before being brought in during a caution period, which started following the completion of 15 laps, for removal of a loose rear sway bar. East inherited the lead and held off Yeley and Drake until Turn 4 of the final lap. East went high to avoid running into slower traffic, while Yeley split the middle and Drake dived low. The final margin of victory was .049 seconds. Lewis secured the pole for the event Saturday after practice times determined the field. Following his misfortune on lap 15, East took over the point from laps 16-24 before Yeley jumped ahead. The USAC National Midget Car Series is idle until May 7 when it visits the Raceway @ Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wisc., while the Western Midget Car Series resumes action March 5 at Altamont Motorsports Park in Tracy, Calif. (Summary)
In 2003, J.J. Yeley and Tracy Hines each earned $10,000 as Earl's Fast Qualifier Champions, while Michael Lewis also earned a $5,000 bonus as a result of this program.
Yeley takes "Copper World" Midget 25-lapper - PHOENIX, Ariz. (March 21, 2004) J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. scored his 51st USAC National feature victory Saturday afternoon at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, winning the 27th Annual "Copper World Classic" 25-miler at the 1-mile paved oval. Yeley started second in the 33-car field and led the first 15 laps before yielding to new track record holder Dave Steele. Steele then led through lap 23, but Yeley regained the lead on the white-flag lap and led to the checkered flag in his ASE/Ford Beast/Pink Ford. (more)
Joe Gibbs Racing Signs J.J. Yeley HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (Nov. 20, 2003) - In one of the worst kept secrets in motor racing, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), winner of two NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships and 40 Winston Cup victories since its inception in 1992, solidified its future by signing United States Auto Club (USAC) standout J.J Yeley to a multi-year contract. Beginning with the 2004 racing season, Yeley will run an A-B-C schedule, consisting of seven to eight ARCA races, 10-12 NASCAR Busch Series races and two to three NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races. MBNA, the world's largest independent credit card issuer and longtime JGR supporter, will back Yeley's effort as an associate sponsor. A primary sponsor has yet to be secured. "J.J. Yeley is a very talented racer who everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing is excited to have," said team owner Joe Gibbs. "He has accomplished a lot in a very short period of time in many different racing disciplines. His track record in USAC mirrors Tony Stewart's before he came to NASCAR, and Tony's time spent driving stock cars for JGR has worked out very well for him and for us. We're hoping the same is true with J.J."
USAC National Midget Series point leader J.J. Yeley finished second in the most recent race at South Boston and closed in on the elusive USAC "Triple Crown" as a result. Tracy Hines, the series point runner-up, was involved in an early-race accident and now trails Yeley by 121 points going into the final two races on the calendar. A total of 138 points are available in the Nov. 22 and 27 events at Tucson, Ariz. and Irwindale, Calif.
Yeley Closes In on USAC Triple Crown - By Dick Jordan - 10/13/03 ...The battle for the USAC National Midget Car Championship and a possible USAC "Triple Crown" title continues this Saturday night as the series visits Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va. The USAC "Mini-Indy Midget" program at the 4/10-mile paved oval showcases a pair of drivers chasing the elusive USAC "Triple Crown" and a sensational youngster in a three-way fight for the series championship. J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. leads the standings in quest of a race single-season "Triple Crown." He already owns the 2003 USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown and 2003 USAC National Sprint Car titles and could become only the second driver in USAC history to win all three National championships in a single year. Tony Stewart earned all three in 1995. Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. trails Yeley by 75 points and would like to add the Midget title to his previous Silver Crown and Sprint titles to become only the fourth USAC career "Triple Crown" titlist. Stewart, Pancho Carter and Dave Darland each own a title in all three series. Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind., at age 18, could play the spoiler. He trails Hines by 10 and in 2001 he became USAC's youngest-ever feature race winner at the age of 16. East is Yeley's teammate for this Saturday night's race! All three might keep an eye on 19-year-old Teddy Beach of Donnelsville, Ohio, who recorded his lone USAC feature victory in last year's South Boston race. Beach was USAC's 2002 National Midget Car "Rookie of the Year."
J.J. Yeley Caps Championship Season with Silver Crown Glory at Syracuse - By Dick Jordan - Syracuse, N.Y. - (October 11) ...J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. put the lid on his tremendous 2003 USAC racing season Saturday afternoon, winning the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series finale at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. He led the final 76 miles of the "Ferris Salt City 100" to solidify his series title as he continues his pursuit of the USAC "Triple Crown." Yeley's record 24th USAC feature victory of the year (fourth in Silver Crown), came in a spirited drive from the 12th starting spot to the lead in just 25 laps! He was third at the end of just four laps and caught pole starter Dave Darland for second on lap 11. He trailed Rich Tobias, Jr. until the 25th lap, then pulled away to a 10-second advantage. That advantage was erased by late cautions and he finally won by 1.2 seconds. (read it all)
J.J. Yeley HammerDown! at Terre Haute -- (More)
J.J. Yeley Number One in National Sprint Car Poll Non Wing Edition - KNOXVILLE, IOWA (August 3, 2003) - Over forty years ago, “A.J.” was the hottest driver in sprint car racing. Today, “J.J.” has unanimously been named the number one driver in traditional (non-winged) sprint car racing by the National Non-Winged Sprint Car Poll voting panel of manufacturers, media members, sanctioning officials and promoters. J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Arizona, the defending “Non-Winged Driver of the Year”, received all 16 first-place ballots cast in the summer edition of the seasonal poll. Yeley wheels the Tony Stewart-owned, Mopar-powered Twister sprint car in United States Auto Club (USAC) competition. He is the USAC point leader and has recently clinched that sanction’s Valvoline-sponsored Indiana Sprint Week title. (read it all)
J.J. Yeley Getting it On - By Dick Jordan 07/28/03 - J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. stands on the threshold of one of USAC's most significant all-time records. In 48 years of racing only four drivers have earned 19 feature victories in a single season. Yeley is now one of them after his victory in Friday night's "Larry Rice Classic" Sprint Car race at the Bloomington (Ind.) Speedway. He drove the Tony Stewart Racing Twister/Mopar to the 30-lap triumph. (read it all)
J.J. Yeley is the hottest dirt driver in the world - Photo by Jim Fisher
YELEY WINS HOOSIER 100, EARNS 50 GRAND BONUS! - By Dick Jordan - 05/23/03 - Indianpolis, IN. ...J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. completed a "sweep" of USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown races with his wire-to-wire victory in Friday night's 51st "Hoosier Hundred" at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The win earned him a $50,000 cash bonus, bringing his two-night prize money total to a whopping $70,900! Yeley won the pole for the second leg of the Kroger Pavement/Dirt Showdown presented by the Dellen Automotive Family, then led every lap of the 100-mile race on the 1-mile dirt oval in his Ford/Power Stroke Diesel Chevy. "I was worrying about tires and it was a big relief when Darland had his problem. This was a brand-new car and Bob East (car owner with NASCAR Winston Cup Champ Tony Stewart) had it set up great. We changed a tire and dropped in some fuel during the red flag, so that helped. This bonus ($50,000) ranks right up there with making the Indy 500 as far as a career highlight." (read it all)
Yeley Wins Wild IRP Race, Has Good Shot at 50 G's - By Dick Jordan, Claremont, IN. 05/22/03...J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. scored a spectacular victory in Thursday night's "Hoosier Twin 50s" at Indianapolis Raceway Park, coming from fourth place in the final four laps to win the 100-lap USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown race. The victory gives Yeley a change at a $50,000 cash bonus if he can also win Friday night's "Hoosier Hundred" at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Yeley was fourth on a restart after a lap 97 accident involving four cars, but he passed Dave Darland and Brian Tyler before catching leader Dave Steele in the final turn on the last lap! (read it all)
JJ Yeley flew into Stockton and left with the dough in USAC midget competition - Photo by Steve-O
J.J. Yeley accepts the hardware for his USAC Midgets win at Stockton (M&M Photos)
J.J. Yeley gets a terrific bite from the Tulsa clay at the Chili Bowl. (Jim Fleming)
J.J. Yeley slides through the Manzanita dirt at the recently completed Western World Championships in Phoenix, AZ. ...Bud Kaeding won the event. (John's Racing Photos)
Yeley Zeros In On Steele with Springfield Win - By Dick Jordan, Springfield, IL. 08/17/02 ...J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. sliced into Dave Steele's USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown point lead with his victory in Saturday's "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. He now trails Steele by only 11 points going into the September 1 "Ted Horn 100" at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds. Steele failed to finish Saturday's race and was listed 17th in the official finish after suffering tire problems. (read the whole deal)
J.J. Yeley Wins, Hewitt Injured at N. Vernon - HD Staff, 07/22/02 - North Vernon, IN. ...J.J. Yeley, the number one ranked non-wing sprint car driver in the world, was the winner of Monday's round #4 of Indiana Sprint Week. Yeley's USAC victory at Twin Cities Raceway Park, came aboard the GT Racing #76. Jack Hewitt flipped during the semi and was transported to Jennings Community Hospital in North Vernon for evaluation of undisclosed injuries. (summary)
Late Spring 2002 - ...J.J. Yeley continues to win in every machine he gets into. Midgets or sprints on pavement or dirt, Silver Crown cars, it doesn't matter. If I had a BIG MONEY Indy team, or NASCAR deal, I'd be all over J.J. Yeley. Given the success of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, etc..., J.J. should have next.
Yeley Sweeps Hawkeye Downs - By Dick Jordan 05/03/02 Cedar Rapids, IA. ... J.J. Yeley of Phoenix, Ariz. won Friday night's 30-lap USAC National Midget Car feature at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, IA, leading the final 23 laps after passing early leader Teddy Beach. He later won the 30-lap Stoops Freightliner Sprint Car race and became the first driver to "sweep" a pavement USAC National Sprint/Midget Car "doubleheader" since Doug Kalitta did it at Winchester, Ind. in 1995.
SCRA Perris Opener to Yeley - Lake Perris, CA. 02/09/02 - HD Staff - Phoenix, Arizona's J.J. Yeley captured the 25-lap SCRA season opener at Perris Auto Speedway, Saturday afternoon. Yeley took the lead from Indiana's Tony Elliott on lap 20. It was the first day race ever held at the Southern California speedplant. (read the BF & Steve-O updates)