J. J. Yeley
Christopher Beltram Hernandez "J. J." Yeley (born October 5, 1976) is an American professional stock car racing driver. Nicknamed "J. J." (Jimmy Jack; after his father and a close family friend), he has competed in the IndyCar Series. He currently competes part-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 52 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Rick Ware Racing, and part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 38 Camaro for RSS Racing.
|J. J. Yeley|
Yeley at Daytona International Speedway in 2015
|Born||Christopher Beltram Hernandez Yeley|
October 5, 1976
|Achievements||2001, 2003 USAC Sprint champion|
2002, 2003 USAC Silver Crown champion
2003 USAC "Triple Crown" winner
2003 USAC Midget champion
|Awards||1997 USAC Sprint Rookie of the Year|
2002, 2003 Non-Winged Driver of the Year from the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career|
|286 races run over 14 years|
|Car no., team||No. 52/51/54 (Rick Ware Racing)|
|Best finish||21st (2007)|
|First race||2004 Pop Secret 500 (California)|
|Last race||2019 Drydene 400 (Dover)|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series career|
|325 races run over 14 years|
|Car no., team||Nos. 38/93 (RSS Racing)|
No. 78 (B. J. McLeod Motorsports)
|Best finish||5th (2006)|
|First race||2004 Sam's Town 300 (Las Vegas)|
|Last race||2019 Use Your Melon Drive Sober 200 (Dover)|
|NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series career|
|35 races run over 10 years|
|Truck no., team||No. 34 (Reaume Brothers Racing)|
|Best finish||42nd (2009)|
|First race||2004 Line-X 200 (Michigan)|
|Last race||2019 UNOH 200 (Bristol)|
|IndyCar Series career|
|8 races run over 2 years|
|Best finish||28th (2000)|
|First race||1998 Dura Lube 200 (Phoenix)|
|Last race||2000 Excite 500 (Texas)|
|Statistics current as of October 6, 2019.|
- 1 Open wheel
- 2 NASCAR
- 3 Motorsports career results
- 4 References
- 5 External links
In 1998, Yeley competed in four Indy Racing League (IRL) races, including the Indianapolis 500. His one top-10 finish in these four races was at Indianapolis, where he finished 9th despite a spin on the first turn of the first lap, which nearly collected eventual race winner Eddie Cheever, Jr.
Yeley also raced in the IRL in 2000 in an underfunded effort with McCormack Motorsports, but ultimately returned to USAC racing, picking up where he had left off by winning 2001 and 2003 National Sprint, 2002 and 2003 Silver Crown, and 2003 National Midget Series titles.
His championships in all three of USAC's top divisions in 2003 made him only the second driver, after Tony Stewart in 1995, to achieve the "Triple Crown" in a single season. Stewart was the owner of the Sprint and Silver Crown cars in Yeley's 2003 season; the Midget which Yeley drove in 2003, Steve Lewis' No. 9, had been driven by Stewart in 1995.
As had Stewart, Yeley signed with Joe Gibbs Racing, starting 17 of 34 races in the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series and achieving four top-10 finishes. He also competed in two Nextel Cup Series races in No. 11 car and in the IROC series. Yeley drove the full season in 2005 in the NASCAR Busch Series for Gibbs' No. 18 car, posting twelve top-ten finishes and ending the season 11th in points. After the departure of Jason Leffler, who drove the No. 11 car in the Nextel Cup series, Yeley, Busch Series teammate Denny Hamlin, and Terry Labonte split the remaining races. Yeley drove four races, Labonte and Hamlin drove the final seven. Hamlin was named to drive the No. 11 FedEx car for the 2006 season. Bobby Labonte made his announcement in November that he was leaving Joe Gibbs Racing. On November 12, at Phoenix International Raceway, Yeley was announced as the new driver for the No. 18 Interstate Batteries-sponsored Chevrolet.
Yeley ran full seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series in 2006. He drove the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in the Nextel Cup Series, and the No. 18 Vigoro/Home Depot-sponsored Chevrolet in the Busch Series. Yeley's best Nextel Cup finishes of 2006 came at California Speedway and Loudon, where he finished 8th; his best Busch Series finish came on June 17 at Kentucky Speedway. Yeley finished his 2006 season fifth in the Busch Series points standings with three poles, nine top fives, and 22 top-10s. In the 2006 Bank of America 500, Yeley was running on the top of the track when he decided to cut down all the way down the track to try to go to pit road. He ran right into Chase contender Mark Martin, and turned Mark head on into the wall in a devastating crash. Martin's crew chief Pat Tryson had to be restrained by NASCAR officials as he showed his displeasure to Yeley, who also wrecked. The crash ended Mark Martin's championship hopes, as he was 2nd in points before the incident. Yeley, despite racing for one of the best teams in the sport, would finish a dismal 29th in the standings.
His 2007 season was filled with rumors about being released from Joe Gibbs Racing. At the 2007 Coca-Cola 600, Yeley scored a career high second-place finish on a fuel gamble, with Casey Mears actually scoring the victory. Exactly three weeks later, at Michigan, Yeley took his first career pole at the Nextel Cup level, beating Jimmie Johnson by one thousandth of a second (.001). During the middle of the 2007 season Joe Gibbs announced that his team would be switching to Toyota in 2008. Gibbs also announced that Yeley would not return for 2008. Gibbs ended up signing Kyle Busch to drive the No. 18.
Yeley moved to Hall of Fame Racing, an affiliate of JGR, replacing Tony Raines in the No. 96 DLP-sponsored Toyota. His struggles continued, as the team fell from being in the top 35 every week with Raines behind the wheel to struggling to make races on a weekly basis (the team's first DNQ came with Yeley behind the wheel).
On July 5, he performed an in-race switch into the No. 20 car for an ill Tony Stewart. He ran strong for most of the race but was collected in two crashes within the last five laps and ended with a 20th-place finish. On August 6, 2008, Yeley was released from his contract to drive for Hall of Fame Racing, first by being replaced by P. J. Jones at Watkins Glen, Nationwide Series driver and Hall of Fame Racing test driver Brad Coleman at Michigan, and Ken Schrader for the remaining races. Yeley spent the rest of the season out of a ride. In 2009, he moved to the Camping World Truck Series, driving the No. 73 Chevrolet Silverado for Tagsby Racing. He was also named to take over the Mayfield Motorsports No. 41 Sprint Cup Series entry effective immediately following the indefinite suspension of owner/driver Jeremy Mayfield due to a substance abuse violation on May 9, 2009.
Later in 2009, Yeley broke three cervical vertebrae during a crash in a USAC race.
Yeley drove at Daytona in 2010 for Daisy Ramirez Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series. This was the team's debut and he finished a career-best 10th after starting 36th. Yeley was announced as the driver for the Whitney Motorsports No. 46 Sprint Cup Series car on May 4, 2010. On May 7, he qualified the No. 46 into the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington. Yeley qualified for nine of the fourteen races he attempted. At the Coke Zero 400, he finished a team-best 19th. Yeley also raced for Latitude 43 Motorsports in Phoenix and Tommy Baldwin Racing, plus drove for Richard Petty Motorsports in a relief role at Charlotte, replacing a sick Kasey Kahne.
Yeley raced his way in the 2011 Daytona 500 in the Gatorade Duels for Whitney Motorsports, a team that failed to qualify for the 2010 event. He finished 43rd in the event after a blown engine eleven laps into the race. At Loudon, Yeley drove the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports entry in place of Travis Kvapil, who was unable to make the race due to his Truck Series commitments. He ran the remainder of the season in a fourth Front Row entry, the No. 55, with occasional races in the No. 38.
For 2012, Yeley signed with Robinson-Blakeney Racing to drive the No. 49 Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series. He also drove the team's No. 28 Nationwide Series car in that series' season-opening race at Daytona. Halfway through the season, Yeley moved to Max Q Motorsports to drive the No. 37 in a partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing. Both the No. 49 and the No. 37 were mostly start and park efforts.
In 2013, Yeley moved to Tommy Baldwin Racing to drive the No. 36 Chevrolet, with a sponsorship from Golden Corral at races on superspeedways. United Mining, Accell Construction, and several other companies also served as primary sponsor throughout the season. Yeley finished 10th in his TBR debut in the Daytona 500, his first top ten since 2008. Yeley ran his first full season (in a non-start and park ride) for the first time since 2008, and finished 32nd in points. He was replaced by Reed Sorenson for 2014. On February 13, it was announced that Yeley would drive the No. 44 with Xxxtreme Motorsport starting at Phoenix. In late April, the team purchased the No. 30 team from Swan Racing, with Yeley shifting to drive the new car number. Yeley replaced Ryan Truex in the No. 83 BK Racing Toyota at the Pure Michigan 400 after Truex suffered a concussion during a practice session. He later drove the team's start and park No. 93 at Richmond, and ran the last seven races in the 83 following Truex's dismissal from the team.
In 2015, Yeley moved to BK Racing full-time, replacing Alex Bowman in the No. 23 Toyota. He also ran full-time in the Xfinity Series for No. 28 Toyota for JGL Racing, whom he had joined partway through the 2014 season. Before Darlington, Yeley and BK Racing teammate Jeb Burton switched rides with Burton moving to the No. 23, while Yeley moved to the No. 26.
In 2016, Yeley had no rides for the Daytona weekend. However, on February 24, 2016, it was announced that Yeley will drive the No. 14 Toyota Camry for TriStar Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, starting at Atlanta. Yeley replaced David Starr in the No. 44 at Richmond due to Starr being sidelined with an illness; Yeley eventually took over the ride full-time.
For the 2017 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas, Yeley made his return to the Cup Series, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet SS for Tommy Baldwin Racing, a team he last drove for in 2013. After starting 27th, he finished in the same position, four laps down.
In 2017, Yeley returned to the No. 14 of TriStar for the full season and a part-time schedule in the No. 7 for Tommy Baldwin Racing. On July 22, TriStar owner Mark Smith died, and the next week, Yeley finished a season-best 6th at Iowa Speedway.
In March 2018, Yeley drove the No. 55 car for Premium Motorsports in the STP 500 in the Cup Series, where he finished 31st. Two months later, Yeley joined NY Racing Team (formerly Xxxtreme Motorsport) for the Coca-Cola 600, driving the No. 7. In the 600, Yeley qualified 40th and finished 38th after retiring from the event on lap 191 with a fuel pump issue.
In summer of 2018, Yeley made his return to the No. 23 car which was previously owned by his former team BK Racing. NY Racing, for a number of races fielded the No. 23 in coordination with BK, sharing the No. 23 charter and the Steakhouse Elite sponsorship. After BK's bankruptcy auction, Front Row Motorsports was awarded BK's assets and NY Racing continued their collaboration with Front Row to season's end, before both teams parted ways.
For 2019, NY Racing planned to field the No. 7 Steakhouse Elite Ford Mustang with Yeley as the driver, for an undetermined number of races. Before the team formally entered any races, Yeley and Steakhouse Elite partnered with Rick Ware Racing for the Pocono 400 in June. In August, he debuted Ware's No. 54 car at Bristol.
Motorsports career resultsEdit
American open-wheel racingEdit
|IndyCar Series results|
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
Monster Energy Cup SeriesEdit
|2006||Joe Gibbs Racing||Chevrolet||36||41|
|2008||Hall of Fame Racing||Toyota||37||25|
|2013||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||41||10|
Gander Outdoors Truck SeriesEdit
Featherlite Modified TourEdit
|NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour results|
* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points
2 Yeley switched to Nationwide Series points before the race at Auto Club Speedway
ARCA Re/Max SeriesEdit
(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)
|ARCA Re/Max Series results|
|2005||Joe Gibbs Racing||2||Chevy||DAY
International Race of ChampionsEdit
(key) (Bold – Pole position. * – Most laps led.)
|International Race of Champions results|
- J.J. Yeley Career Statistics
- Announced as interim driver for Mayfield Motorsports
- "Yeley to drive for new Cup team". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. January 25, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
- Rodman, Dave (February 11, 2012). "Yeley to give Robinson last Nationwide hurrah?". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
- "Baldwin, Gunselman Form Alliance". National Speed Sport News. July 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
- "Golden Corral Renews its Partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing in 2013". Tommy Baldwin Racing. January 28, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-29.
- Wackerlin, Jeff (February 25, 2013). "McDowell, Yeley Shine at Daytona". Motor Racing Network. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- Spencer, Lee (February 13, 2014). "Yeley to drive Xxxtreme Motorsports Chevrolet beginning at Phoenix". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
- Caraviello, David (April 23, 2014). "Swan Breakup Leaves Kligerman Without Ride". NASCAR.com. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- Estrada, Chris (August 16, 2014). "NASCAR: J.J. Yeley to replace Ryan Truex in No. 83 tomorrow at Michigan". NBC Sports. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
- Wilson, Steven B. (April 23, 2016). "TriStar Motorsports Scores Best Finish of the Season with JJ Yeley in the No. 44 Zachry Camry". Speedway Digest. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
- "TriStar Motorsports Announces Driver Change". TriStar Motorsports. April 27, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
- "21st Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts "500" - Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Texas Motor Speedway - 4/9/2017" (PDF). Jayski's Silly Season Site. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "2017 O'Reilly Auto Parts 500". Racing-Reference. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
- "2018 STP 500". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- Nguyen, Justin (May 21, 2018). "NY Racing Team debuting at Coca-Cola 600, JJ Yeley to drive". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- "2018 Coca-Cola 600". Racing-Reference. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- Nguyen, Justin (May 29, 2019). "J.J. Yeley returns to Rick Ware Racing for Pocono". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
- Tomlinson, Joy (August 9, 2019). "Rick Ware Racing Adding 4th Car at Bristol With JJ Yeley, Slayer to Sponsor". Frontstretch. Retrieved August 9, 2019.