JJ Yeley Relegated to 22nd Place Finish in California after Gamble Backfires
FONTANA, CA. (March 23, 2015) - JJ Yeley and his JGL Racing team endured a tight off the corner condition on their No. 28 Texas 28 Spirits Stage Toyota which is detrimental at a momentum track like Auto Club Speedway. The condition resulted in the team rolling the dice with a gamble on tires - when the gamble didn't pay off Yeley was forced a lap down which resulted in a very disappointing 22nd place finish in the running of the Drive4Clots.com 300 at the 2-mile track in Fontana, Calfornia.
"This was a very disappointing finish," stated Yeley. "We were a little tight off Turn 2 early in the race and our attempts at changes just didn't seem to help initially. So when we were presented with an opportunity during a quick caution to come down pit road we decided to just make some chassis adjustments and not change tires so we could keep a set for the end. Unfortunately we got a long green flag run and got stuck out there on older tires than everyone else and that got us a lap down. We ultimately made the car better there at the end but we couldn't get our lap back."
Yeley would start the 300-mile event from the 23rd position and quickly moved forward in the field before the tight off Turn 2 condition began to hamper his progress. The team would make several attempts at correcting the handling issue before taking the calculated gamble during a Lap 49 pit stop. The resulting long green flag run left Yeley and his No 28 Toyota exposed and ultimately down a lap after a series of green flag stops just past the halfway point of the race. While subsequent chassis adjustments helped the handling for Yeley he was never able to get back on the lead lap.
The 22nd place finish did move Yeley up one position in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver's point's standings - he currently sits in the 14th spot - 23 markers out of the Top-10.
"We should have finished 15th or better in this race today," added Yeley. "We gambled today and it just didn't pay off for us. If it did we would have been heroes but as it turned out we left a set of sticker tires behind the wall and that ultimately cost us. This was a home race for our team owner, James Whitener, and he had a large group of folks here and they deserved a better finish than what we delivered today. We have a few weeks off to stew on this which sometimes isn't the best. But we will regroup and come out even more determined when we hit the track next in Texas."
Yeley and the JGL Racing team will have a few weeks off after three straight weeks on the West Coast. The NASCAR XFINITY Series will return to action on Friday April 10th for the running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race can be seen LIVE on Fox Sports 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET and heard on Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius Channel 90.