THE Ys HAVE IT IN HICKORY by Jeremy Troiano
Yelton Dominates While York Puts On a Clinic
When you were in school, kids with names that started in Y were always one of the last ones called. At Hickory Motor Speedway (NC) on Saturday night, the drivers whose names started with the letter Y were the ones the announcer called first, and second for that matter. Yes, guys by the name of Yelton and York were at the head of the class.
Yelton's hot rod was so fast that it never got passed the entire night. After putting it on the pole, he led from drop of the green and only had to hold off a couple of minor challenges to dominate and capture his first win of the 2004 season.
“It was about the perfect day. Can we make it better? Yeah, we can win all the races, that is about all we can do to get better. This is perfect timing for a run like this too because last week we had motor problems. It put us back on our toes. So the crew guys really stepped up. The guys deserve the win. I did the easy part tonight.”
It wasn't always easy. While he didn't have a lot of competition from behind, Yelton had to get around a myriad of lapped cars and even had to dodge the pace car during a couple of restarts.
Jamie Yelton completed a dominating day by leading all 150-laps of the UARA Joe Walker Memorial 150. Yet it was second-place finisher and series point leader Jason York who thrilled the crowd, and sometimes himself, by methodically working his way past both lead lap and lapped cars from his ninth-place starting position.
Yelton's dominance, however, started in the afternoon practice sessions and continued until the checkered flag.
“We simply just had a great car tonight,” said Yelton, who sat fourth in the standings heading into the Hickory event. “We unloaded from the truck in bad shape. But then, my crew chief, David King, started throwing stuff at the car while I was panicking. We went back out and we ended up being the fastest car here. We had a great qualifying lap and that set it all up. We knew we had a hot rod man, there is no getting around it.”
Jamie Yelton won his first UARA race of the year on Friday night. (51 Photos)
Yelton dominated the night, winning the pole and leading all 150 laps.
“The pace car driver, he is a good buddy of mine, so I like playing with him a little bit,” added Yelton, speaking of a couple of close calls when he almost ran into the back of the pace car during restarts. “Lapped cars are always tough though. The thing about lapped cars is that everyone is going to get lapped sometime in their career and it is hard for them to respect the leaders and get out of the way. I know, I've been there. It is tough. No one likes to be lapped.”
The other story of the night was York. Passing for position proved to be tough on Friday night, with most getting the spots by either laying a bumper to the car in front of them or waiting for the car in front to make a little, or big mistake.
occasions, but in the end, York got the spot and continued his charge to the front.
“I think if we would have started the car closer to the front, I believe we would have had a shot at it. I was a second place car. I would have liked to have started closer and saved my tires more and maybe I could have given these fans a show when we raced for the lead.
“It's a good points night. This is the highest we finished so far in UARA. We are getting better; I can see that for sure.”
Local hot shot Brian Conner finished third, with second-place point man Terry Allison Jr. coming home fourth and Adams fifth.
York was one of the few cars that showed the ability to pull under the next guy and make a pass. Sure he used the bumper a little, but still, he also used a lot of finesse coming up from his ninth-place starting spot.
“Our car was great, but if you start back in the pack like that and work your way up, you tend to burn your tires up,” said York, who padded his point lead with the runner-up spot. “By the time you get to where you want to go, you don't have any tires left, especially at the end of the race.”
York and rookies Steve Wallace and Josh Adams put on a spirited battle for the third-place spot in the middle portion of the race. The three went three-wide on a couple of
Jason York (black car) put on a clinic of getting to the front of the field at Hickory.