Yeley, who finished ninth in Darlington’s Busch Series race last year and has two Nextel Cup starts at the storied oval, hopes to be the third driver in a row to post a victory in the familiar #14. Tracy Hines won the March 23 race at Homestead, Fla. and Bobby East won Saturday’s 100-lapper at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Yeley has a dozen career USAC Silver Crown triumphs, including pavement wins at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. in 1998 and O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. in 2003. J.J. also has 11 career Silver Crown poles to his credit.
Yeley, who finished ninth in the 1998 Indianapolis 500 at age 21, will team with Pablo Donoso of Chile in Thursday’s race. Donoso finished 11th in Saturday’s race at Iowa Speedway. His USAC career includes five National driving championships and 56 total National feature victories, which ties him with Mario Andretti for 15th on USAC’s all-time winners list. He won the USAC Sprint Car title in 2001, the Silver Crown title in 2002 and matched Tony Stewart’s 1995 “Triple Crown" feat with his 2003 Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget championships. In 2003 he also broke Foyt’s 42-year-old USAC single-season victory record of 19, scoring 24 total feature wins! The old record of 19 was also shared by Sleepy Tripp and Jay Drake.