June 17, 2007 on TNT
Captures First Pole at Michigan
Michigan International Speedway
COURTESY OF MISPEEDWAY.COM
Mich. -- J.J. Yeley, driving the No. 18 Interstate
Batteries Chevrolet, says that if you look up "Race
Track" in the dictionary, "it should have a
picture of Michigan International Speedway."
If you now
look up “polesitter” for the Citizens Bank
400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at MIS on Sunday, you'll
probably see a picture of J.J. Yeley following his first
career NEXTEL Cup pole Friday with a speed of 187.505
miles per hour. That's five-thousandths of a second faster
than Jimmie Johnson, one of the day’s final qualifiers.
the odd-man-out at Hendrick Motorsports when it was announced
earlier this week that he would be replaced by Dale Earnhardt,
Jr., starting next year, was almost odd-man-in. He grabbed
the early pole position with a speed of 186.829 mph, which
held up for third fastest of the afternoon. Ryan Newman
posted the fourth fastest time, followed by Joe Nemechek
and current NEXTEL Cup points leader Jeff Gordon.
for Joe Gibbs Racing along with Tony Stewart and Denny
Hamlin, gave Gibbs his fifth pole at Michigan, all in
the No. 18 car.
an excellent car that was fourth fastest in practice and
we spent a lot of time just focusing on qualifying,”
said Yeley, who is coming off a recent career-best second-place
finish last month in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. “It
was just enough to get the pole, but like my dad says,
'Whoever gets there first wins,’ so it’s going
to be a lot of fun leading the field to the green flag
on Sunday. I love coming to his place. It’s a lot
of fun. It’s big, it’s fast and I just really
In regard to
time, Yeley, starting his second full season on the NEXTEL
Cup circuit, registered a time (38.399 seconds) that was
just one-thousandth of a second ahead of Johnson.
the pole by a short, short margin. I don’t win many
poles during the course of a season or throughout my career,
so I hate to see a good opportunity slide by. I would
have met my quota for the year and I would have been in
good shape. I know I’m a better driver in race conditions
than out there by myself trying to find a 10th of a second
captured one pole in each of the last three seasons and
a total of nine career poles.
While MIS has always been considered Ford friendly, it
was Chevrolet that was dominant in qualifying Friday,
capturing the top three positions and eight of the top
nine spots. The top Ford was driven by Carl Edwards, who
Among the seven
drivers who didn’t qualify was Dale Jarrett, a four-time
winner at MIS.
to our Citizens
Bank 400 Index.
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