JJ Yeley News

JJ Yeley reflects on brief IndyCar career at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- JJ Yeley has competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2004 but many have forgotten that he earned his first bit of mainstream attention in 1998, competing in open-wheel cars in the Indy Racing League.

At the time, Yeley was a young 20-something out of the USAC Sprint Car ranks and had little experience on asphalt. He explained that he was both unprepared for Indy cars and never felt as though the discipline was a good fit for his career.

With that said, Yeley acknowledges that the spotlight did give him the exposure that no other form of racing could at the time and that it helped him eventually find his way over to NASCAR.

"When I first got the opportunity to go run the IRL, that was when they were really pushing to get back to grassroots and trying to get open-wheel short track Americans back to the sport," Yeley told SB Nation on Friday evening. "If it wouldn't have been for that push, I wouldn't have been able to get the opportunity.

"I didn't have much sponsorship -- I didn't even have that much pavement experience before I got the call and the chance to run the IRL. I think the Indianapolis 500 might have been my fifth or sixth time ever on pavement."

Yeley won the 1997 edition of Indiana Sprint Week and was the USAC Sprint Car Rookie of the Year in that same season. Despite his obvious talent, Yeley says the IRL car drove unlike anything he had ever competed in. He had just one top-10 in eight starts with an average finish of 19.8.

"It was a great learning experience," Yeley said. "But those cars -- turning them was unlike anything I've ever dealt with coming from midgets and sprint cars. And it really wasn't my kind of fit, I guess.  But it was the first opportunity that came along because I got to run the Indianapolis 500.

"I got to run 10 or 11 races for some smaller budgeted teams but it wasn't a lot of fun."

Yeley drove for the underfunded Sinden and Byrd-McCormack Racing organizations and said that the cars were often difficult to drive. He said that Tony Stewart once advised him to not demand more from the car than it will give, because it would only end in disaster.

"And that was completely different than how you learn to drive a Midget or Sprint Car," Yeley said. "There, you can kind of take control and find a new line to make it work. But in an Indy car you're only going to bust your butt. And I learned the hard way too."

Yeley says he hasn't received any offers from an IndyCar Series team since reunification and added that he doesn't keep up with the sport like he used to. He wishes the sport the best of luck but he's moved on from that stage of his career, despite so many former open-wheelers starting to go back.

"I know that they are not as mainstream as they use to be," Yeley said. "The drivers have changed and the cars have changed. It's a different kind of IRL than it used to be. Obviously, I'm still a huge racing fan and I watch some of the races -- I just don't keep up with it the way that I did before."

Original Article on SBNation.com

Full Story  | Posted in Sprint Cup

Why Not Us? Small Teams Look to Replicate Front Row’s Success

By Matt Weaver (TALLADEGA, AL) – David Ragan's Sprint Cup Series victory at Talladega in the April race for Front Row Motorsports has other underfunded teams wondering, "why not us?"

Front Row Motorsports began in 2004 when Yum! Foods franchisee Bob Jenkins started a race team. It would not score its first victory until earlier this season when Ragan and David Gilliland led a one-two team effort in a frantic green-white-checkered finish that ran into the early twilight hours.

J.J. YeleyThe nature of restrictor plate racing with the draft has allowed teams that ordinarily do not run up front to steal a victory — and Ragan was the first to score the Talladega upset with the new sixth-generation car.

"We feel like we are at more of a level playing field when the draft is in play and everyone is in the same pack," Ragan said. "We put more emphasis on the short tracks and road courses where we can be more competitive as a team.

"The tracks we struggle at are the 1.5 mile tracks were it takes a lot of resources to figure out your aero platform and how you are riding on your bump stops and research and design to kind of trick the system… and that is somewhere we fall short at."

A similar situation applies to Tommy Baldwin Racing where drivers Dave Blaney and J.J. Yeley have experienced their most success this season at Daytona and Talladega. Blaney has a 28.3 average finish this season but has scored finishes of 17th, 16th, and 31st on the ultra-high banks.

The results have been even better for Yeley as he has scored finishes of 10th, 31st and 13th this season between the two tracks.

Blaney says Tommy Baldwin doesn't place an increased financial importance on Daytona and Talladega but that they style of racing does naturally provide an opportunity for he and his teammate to score a victory four times each season.

"These restrictor plate races definitely even things up," Blaney said. "There is no doubt that this is really our best chance to compete for a win. We've come close with Tommy's car a couple of times, run up front and scored some top-10s… but the challenge here is getting to the end and seeing what happens."

His teammate concurs.

"I think we've proven that we have a good speedway program," Yeley said. "And having (Earnhardt Childress Engines) is the biggest key to that… We're able to massage on our speedway cars. I think we've proven in the spring race that we can stay in the lead back and put ourselves in a position to at least earn the opportunity."

Like Front Row Motorsports, which has earned additional sponsorship and funding as a result of their Talladega victory, Tommy Baldwin Racing has a lot to gain in potentially winning a race too.

"They showed that anything can happen," Yeley concluded. "I really think we have a better program than they do but when you go speedway racing, it takes a certain kind of circumstance… It would be huge for me to get my first win, Tommy Baldwin Racing's first win — I think we've been close.

"It would be epic for our team, our sponsors and those that we're trying to get on board while also solidifying our place in the NASCAR world that we can be competitive."

Original Article from PopularSpeed.com

JJ Yeley and United Mining Equipment Go Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness at Charlotte

Mooresville, NC (October 8, 2013) - Thinking pink in honor of breast cancer awareness, the No. 36 United Mining Chevrolet has turned a beautiful shade of pink in support of breast cancer awareness month.

Teaming up with the Susan G Komen, Tommy Baldwin Racing is proud to be sporting a paint scheme this weekend as we race under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  

Since 1982, Komen has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer - transforming how the world talks about and treats this disease and helping to turn millions of breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors. To date, Komen is the largest funder of breast cancer research, next to the federal government.  

"We are so honored to have NASCAR Driver JJ Yeley sporting a pink paint scheme on his car this weekend, and are grateful to Tommy Baldwin Racing and UME for their support of this initiative, said Susan G. Komen Director of Corporate Relations, Carrie Glasscock. "JJ's involvement with Komen is his way of honoring the women in his life and also helps raise awareness amongst both male and female NASCAR fans, on and off the track. We encourage all NASCAR fans to visit komen.org and to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed about breast cancer."      

Driver JJ Yeley commented, "I am excited to get behind the wheel of my No. 36 United Mining/Susan G Komen Chevrolet this weekend. We have a pretty cool paint scheme, and couldn't have teamed up with a better organization than Susan G. Komen to help raise awareness about breast cancer. This weekends race I will be supporting not only my mother-in-law Karen, who is a survivor, but my daughter Faith, who I hope one day will live in a world without cancer. I am looking forward to getting out on the track and continuing the push to finish out the rest of the season strong for everyone at Tommy Baldwin Racing."   

"All the employees of UME are pleased to join Tommy Baldwin Racing, JJ Yeley, Kristen Yeley, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation in helping this cause, which hits close to home for many of us," UME Owner Don Sims commented.

After participating in last weekends Race for a Cure in Charlotte, Kristen Yeley will be continuing her support for Komen by sporting an identical paint scheme on her bandolero in Thursday evenings Better Half Dash. Make sure to come out to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend and cheer on the wives of NASCAR as they compete against each other, following qualifying.

United Mining Equipment "Digs" Tommy Baldwin Racing - Adds Two Races to Schedule

nited Mining Equipment #36Mooresville, NC (August 27, 2013) - United Mining Equipment has added two additional races to their schedule aboard the No. 36 Chevrolet with Tommy Baldwin Racing and driver JJ Yeley.

The first added race is this coming weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway's Advocare 500. The second race will be the upcoming Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"We are glad to have UME back on the car again this weekend, and joining us for two additional races this year," said team owner Tommy Baldwin. "We have a great relationship with UME and hope to continue growing with their company and furthering their involvement in the NASCAR industry."

New to the sport of NASCAR, UME joined TBR to promote their twenty year involvement in the mining industry along with their sister company PITTLite.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway Pre-Race News and Notes

Event/Date: Camping World RV Sales 301, July 14, 2013 

Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Track Length: 1.058 miles

Race Distance: 318.458 miles (301 laps)

Tune in: NASCAR on TNT at 1:00 p.m. (EDT)

Mooresville, NC (July 10, 2013) - Tommy Baldwin Racing is heading to the granite state of New Hampshire for the Camping World RV Sales 301. Driver JJ Yeley will be piloting the No. 36 United Mining Equipment (UME) Chevrolet while Dave Blaney climbs behind the wheel of the No. 7 Chevrolet with SANY America onboard as an associate sponsor.

Located in Loudon, NH, New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) is known by the nickname, "The Magic Mile." There are four very flat turns on this 1.058-mile oval speedway.  

Blaney on racing at NHMS: "We're leaving early to test at Thompson and I'm really looking forward to shaking down not only my car but the No. 8 Nationwide car for Ryan Preece. From Wednesday and Thursday's test, we'll head to Loudon and prepare for the Camping World RV Sales 301."

Yeley on racing at NHMS: "We had a great run this past weekend in Daytona. I am looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of my No. 36 UME Chevy and getting another good finish for our team." 

Blaney by the numbers: Blaney has 25 starts at NHMS with an average finish of 29.3.

Yeley by the numbers: With only 11 starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, JJ Yeley has three top 10 finishes, the highest being third in 2008

Kentucky Speedway Pre-race News and Notes

Event/Date: Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts (June 29, 2013)

Track: Kentucky Speedway (KY)

Track Length: 1.5 miles

Race Distance: 400 miles (267 laps)

Tune in: NASCAR on TNT at 7:30 p.m. (ET)

Mooresville, NC (June 27, 2013) - Almost halfway through the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Tommy Baldwin Racing makes their way to Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400 on Saturday night to race under the lights.

SANY America continues onward: Experiencing their first season as a NASCAR sponsor, SANY America continues their sponsorship of Dave Blaney’s No. 7 Chevrolet this weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

Blaney on Kentucky: “I am looking forward to getting behind the wheel of my No. 7 Chevrolet this weekend. This track is still very new to the Sprint Cup series and that really levels the playing field in terms of experience. We’re ready to go for Saturday night.”

Welcome back, UME: This weekend United Mining Equipment is back on board the No. 36 Chevrolet with JJ Yeley. UME has been developing, repairing and supplying long wall equipment for 20 years. Together with their sister company PittLite they now offer low cost, leading technology cap lamps throughout the mining industry.

Yeley on Kentucky: “Coming off of a good run at Michigan, I am excited to get back in the No. 36 United Mining Equipment Chevy with my team. Our guys have been working hard to get the car ready for this weekend, and we have a lot to prove.”

Blaney and Yeley by the Numbers: Since the Cup Series started racing at Kentucky in 2011, Blaney has two starts at the speedway, while Yeley has one.

Sonoma Raceway Pre-Race News and Notes

Event/Date: Toyota/Save-Mart 350  (June 23, 2013) 

Track: Sonoma Raceway (CA)

Track Length: 1.99 miles

Race Distance: 224 miles (110 laps)

Tune in: NASCAR on TNT at 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Mooresville, NC (June 20, 2013) - As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to California preparing for road course racing at Sonoma, Tommy Baldwin Racing is welcoming Justin Marks and Victor Gonzalez Jr. for this weekends' race. 

In addition, JJ Yeley will be piloting the No. 37 Chevy this weekend. After a last minute decision, Tommy Baldwin decided to add a third car for Sonoma. 

Sonoma is a challenging track that includes 12 turns with a total of 160 feet of elevation change. With 110 laps of continual turns, Tommy Baldwin Racing will have their hands full as they battle during the first road course race of the 2013 NASCAR season.

Gonzalez Jr. on making history at Sonoma: "I am proud that I will break new ground for NASCAR and help to introduce new Hispanic fans in the Caribbean to this great sport," Gonzlez, Jr. said. "I am especially happy to make my Sprint Cup debut in California, a state with such a large and diverse Hispanic population.

The race at Sonoma is going to be a big day for my fans in the Caribbean, and for Hispanic racing fans everywhere. Along with the great team at Tommy Baldwin Racing, I am ready to show the world what I can do at the highest level."

Marks on his Cup debut at Sonoma: "It's really the culmination of a dream to be able to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Marks. "It's fitting that it's going to happen at Sonoma Raceway, where I kind of grew up racing and cut my teeth. I know Tommy and all the guys at TBR are going to bring a well-prepared GoPro Chevrolet to the track, so it's just going to be a matter of getting to know the Gen-6 car and getting reacquainted with the racetrack. My goal for the weekend is to run a clean, competitive race and keep that No. 7 car up in the points."

Yeley on Sonoma: "Heading out to Sonoma this weekend was a last minute decision for our team. Sonoma is one of the tracks that I really enjoy racing at, and I am happy to be given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the No. 37 TBR Chevy and race with both Victor and Justin."

Tommy Baldwin Racing and JJ Yeley Bring Home a Top-25 at Michigan

Brooklyn, MI (June 17, 2013) - Arriving in the “Irish Hills” of Michigan, the Tommy Baldwin Racing teams unloaded their haulers and began preparing for 400 miles of high speed racing at Michigan International Speedway.

Friday started off with practice, followed up by a mid-afternoon qualifying session. Both Blaney and Yeley fought a fast race track, where teams were turning speeds up to 202 mph. As qualifying wrapped up, Blaney would start Sunday’s race in 36th position with JJ Yeley in 40th.

At the drop of the green flag for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400, both drivers made a steady climb in positions. However, due to rain the night before, most cars were handling a little bit looser than the prior two days of practice at MIS.

After the first round of cautions Dave Blaney brought the No. 7 SANY America Chevrolet to pit road after reporting that his car was not handling the way it had during the first run. Diagnosing the issue, it was discovered that rear end oil had leaked all over the left rear tire causing the car to stay loose for the remainder of the race. Blaney battled the entire race, going one lap down and finishing 31st. Yeley on the other hand, continued to climb during the 400 miles of racing. Reaching a high of 15th at one point on Sunday, and finishing strong in position 24.

Following the race Yeley commented, “After coming to one of my favorite race tracks with a new setup, the car was fantastic all weekend long. We had a great run today. We were able to stay on the lead lap all day long, and hang in there with a lot of the top teams, and even finish better than some of them. Leaving here with a Top 25 will definitely help to boost the momentum for the whole No. 36 TBR team, as well as myself, as we get ready for Kentucky in two weeks.”

“We started off with a good handling race car this weekend,” Blaney said, “then after about 50 laps, I could feel the car getting looser and smelled rear end oil. I am proud of my guys for helping to fight with the No. 7 SANY America Chevy and keep me from going too many laps down during the race today. Coming home 31st is a lot better than I had expected, but still not the finish we were hoping for today.”

Moving up one position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, JJ Yeley is currently 33rd and Dave Blaney 31st.

Michigan International Speedway Pre-Race News and Notes

Event/Date: Quicken Loans 400 (June 16, 2013)

Track: Michigan International Speedway (MI)

Track Length: 2 miles

Race Distance: 200 laps (400 miles)

Tune in: NASCAR on TNT at 1:00 p.m. (ET)

Mooresville, NC (June 12, 2013) - Traveling to the "Irish Hills" of Michigan, both Tommy Baldwin Racing drivers JJ Yeley and Dave Blaney will be celebrating Father’s Day at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) this weekend.

The MIS track is well known for its D-shape that features moderate banking and blazing fast speeds. After being repaved in 2012, the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars have been turning speeds of over 195 mph.

Meet our drivers: Want to meet Dave Blaney and JJ Yeley while visiting MIS? They will be making appearances at the Team Chevy Racing display on Sunday at 9am. Both Yeley and Blaney will participate in a question and answer session followed by autograph signings.

Blaney on MIS: "We’re looking forward to a fresh start with the No. 7 SANY America Chevy team this weekend. We’ve run into bad luck the past couple of weekends. The guys at the shop worked really hard, we have a good car and I’ve had some great finishes at MIS in the past; hopefully we can get back out and get another Top 10 this weekend."

Yeley on MIS: "Michigan is one of my favorite tracks on the NASCAR circuit; I really enjoy racing the two-mile track. The new Gen-6 cars will be fast this weekend and we’re looking to have a great finish with the No. 36 Chevy."

Blaney by the Numbers: With 24 starts at Michigan, Blaney has three Top-10 Finishes. His average finish is 26.5.

Yeley by the Numbers: Yeley has just nine Cup starts at MIS and boasts a Coors Light Pole Award in 2007. His average finish is 36.6.

TBR Fights The Monster

 Yeley & Delaware Office of Highway Safety’s “Click It or Ticket”

JJ Yeley Buckles Up for Safety at Dover

Event/Date: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks

Track: Dover International Speedway (DE)

Track Length: 1 mile

Race Distance: 400 miles/ 400 laps

Tune in: NASCAR on FOX at 1 p.m. (ET)

Mooresville, NC (May 30, 2013) - Driving at record speeds each week, JJ Yeley always remembers to buckle up for safety. As we head to Dover International Speedway this weekend, Yeley is asking fans to remember this simple life saving tip.

Yeley will be driving the No. 36 Click It or Ticket Chevy. TBR has partnered with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (DOHS) located in Dover to promote seat belt safety.

Yeley on Dover: “We have an exciting weekend coming up at Dover International Speedway. We’ve teamed up with the Delaware Department of Highway Safety, running a special Click It or Ticket campaign for them. Safety is such a huge aspect of NASCAR and all of racing, I am proud to represent this cause this weekend.”

Yeley’s history at Dover: Yeley has twelve starts at the Monster Mile with an average finish of 34.3.

Yeley by the numbers: Yeley is currently sitting 32nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings.

Did you know? One of JJ’s favorite past time activities is playing golf. He will be participating in the Drive for Autism charity golf tournament.

Tommy Baldwin Racing: Coca-Cola 600 Pre-Race News and Notes

 Event/Date: Coca-Cola 600 – May 26, 2013

Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway (NC)

Track Length: 1.5 mile

Race Distance: 400 laps/600 miles

Tune in: NASCAR on FOX at 5:30 p.m. (ET)

Mooresville, NC (May 22, 2013) - The Coca-Cola 600 is not only a home race for all of NASCAR but it is also the longest race of the season. This weekend’s race is not only a fan favorite, but also one where NASCAR Welcomes Home the Troops. Both Yeley and Blaney will be participating in hosting an honorary guest this weekend as part of the Memorial Day weekend festivities.

Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 36 Chevy is proud to announce that World TradeX has signed on for one more race as an associate sponsor for JJ Yeley. World TradeX is a corporate barter company recently formed by executives with over 40 years of experience. The company’s headquarters is based in Florida, and operates nationwide in over 27 countries worldwide.

Blaney’s history at Charlotte: Blaney has 25 starts at the 1.5 mile track with an average finish of 27.2.

Yeley’s history at Charlotte: Yeley has 10 starts, with an impressive second place finish in 2007. His average finish is 28.5.

Blaney on the 600: "Last weekend was a great opportunity for us to get the No. 7 SANY America Chevy SS ready for this weekend’s race. We learned a lot during the practice session and showdown; we have some good notes and are ready to go for 600 long miles on Sunday afternoon."

Yeley on the 600: "It's been nice being home this week, not just for myself, but for the entire TBR team. These guys at the shop have been working very hard to get the No. 36 Chevy SS ready to go for the Coca-Cola 600. We are also looking forward to having the guys from World TradeX back on the car again this weekend. It’s going to be a long race on Sunday, but we are energized and ready to go!"

Crew Chief/Team Owner Tommy Baldwin on racing in the Coca-Cola 600: "This is a long grueling race for not only the drivers and crew members but for our cars as well. The goal of a solid finish at the end of 600 miles is taking care of your equipment – I know my drivers can do just that."

TBR by the numbers: Heading into the longest race of the 2013 season, Dave Blaney is currently 30th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings while teammate JJ Yeley currently sits 32nd.


Tommy Baldwin Racing: Sprint All-Star Race Pre-Race News and Notes

Event/Date:  All-Star Race, May 18, 2013

Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway (NC)

Track Length: 1.5 mile

Race Distance: 20 lap Shootout 

Tune in: NASCAR on FOX at 7:30 p.m. (ET)

Mooresville, NC (May 16, 2013) - For the Tommy Baldwin Racing teams, racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway means not only a quick drive up the road but a time to race in front of your family, friends and crew members. For drivers Dave Blaney and JJ Yeley this weekend's Sprint All-Star Shootout will offer valuable information towards next week's Coca-Cola 600.

Featuring a unique format, the qualifying event for the All-Star race is comprised of two 20-lap segments with an optional pit stop. The top two finishers will transfer to the All-Star race immediately following the Showdown. In addition, the winner of the fan vote will also transfer.

JJ Yeley, driver of the No. 36 Chevy SS, has added World TradeX as an associate sponsor for the All-Star race weekend. World TradeX is a corporate barter company, recently formed by executives with over 40 years experience of in the industry. Based in Florida, the company's presence is nationwide, and in over 27 countries worldwide.  

Blaney on the All-Star Race: "We are looking forward to the All-Star Race Showdown on Saturday evening. It will be a great opportunity to race for fun without having to worry about points."  

Yeley on the All-Star Race: "I am really excited to have World TradeX joining us this weekend. I am happy to be home for the next two weeks and racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This weekend is all about putting on a show for the fans and having a good times, of course the $1 million would be awesome too. "  

Keep up with TBR: Keep up with the TBR team by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow JJ on Facebook and Twitter.

Yeley Falls Victim to Late Race Crash at Talldega

Date:  May 5, 2013

Event: Aaron's 499 (Race 10 of 36)

Track:  Talladega Superspeedway 

Started/Finished: 43rd/31st

Point Standing: 32nd

Talladega, AL (May 5, 2013) - Golden Corral returned to the hood of JJ Yeley's No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway providing another opportunity for kids to eat free with "JJ's Mondays" if the driver could score a top-10 finish.

The starting lineup was set by the NASCAR rulebook on Saturday after qualifying was rained out. The unfortunate turn of events would force the team to battle back from the 43rd starting position.

That's exactly what Yeley would do from the start of the Aaron's 499, working through the field and quickly obtaining a spot in the top-10 for much of the first half - "JJ's Monday's" was looking like a reality for the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet. It was after the first half that rain caused a near four hour delay and a lot of time to think about strategy for the conclusion of the race.

When the race resumed with 60 laps to go, crew chief Joe Lax brought the car down pit road to grab four tires and fuel and would have to make another charge from the back of the pack. Yeley, an experienced restrictor plate driver, once again sliced his way through the field and was sitting in second when he was caught in a huge multi-car accident on lap 182.

The damage sustained to the Golden Corral Chevy SS was too much to overcome and the team was forced to retire early, finishing in the 31st position.

Despite the outcome, Yeley was optimistic about the team's performance and overall speed of his race car. He believes he had a shot at competing for the victory and was poised to take the lead before the accident occurred.

"My car was really bad on the bottom all day long, so I just stayed to the outside," Yeley said. "Everyone kept getting jammed up in the middle. I could carry a ton of momentum, and pushed the No. 51 (Reagan Smith) to the lead there.

I thought I was going to take the lead myself down the back straightaway. I just kind of stalled out there from a side draft from Reagan, and the No. 17 (Ricky Stenhouse) thought he could stick it on the outside there, and there wasn't enough room. He hit me in the right rear, and got me lose, and sent me back across the field. Very disappointing. I definitely thought we had at least a shot at a top-five, but we were definitely going for the win."

Yeley hopes to carry the momentum from a competitive race into Darlington Raceway in the prestigious Southern 500. Yeley has a best finish of 18th at the Speedway and will look to best it when he dances with the "Lady in Black" on Saturday night.


About Tommy Baldwin Racing

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin formed Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) in 2009. Baldwin utilized a declining economy to open a NSCS team with a stringent budget. The team worked to build to full-time competition, and by the 2011 season, the team's third season, TBR competed in every race and locked the No. 36 Chevrolet in the top-35 in NSCS Owner Points. Dave Blaney drove the No. 36 Chevrolet to TBR's highest finish of third in the October 2011 event at Talladega Superspeedway. In 2012 both cars fielded by TBR finished in the top-35 in points.

Based in Mooresville, N.C., TBR will compete in the NSCS in 2013 with NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney driving the No. 7 Chevy SS and JJ Yeley piloting the No. 36. 

JJ Yeley: Talladega Superspeedway Preview


Event/Date: Aaron’s 499 – May 5, 2013

Track: Talladega Superspeedway (AL)

Track Length: 2.66 miles

Race Distance: 188 laps/500.08 miles

Tune in: NASCAR on FOX at 1:00 p.m. (ET)

Mooresville, NC - Heading to the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway, JJ Yeley and the No. 36 team are bringing back the popular Golden Corral paint scheme in hopes of another “Top 10 Kids Eat Free” celebration on Monday.

Yeley’s history at Talladega: In six previous Sprint Cup starts at Talladega, Yeley’s best finish was 11th place in the May race of 2006. His average finish is 25.2.

Yeley on Talladega: “We had a great finish with Golden Corral at Daytona and lots of kids ate free with my Top-10 finish. We are looking to do the same this time around and feed some more kids!”

Yeley by the numbers: Heading into Talladega, Yeley is 32nd in the Sprint Cup points standings.

Did you know?: Yeley is the proud father of Faith Anne, who can often be found at the race track with her daddy.


Yeley Brings Attention to NASCAR Day Under the Lights at Richmond

Date:  April 27, 2013

Event: Toyota Owners 400 (Race 9 of 36)

Track:  Richmond International Raceway

Started/Finished: 39th/32nd

Point Standing: 32nd

Richmond, VA (April 27, 2013) - Heading into Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR), JJ Yeley's No. 36 Chevy SS sported a new paint scheme honoring the upcoming NASCAR Day. On May 17th NASCAR fans and supporters will join in the day of giving back to the community in the best display of teamwork you will ever see. 

Friday's full schedule on track started out with two practice sessions followed up by qualifying. Leaving the grid mid-pack, Yeley's qualifying efforts did not reflect the amount of work the team had put into the car. 

Starting 39th for the Toyota Owners 400, Yeley had his work cut out for him. Throughout the night, pit stops got the best of the No. 36 NASCAR Day Chevy SS. Having to come back down under green flag pit stops for a pass through penalty, Yeley was several laps down late in the race. A late race caution set up for a green-white-checkered finish and drivers scrambling on the restart.

Making in through the craziness, Yeley crossed the finish line in 32nd.

"It was a tough night for the No. 36 NASCAR Day Chevy," Yeley commented. "I am so proud to support a cause like the NASCAR Foundation and NASCAR Day and I hope to hear that all my fans get involved on May 17th."

Currently JJ Yeley is 32nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings. Next weekend the team heads to Talladega Super Speedway for an action packed weekend.

Tommy Baldwin Racing Joins NASCAR Day Celebrations at Richmond

Mooresville, NC - Tommy Baldwin Racing's JJ Yeley joins The NASCAR Foundation as the industry celebrates the 10th Annual NASCAR Day on Friday, May 17.  Yeley is running a special 'NASCAR Day' paint scheme on his #36 Chevrolet SS in Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

For the first time, The Foundation will launch a "Ten Days of Giving" tour, beginning May 8, which will include philanthropic activities in Atlanta, Ga., Charlotte, N.C., Winston-Salem, N.C.; Brooklyn, Mich.; Darlington, S.C.; Kansas City, Kan.; New York, N.Y.; and Daytona Beach, Fla.      

Camping World, the Official Outdoor and RV Retailer of NASCAR, has joined the cause this year and will make available the limited-edition NASCAR Day pin, designed by NASCAR's first officially licensed artist Sam Bass, until May 17 at Camping World SuperCenters nationwide for a $10 donation to The NASCAR Foundation. Visit CampingWorld.com/stores to find a location near you.

NASCAR fans and supporters also can pick up their collectible pins at tracks during select race weekends or online at NASCAR.com/foundation. Fans and supporters are encouraged to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag: #NASCARDay.


About 140 BUZZ

140 BUZZ, owned by NASCAR notable Mike Calinoff, is a dynamic social influence and public relations firm addressing the needs of clients through visibility tactics including social influence, SEO, public relations, branding, integrated and digital marketing.

The company's name is derived from the micro-blogging protocol of 140 characters and the "buzz" they create for clients. Visit 140 BUZZ on Facebook, Twitter, and its website.

JJ Yeley Plays "Shoe Fairy" at Kansas City Area Children Hospital

Kansas City, MO - Bright and early Friday morning, JJ Yeley arrived at Kansas City's Children's Mercy Hospital to play the role of "shoe fairy" for three families of seriously ill children. While most drivers were still in their motor coaches enjoying a quiet morning, Yeley was spending time with three children who each received a hand painted pair of Converse sneakers as part of his work with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in conjunction with Peach's Neet Feet.

The morning started off with JJ getting to meet with each of the children, Hudson (2), Madison (5), and Avery (8), as well as their families. He sat down and drew pictures with the kids and got to know a little bit about each one. When speaking with the families Yeley gave words of encouragement and hope to each, "I couldn't imagine having to go through what you do every day as a parent. My heart and hope is with each of you that you continue the good fight and hang in there, and hopefully good things will be coming your way soon."

Afterwards, Yeley presented each child with a hand painted pair of Converse. The smiles on their faces were priceless. Yeley commented, "It is such a great feeling seeing the smiles on their faces. To be able to come out here and give them a pair of shoes that brings them happiness means a lot to me, as well as their families."

Children's Mercy Hospital is located in the heart of Kansas City, MO. The hospital is one of the most prestigious children's hospitals in the country and the first in the state to earn the award for excellence in patient care by the American Nurses Credentialing Centers. With over 700 medical staff and specialists on hand, Children's Mercy is a top of the line care facility for children and young adults.

JJ's ongoing involvement with the Random Acts of Kindness organization brought him to a new opportunity with Peach's Neet Feet (PNF). PNF is a non-profit organization that started in 2011, and has continued to grow over the past two years. The organization is best known for their hand painted shoes that are given to children with disabilities or fighting a serious illness. PNF has given away hundreds of "one of a kind" shoes that continue to put a smile on a child's face daily.

Kansas City was just the first stop for JJ Yeley. Throughout the remainder of the NASCAR season, Yeley will be visiting several other Children's Hospitals and playing "shoe fairy." Make sure you check out Tommy Baldwin Racing's Twitter and Facebook page for more pictures and upcoming events.

Broken Drive Shaft Leaves Yeley with 35th Place Finish

Date:  April 21, 2013

Event: STP 400 (Race 8 of 36)

Track:  Kansas Speedway

Started/Finished: 40th/35th

Point Standing: 30th 

Kansas City, KS (April 21, 2013) - JJ Yeley's weekend in Kansas started off by playing "shoe fairy" at Kansas City's Children's Mercy Hospital as part of his work with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Partnering with Peach's Neet Feet, he gave away three pairs of hand painted shoes to children who have been diagnosed with a serious illness.  

Getting down to business at Kansas Speedway, Yeley and the No. 36 Accell Construction team had one morning practice prior to qualifying for Sunday's race. Yeley qualified for the STP 400 in 40th position. This gave the team an opportunity to make adjustments to the car before Saturday's two rounds of practice.

Rolling off the track Sunday afternoon, Yeley and the Accell Construction Chevy SS were ready to go. He began his climb to the front, avoiding single car cautions, and making a steady gain in positions. However, on Lap 145, bad luck struck, and the drive shaft broke. Pulling the car into the garage the team went to work swapping out parts to try and get the car back out onto the track. With 51 laps down, Yeley returned to the race, and managed to finish the race in 35th. 

"Bad luck again this weekend for the No. 36 Accell Construction Chevy." Yeley commented, "We broke a drive shaft half way through the race, but I'm proud of the hard work these guys put into the car to get me back out to finish and gain a couple positions. Tough break, but we'll head back to the shop and get ready for next week."

Tommy Baldwin Racing is heading up to Richmond International Raceway next weekend for some night racing. Currently JJ Yeley is 30th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Points, 188 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

Yeley Ends Circus Ride Early

Date: April 13, 2013
Event: NRA 500 (Race 7 of 36)
Track: Texas Motor Speedway Speedway
Started/Finished: 36th/39th
Point Standing: 29th, 155 points behind Jimmie Johnson 

(Fort Worth, TX) - JJ Yeley's weekend to Wild Asphalt Circus started out on Friday morning at Texas Motor Speedway, when the crew unloaded the No. 36 Accell Construction Chevy SS. Immediately the crew went to work getting the prepared for a full weekend of racing.

Qualifying 36th, Yeley's crew went to work making adjustments to the car, getting ready for some night racing. Coming into the weekend with an Earnhardt Childress Racing (ECR) engine, the team had some power behind the wheel.

From the drop of the green flag, the No. 36 Accell Construction Chevy was not handling as well as the team had wished. The car was loose coming off the turns, and caused Yeley to go laps down early on. Through pit strategy and several cautions, Yeley gained back some laps, and started to climb in the position. However, on lap 300, the right rear axle broke, leaving the team to be finished for the remainder of the race. Yeley ended the race in 39th position. 

"Tough break this weekend for the No. 36 Accell Construction Chevy and Tommy Baldwin Racing," Yeley said. "We'll pack up and head back to the shop and get ready for Kansas, where we can hopefully pick up some positions in the points that we lost this weekend." 

JJ Yeley finished the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway NRA 500 in 39th. He is currently 155 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson in the race for the Sprint Cup Championship. Next weekend the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 36 Accell Construction Chevy heads to Kansas Motor Speedway.

JJ Yeley: Texas Motor Speedway Preview Pre-Race News and Notes

NRA 500 - Texas Motor SpeedwayEvent/Date:  NRA 500 - April 13, 2013

Track: Texas Motor Speedway

Track Length: 1.5 mile

Race Distance: 334 laps/500.5 miles

Tune in: NASCAR on FOX at 7:00 p.m. (ET)

JJ Yeley and the No. 36 Accell Construction Chevy SS team are heading to the circus this weekend, there will be no lions or elephants but instead the roar of 43 stock cars under the big top at Texas Motor Speedway.

Accell Construction is running a limited Primary sponsorship with Yeley and Tommy Baldwin Racing. This is Accell's third race with TBR out of seven.

Yeley's history at Texas: Yeley has 9 starts at the mile and a half oval in Texas. His average finish is 35.1

Yeley on Texas: "I love racing at Texas Motor Speedway - there is nothing not to love about this track and the show that Eddie Gossage puts on. As we head into Texas we are hoping to gain some positions in the points this weekend with a solid finish. We have a good car for this weekend and I'm glad to be back racing on the mile and a half tracks."

Crew Chief Joe Lax on TMS: "We are happy to be going back to Texas. We have a great car for this weekend, so we are hoping for a solid finish and a climb in the points."

Yeley by the numbers: Heading into Texas, JJ Yeley is 27th in the points standings. He is 122 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson.

Did you know?: JJ currently holds the title for Most Single Season wins in the USAC series. JJ won 24 races, beating racing legend A.J. Foyt with 19 wins.

JJ Yeley Fights the Half-Mile at Martinsville

Date: April 7, 2013

Event: STP Gas Booster 500 (Race 6 of 36)

Track: Martinsville (VA) Speedway

Started/Finished: 37th/27th

Points Standing: 27th, 122 points behind new leader Jimmie Johnson

Heading to Martinsville Speedway after two weeks off, JJ Yeley and the No. 36 United Mining Equipment team were ready for a weekend packed full of action.

The keys to racing at Martinsville is preservation of your tires and brakes – both are areas that Yeley excels in. Knowing that the paperclip shaped track is famous for its beating and banging, Yeley and crew chief Joe Lax had a strategy to make it to the end unscathed.

Starting the race 37th, Yeley’s first order of business was to move up and try to avoid the accidents that the half mile was notorious for. Going laps down early in the race, Yeley continued to fight. Half way through, several quick cautions came out, allowing Yeley to get a lap back and make changes to the car.

Still fighting to the end, Yeley ended the race finishing 27th. Crew Chief, Joe Lax had nothing but positive things to say to the team afterwards. “You guys continue to fight every weekend, and that’s all I can ask for. We did a great job today boys. Let’s pack up, head home, and try again next weekend. Thank you for all you do.”

JJ Yeley finished the weekend at Martinsville Speedway’s STP Gas Booster 500 in 27th. He is currently 122 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson in the race for the Sprint Cup Championship. This week the TBR teams head to the circus, the Wild Asphalt Circus at Texas Motor Speedway.


JJ Yeley and Peach's Neet Feet Team Up to Pay it Forward with Awesome Kicks


Peach's Neet FeetNASCAR Sprint Cup driver JJ Yeley will play "Shoe Fairy" for grass-root non-profit, Peach's Neet Feet. After challenging NASCAR fans to perform at least one "Random Act of Kindness" per week, for the entire 2013 NASCAR season, JJ Yeley, driver of the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy, hits the pavement to live by example.

JJ will make stops at children's hospitals while traveling across the country to NASCAR races. There he will deliver personalized, painted shoes to children that are fighting cancer, long-term illnesses, and lifelong disabilities. Will you join JJ Yeley and Peach's Neet Feet and accept the challenge to spread kindness, one person at a time?

With the web of caring individuals growing, through partnerships such as this, children and families are supported, strengthened, and encouraged during what may be the hardest times in their lives.

Peach's Neet Feet donates custom, hand-painted shoes to children living with disabilities and fighting cancer and other serious illnesses. Every shoe is customized to complement each child's life, interest, and courageous fight. These personalized, one of a kind gifts, lift the spirits of these fighter children and their families.


If you'd like more information about what JJ Yeley and Peach's Neet Feet are doing to Pay it Forward through these Random Acts of Kindness, please contact Bob Chasse at 386.566.8754 or bob.chasse@genuine-partners.com. You may also contact Annie Smith at 505.486.9299 or anniepnf@gmail.com. You can also visit their site here.

Yeley Fights to the Finish at Auto Club Speedway

Date:  March 24, 2013
Event:   Auto Club 400 (Race 5 of 36)
Track:  Auto Club Speedway
Started/Finished:  37th/27th
Point Standing:  26th, 107 points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.

JJ Yeley's weekend to the Golden State started off great, adding on an additional race with sponsor Accell Construction Inc. Prior to the weekend Yeley was still in search of sponsorship for the weekend, however, impressed with the team and driver, Accell added on early in the week.

After arriving to the track, JJ Yeley and the No. 36 Accell Construction Chevy SS, got down to business with practice, followed by qualifying. Yeley came out of qualifying in 37th position. Knowing that clean air and great pit strategy was a must coming into Sunday, JJ and the TBR team had their work cut out for them.

At the start of the Auto Club 400, Yeley battled the track conditions and working to dial in the handling of the No. 36 car. Going a lap down early in the race, the team fought to get back on the lead lap. After green flag pit stops, and several single car cautions, Yeley took the wave around on lap 121, with 79 laps to go. The No. 36 Accell Construction Chevy SS escaped the wild ending to the Auto Club 400, finishing 27th. Yeley's fight to the end paid off, moving him up one more position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship standings to 26th.

Crew Chief, Joe Lax, continued to give nothing but encouragement for the future. "Another tough break this weekend boys, but our hard work and determination will pay off. We may not have gotten the finish that we liked, but were moving up in the points standing. Good things are coming ahead."

"I am so proud of my Accell Construction race team. It was a battle, Auto Club Speedway is a tough track but the Tommy Baldwin Racing team showed improvements and again... never gave up," Yeley said. "I am thankful for the off weekend and getting to spend the Easter weekend with my beautiful family but Martinsville can't come soon enough!"  

JJ Yeley finished the weekend at Auto Club Speedway's Auto Club 400 in 27th. He is currently 107 points behind leader Dale Earnhardt Jr in the race for the Sprint Cup Championship. In two weeks the entire Tommy Baldwin Racing Team is off to Martinsville, where "tempers fly" and "bumping and banging" are common scenes. Let's hope the fight to the finish pays off for the entire Tommy Baldwin Racing organization!

Accell Construction Adds to Schedule with JJ Yeley and the No. 36 TBR Team

Pre-Race News and Notes 

Event/Date:  Auto Club 400 - March 24, 2013
Track: Auto Club Speedway
Track Length: 2 mile
Race Distance: 200 laps/400 miles
Tune in: NASCAR on FOX at 2:30 p.m. (ET)

JJ Yeley and the No. 36 Chevy SS find a familiar sponsor coming back on board for this weekend's Auto Club 400 in Fontana, California. Encouraged by the progress of the 2013 season, Accell Construction Inc. found it a perfect fit to join on for another race this season.

Accell Construction - Accell Construction adorned the hood of the No. 36 Chevrolet SS at Phoenix and Vegas this season and will return again at Auto Club Speedway. The 20-year-old company also partnered with TBR during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Continuing to see an increase in interest of the company, Accell Construction continues to expand their relationship with the TBR team. When asked about his involvement with the team, owner Steve Todhunter commented, "Accell Construction, Inc. is very happy to sponsor the TBR No. 36 with JJ Yeley driving at Fontana. Accell is proud to represent the Pipeline Terminal Construction Industry in the NASCAR world."

Yeley's history at Fontana: Yeley has a total of 10 starts at Fontana's Auto Club Speedway with his best finish being an 8th place finish in 2006. Yeley's average finish at Fontana is 29.6. 

Yeley on Fontana: "I am ready to head out to sunny California and get back to work," Yeley said. "Bristol was a challenge last week but my team never gave up and that is the motto of the Tommy Baldwin Racing team."

Crew Chief Joe Lax on Fontana: "These guys on the No. 36 TBR team give it all they have each and every week. Coming to Fontana we will continue to work hard, knowing the pay off is just right around the corner."

Yeley by the numbers: Heading into Fontana, JJ Yeley is 27th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, 91 points behind leader Brad Keslowski.

Did you know?: Last week's "Bristol Shake" featured Yeley's wife and daughter, making it one of the Most Memorable Drive Introductions in NASCAR. In case you missed it, click here.

Keep up with TBR: Keep up with the TBR team by following us on Twitter and Facebook

About Tommy Baldwin Racing

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin formed Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) in 2009. Baldwin utilized a declining economy to open a NSCS team with a stringent budget. The team worked to build to full-time competition, and by the 2011 season, the team's third season, TBR competed in every race and locked the No. 36 Chevrolet in the top-35 in NSCS Owner Points. Dave Blaney drove the No. 36 Chevrolet to TBR's highest finish of third in the October 2011 event at Talladega Superspeedway. In 2012 both cars fielded by TBR finished in the top-35 in points.

Based in Mooresville, N.C., TBR will compete in the NSCS in 2013 with NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney driving the No. 7 Chevy SS and JJ Yeley piloting the No. 36. 

For more information on Tommy Baldwin Racing, please visit them on Facebook,Twitter or their website.

Faith on the Frontstretch: JJ Yeley challenges NASCAR fans to perform random acts of kindness

"...and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1b

You've probably heard of a "random act of kindness." It's when you do something nice for someone for no specific reason, just because. The recipient of your kindness can be someone you know or a total stranger.

NASCAR driver JJ Yeley is partnering with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation to issue a challenge to race fans. Yeley drives the No. 36 Sprint Cup car for Tommy Baldwin Racing and there are 36 races in a season. So he wants race fans to perform a random act of kindness each week of the 2013 NASCAR season. He calls it "JJ's 36/36 RAK."

"I am really proud to partner with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation as we work together to achieve their mission of giving back to others," Yeley said. "NASCAR and its fans are always such a giving community; I am looking forward to see what creative things they come up with for my 36/36 RAK. Stay tuned to see what I have planned as well. I am giving back right along with everyone else."

The word random means haphazard, arbitrary or not in any kind of pattern. Oftentimes a fleeting situation provides the opportunity for you to perform a RAK. If the person ahead of you at the checkout is a couple dollars short, you can make up the difference. Or, on a whim, you might pick up the tab for the guy behind you in the coffee shop drive-thru.

But some RAKs can be intentional, requiring a bit of preparation. For instance, you might pack knapsacks of toiletries or food to keep in your car, then hand them out to homeless people along a city street. Or you might buy a gift card for a family whose breadwinner has lost his or her job. You can plan RAKs that don't cost a cent, too, such as raking leaves or shoveling snow for someone who isn't able.

We all want to be kind, but it's not easy to do all the time. Sometimes we're tired or frustrated with the day and just want to take care of ourselves. But thankfully we have a grand example of how to be caring, because God showers us with blessings every day.

When we do benevolent deeds, they usually stem from situations that capture our hearts and cause compassion to well up and overflow. It might be a sick or hungry child that tugs at our heartstrings. Or maybe the pain in a neighbor's eyes causes us to pause and reach out.

That initial feeling of compassion and the resulting kind-hearted act both originate from God. They're His love working through us, spilling over onto others. After all, He offers us unending compassion and the ultimate kindness - saving our souls through Jesus.

So, think about what stirs your heart to bring out compassion. If you're not sure, no worries. Visit the RAK website to get a jumpstart from their creative ideas.

JJ Yeley is asking race fans to intentionally do something nice, once a week, for the entire race season. Will you join him in spreading kindness, one person at a time?

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ~ Colossians 3:12

View the Original Article Here

Full Story  | Posted in NASCAR | Sprint Cup

JJ Yeley Survives Bristol Battle

Date:  March 17, 2013
Event:  Food City 500 (Race 4 of 36)
Track:  Bristol Motor Speedway
Started/Finished:  35th/27th
Point Standing:  27th, 91 behind leader Brad Keselowski 

JJ Yeley certainly wins the award for most unique driver introduction at Bristol Motor Speedway after walking out to the Harlem Shake escorted by a dancing banana, a leprechaun, a gorilla and a pair of rabbits. Driver's were asked to pick out a song for introductions, and immediately Yeley had something up his sleeve. Gathering together crew members, friends, his wife, and daughter, Yeley's "Bristol Shake" was definitely the highlight to the start of the race. 

Getting down to business, JJ Yeley and the No. 36 United Mining Equipment (UME) Chevy SS rolled off pit road 35th, for the start of the Food City 500. Dodging several accidents early in the race, Yeley was steadily climbing up the ranks during the first half. After 125 laps, Yeley had moved up to 14th position through great pit stops. The car seemed to be handling great. 

Halfway through the race, the No. 36 UME Chevy SS started to get tight, causing Yeley to struggle with the handling of the car coming out of the turns. On lap 322, Yeley brushed the wall, leaving damage to the side of the car. Under caution, the team changed a track bar adjustment, four tires and gas. The car seemed to be handling a little better, but left Yeley several laps down. 

Crew Chief Joe Lax, gave nothing but encouragement to Yeley all throughout the race. "We came in here with the big boys, let's go out with the big boys." Although luck was not on team No. 36's UME Chevy SS this weekend, Lax took time at the end of the race to thank the entire crew for their continued fight all day. "Thanks for all your help boys. You work hard all week. Tough break this weekend."

"That wasn't the weekend we hoped for but the Tommy Baldwin Racing team showed huge improvements and never gave up," Yeley said. "In the face of adversity, that's all we can ask for. There are better weeks ahead, I know that and the team knows that. We'll fight on!"

JJ Yeley finished the weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway's FoodCity 500 in 27th. He is currently 91 points behind leader Brad Keselowski in the race for the Sprint Cup Championship. Next week, the entire Tommy Baldwin Racing Team is off to California for the Auto Club 400. Hopefully luck will be on their side this time!

Speeding Penalty Sours Las Vegas Experience for JJ Yeley

Date: March 10, 2013

Event: Kobalt Tools 400 (Race 3 of 36)

Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Started/Finished: 35th/36th

Point Standing: 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points, 71 behind leader Jimmie Johnson

Three races into the season and Tommy Baldwin Racing's JJ Yeley is showing that despite adversity, he is a fighter.

After qualifying was rained out on Friday, per the NASCAR rule book, the field was set by 2012 points. Yeley and the Accell Construction Chevrolet SS started the Kobalt Tools 400 in the 35th position and prepared for battle.

At the drop of the green flag the consensus from all drivers was loose handling race cars, Yeley included. Fighting with his car and the set back with positioning, Yeley and crew chief Joe Lax were formulating a plan to get the No. 36 dialed in. Things went off schedule when completing a pit stop at Lap 45 Yeley was assessed a speeding penalty and had to serve a pass thru penalty.

Still fighting the loose handling, Yeley lost several laps throughout the race and ending up taking the checkered flag in 36th position, 8 laps down.

"I'm disappointed in myself for speeding on pit road," Yeley said. "We had a car capable of a better finish than what we got but it was my error. The handling was a battle all day, we kept fighting, and I couldn't be prouder of the TBR team for that. I am really looking forward to Bristol next week."

"JJ felt bad about the speeding penalty, but we race as a team and understand that penalties happen," Lax said. "We made great strides during practice and the race and this week we're off to Bristol — one of JJ's favorite tracks."

About Accell Construction:

Accell Construction, Inc. operates as a full service site civil contractor for the petroleum terminal and bulk storage industries and specializes in tank farm construction, tank foundations and other related site civil construction. Accell Construction's clients know they can expect excellent safety, reliability and top-notch job performance. Accell, whose projects are always in budget and completed early, enjoys a 20-year reputation that is second to none.

Oklahoma based Accell Construction operates civil construction projects in numerous states across the U.S. and has constructed some of the largest petroleum storage facilities built in the U.S. in the last 15 years.

Accell benefits from a team of employees who bring decades of civil experience. The Accell team, many of whom have been with the company since inception, is committed to excellence and safety. All field personnel are also required to be TWIC certified. Accell has a well-known reputation in the petroleum storage industry for performing the highest quality work-always in an expedient, but safe manner.

For more information on Accell Construction, please visit www.accellconstructioninc.com.

About Tommy Baldwin Racing

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Crew Chief Tommy Baldwin formed Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) in 2009. Baldwin utilized a declining economy to open a NSCS team with a stringent budget. The team worked to build to full-time competition, and by the 2011 season, the team's third season, TBR competed in every race and locked the No. 36 Chevrolet in the top-35 in NSCS Owner Points. Dave Blaney drove the No. 36 Chevrolet to TBR's highest finish of third in the October 2011 event at Talladega Superspeedway. In 2012 both cars fielded by TBR finished in the top-35 in points.

Based in Mooresville, N.C., TBR will compete in the NSCS in 2013 with NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney driving the No. 7 Chevy SS and JJ Yeley piloting the No. 36.

For more information on Tommy Baldwin Racing, please visit them on Facebook,Twitter or their website.

Source: 140 BUZZ for Tommy Baldwin Racing, Press Release

Yeley cautiously optimistic after fast start

JJ Yeley Golden Corral

Yeley sits 13th in points entering Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400

LAS VEGAS -- Parked on the far side of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s famous Neon Garage is a fittingly bright spot among the small teams and underdogs.

Driver J.J. Yeley, a former USAC champ who is still doggedly plying his way in the NASCAR establishment, couldn’t be more upbeat about the start of the 2013 Sprint Cup season.

Essentially overlooked in the Daytona 500 history-making "Danica Mania" and Jimmie Johnson triumph, was Yeley’s own super achieving moment -- a 10th-place finish for the small, under-funded, super-committed Tommy Baldwin Racing team. In NASCAR’s biggest race of the year, Yeley bettered six former series champs and seven former 500 winners.

If not for a last-lap move that backfired on him, Yeley might have finished seventh. Either way, he delivered on his car sponsor Golden Corral’s season pledge for kids to eat free on Monday when Yeley earns a top-10 in the four superspeedway races (at Daytona and Talladega). 

"So as a race-car driver I was disappointed because I thought I could have been seventh instead of 10th," Yeley explained. "But it’s been a good start and I know it’s helped the momentum of the team with some of the negotiations with the sponsors we have and with some we’re trying to work on to get some races throughout the year.

"So, so far everything has been really good."

Entering Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas, Yeley (who finished 28th at Phoenix last week) is ranked 13th in the championship standings -- 10 points behind 10th-place Aric Almirola and several positions ahead of preseason favorites Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

To this, Yeley smiles but shakes his head in a cautionary gesture.

"I do (enjoy hearing that), but I know as time goes by they’ll chip away and it’s probably going to reverse," Yeley said. "That’s just reality. But we’re going to continue working hard; we’re not giving up.

"Ultimately in this sport it’s all about consistency. It gives TBR that much more credibility when we perform like this."

And the timing is significant. The introduction of the Generation-6 car has equalized the playing field initially until one organization figures out a competitive advantage. This is when smaller teams stand the best chance of running alongside -- and in front -- of the larger operations.

"As time goes by, the bigger teams will find those little things that make a difference because they have more resources," Yeley said. "There will be a bit more of a separation. But for our team, the first part of the year, this is when we can do our best because it’s a little more of a level playing field."

Unlike NASCAR’s larger uber-teams, a top result for Yeley and TBR teammate Dave Blaney directly translates into improved resources.  

The team started with six employees five years ago and doubled last year’s 25-person payroll to 50 this season. Chevrolet has increased its technical commitment meaning increased time in the wind tunnel and more engineering help.

And while kids across the country were eating free at Golden Corral the day after the Daytona 500, the phones were ringing anew at the team’s North Carolina headquarters.

"Being a small team, obviously we have a lot of advantages the bigger teams don’t," Yeley said. "We can put together small race packages for sponsors that really honestly can’t afford to go to some of the bigger teams.

"There are a lot of companies out there that can see the net worth of NASCAR, it’s just a matter of convincing the people in their company, and it’s been a little more difficult to write a huge check. Because of that I think we can capitalize on a lot of the sponsors that want to come in and enjoy being in the sport but can’t afford to do it on a level that some of the bigger teams do."

"I’ve been on both sides," Yeley continued. "I’ve been with big teams that have really good sponsorship and then I’ve been with small teams that had no sponsors that are just barely being able to survive. Because of that, I have more compassion for the sponsors that can afford to be there and benefit."

As business savvy as Yeley is, however, he knows it all comes down to performance and that’s what encourages him so much about Baldwin’s operation.

A former Cup crew chief who won the 2002 Daytona 500 with driver Ward Burton, Baldwin is a racer first and foremost. And scaling back expectations with his small, new team has been an exercise in patience and persistence.

Despite Yeley’s impressive Daytona performance, the team goals remain modest: top-20 finishes and limited damage to the equipment.

"Top-20s nowadays are like top-10s twenty years ago," Baldwin said. "There’s just so many good cars. Top-20s are a realistic goal and we’d like to finish between 26 and 30th in points this year."

Just saying that aloud, however, is a fundamental mind-shift for the ultra-competitive Baldwin who as a crew chief wasn’t afraid to confront another crew chief on pit road when he felt his team was wronged.

"I get really mad on Sundays," Baldwin said of not being able to challenge for race wins yet.

"It takes a good two hours after the race to pull my racing hat off and put my business hat on and get back the focus on our goals and where we have to be financially and the things we have to be and who we have to take care of.

"I bite my tongue a lot," he said with a smile. "But we’re realists, we understand what we’re doing and what we’re trying to build on and that’s fine. It’s good for us because we’re doing well. We’re attracting a lot of attention on the business side. We have a lot of partners and we have a lot of people we’re talking to.

"I’m a realist I know all this takes time to do it right. We’re just methodically working trying to work our way to get better every year."

Driver Spotlight: JJ Yeley

Get to know NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver JJ Yeley in this week’s edition of MotorRacingNetwork.com’s "Driver Spotlight."

JJ Yeley

When was the first time you knew you wanted to be a racecar driver? 

Yeley: I was probably four or five years old. My dad is a seven-time Midget champion in Arizona. That's all we ever did. I went to my first race when I was two-and-a-half weeks old. It was something I was bred for. I played a little baseball as a kid, but racing is something I've always wanted to do. I enjoyed working on cars and all aspects of it. Now that I'm here, I can't imagine doing anything else. 

When did you take your first checkered flag, at any level? 

Yeley: It would have been in a quarter-midget in South Mountain, about five miles from Phoenix International Raceway, when I was nine. I think I won my first four races in a novice class. I got started in racing in the right way - getting the checkered flag first. I actually started racing a little bit late compared to (when) a lot of kids do today just because of the fact that my dad raced and there wasn’t enough time for me to start my career. 

Who were your racing idols growing up? 

Yeley: Dale Earnhardt Sr. and A.J. Foyt. Both of their records speak for themselves. A.J. was probably the most (idolized), for the versatility he had as a driver. He won in anything there was out there. 

How did you come up with your "Speed Dice" program for qualifying? 

Yeley: It’s a game we actually started a couple years ago just playing as a team, when we were making a lot of qualifying runs with our dice in the trunk and we kind of bet on it. It morphed into something I could do from a social media standpoint, something I can do with all my Facebook and Twitter followers. I have a container and I put it in the car every week. We pick a number and I'll send the winner a prize. This year, it's going to be anything from signed visors to gift cards. Last year, I gave away helmets and uniforms. I try to keep the prizes pretty diverse. It's just another way for me to communicate with my fans. 

What was your first street car? 

Yeley: A yellow 1980 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. It had a 388 (cubic inch) small block. I guess my dad spoiled me as a kid, but it was a cool little hot rod. 

What's your favorite restaurant to visit on the NASCAR schedule? 

Yeley: It would probably be Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth. I normally hit that spot every time we're in Texas. 

What are the top songs or favorite bands on your iPod? 

Yeley: It's a pretty diverse group, but it's usually either Shinedown or Foo Fighters - something that's got a lot of energy to it. 

Outside of racing, what are your favorite hobbies? 

Yeley: I play golf every now and then but only to remind myself why I drive racecars. I'm OK, but I'm not a serious golfer by any means. 

When you get the chance to watch TV, what are your favorite shows? 

Yeley: I have a seven-year-old so I spend a lot of time on the Disney Channel. I don’t get to watch a lot of TV. Usually, I try to catch a movie but if not, I'm sitting there watching SpongeBob or whatever my daughter is watching. 

What's your favorite vacation spot? 

Yeley: Any place I can have a drink in my hand and sit on a beach. If that's on the beautiful North Carolina coastline or Jamaica, Wherever it's warm and I can enjoy a little bit of the ocean. 

You had a big week coming out of Daytona, finishing in the top 10 and winning a free dinner for kids at Golden Corral. What was the reaction like from both the fans and your sponsor after the 10th-place run? 

Yeley: It was fantastic. My first time being in the '36' with Golden Corral sponsorship and being able to do it in the crown jewel of all NASCAR races - the Daytona 500 - was really cool. I know they were super ecstatic. I took my daughter to Golden Corral on Monday, we enjoyed the meal and I guess the most touching thing was that we were sitting there eating and I had three kids come up to me and thank me for their meal. It was cool, knowing that what we accomplished on Sunday allowed a lot of kids to have a nice meal on Monday. 

You recently partnered with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. How did that come about? 

Yeley: I've been doing that for about two years, now - I usually do a "Pay-it-forward Friday." I spend a lot of time trying to do nice things for people. The fact there's an organization that promotes the same thing made a lot of sense, to try and group up to spread awareness and just remind people that sometimes, it's easier to help someone out then it is to just leave them sitting there.

Full Story  | Posted in NASCAR | Sprint Cup

JJ Yeley: Las Vegas Preview Pre-Race News and Notes

Event/Date:  Kobalt Tools 400 - March 3, 2013
Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Track Length: 1.5 mile
Race Distance: 267 laps/400.5 miles
Tune in: NASCAR on FOX at 2:30 p.m. (ET)

Welcome back Accell Construction! JJ Yeley and Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) again sporting the red and black paint scheme of Accell Construction and are looking to put last week's bad race behind them.   

Yeley's history at Las Vegas: Having only competed in five previous races at LVMS, JJ Yeley has a previous finish of 29th with a career best finish of 17th in 2006.

Yeley on Las Vegas: "What I like about Vegas is that you can really race in several grooves. It gives you an opportunity to change your line and look for more speed throughout the race"

Crew Chief Joe Lax on LVMS: "The extra day of testing will really help us. Our focus will be on qualifying and then race practice on Saturday."

Yeley by the numbers: Heading into Las Vegas, JJ Yeley is 13th in the points standings.  

Did you know?: JJ has competed in all three NASCAR National Touring Series, in addition to IndyCar and IROC.

Keep up with TBR: Keep up with the TBR team by following us on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow JJ on Facebook and Twitter.

JJ Yeley's Homecoming Tarnished by Early Race Contact

Date:  March 3, 2013
Event:  Subway Fresh Fit 500k (Race 2 of 36)
Track:  Phoenix International Raceway
Started/Finished:  27th/28th
Point Standing: 13th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points, 40 behind leader Jimmie Johnson

JJ Yeley, driver of the No. 36 Accell Construction Chevrolet SS for Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR), returned to his home track of Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) and was looking to continue the momentum the team built on at Daytona.

As soon as the green flag dropped, Yeley battled a loose-handling car. He and Crew Chief Joe Lax strategized on how to tune up the No. 36 and were communicating well in just their second race together.

At lap 89, Yeley was unexpectedly hit in the left rear quarter panel by the No.10 car. No caution was brought out for that incident but laps later when another caution flew, the Accell Construction pit crew evaluated the damage on the car.

As the laps wound down, Yeley said the car was the best it's been all day. Happy with the handling and on the lead lap, with 20 laps to go Yeley was pushed into the wall by the No. 88. The final caution brought a green-white-checkered finish and unfortunately Yeley ran out of fuel on the final lap. Finishing 28th, Yeley leaves Phoenix 13th in the points.

JJ Yeley Partners with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Mooresville, NC - NASCAR driver JJ Yeley has partnered with the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) to promote giving back to others and then passing the deed along.

RAK's mission is simple: inspire people to practice kindness and to pass it on to others. They also provide free educational and community ideas, guidance and other resources to kindness participants through their website. 

How does Yeley come into play with RAK? Like any good racer, he is issuing a challenge to NASCAR fans. It's simple, with the focus on JJ's number 36. Driving the No. 36 car for Tommy Baldwin Racing and with there being a 36 race schedule, Yeley is recruiting NASCAR fans to join aboard for "JJ's 36/36 RAK." That means in the next 36 weeks, complete 36 random acts of kindness to celebrate Yeley's No. 36. 

Full Story  | Posted in NASCAR | Sprint Cup

Beyond the Cockpit: Daytona 500 Finish Gives Yeley Great Hope For 2013

J.J. Yeley has seen it all during his brief Sprint Cup career. In 2006, he was chosen by Joe Gibbs as the successor to the organization’s famed No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, after the team had parted ways with 2000 champion Bobby Labonte. It seemed like Yeley had a bright career ahead of him, yet just three years later, the Arizona native was out of the sport all together, sidelined with a neck injury suffered in a Sprint Bandits Series race at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas.

The road back has been a long and winding one for the now 36-year-old, who bounced from one team to another trying to find the right fit. If the start of the 2013 season is any indication, he may have found it with Tommy Baldwin Racing. Yeley’s 10th place finish in the Great American Race was his first top 10 since the 2008 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 in New Hampshire. The performance has both driver and team brimming with confidence as they head into the desert this weekend.

I spoke with Yeley this week about his great Daytona run, his thoughts on the last lap Nationwide wreck, his 2013 goals with TBR and earning a free dinner for kids who visited the Golden Corral this past Monday.

Top 10 Finish at Daytona Helps J.J. Yeley Crew Chief Joe Lax Win First MOOG® 'Problem Solver of the Race' Award

Southfield, Michigan, February 27, 2013. Joe Lax, crew chief for J.J. Yeley and the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet SS, captured his first NASCAR® MOOG® "Problem Solver of the Race" Award after the No. 36 team delivered a top 10 finish in Sunday`s season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The prestigious weekly and year-end MOOG "Problem Solver" awards are sponsored by global vehicle components manufacturer Federal-Mogul Corporation (FDML).

The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race Award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest improvement in average lap time during the second half of each Sprint Cup event while finishing on the lead lap. The 36 team, which finished 10th after starting in 41st position, delivered a race-best 0.140-second-per-lap improvement over the final 100 laps at Daytona.

"J.J. and Joe are both new to the 36 team, so this was a great start to their partnership," said Federal-Mogul Motorsports Director Tim Nelson. "J.J. reported that he was a little loose early in the race and Joe nailed it with a track bar adjustment on the second pit stop. From there on out they had a very fast racecar."

The MOOG steering and suspension-equipped 36 car, owned by Tommy Baldwin Racing, consistently ran in the top 15 following Lax`s chassis adjustment. It was Yeley`s highest career finish at Daytona and his best Sprint Cup series performance since 2008.

Kids Eat Free At Golden Corral® Thanks To JJ Yeley's Top 10 Finish At Daytona 500

Golden Corral's Top 10 Kids Eat Free Promotion on Monday, February 25th

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Driver JJ Yeley delivers a Top 10 finish in the Golden Corral No. 36 Chevrolet at today's Daytona 500. That means it's a "JJ's Monday" tomorrow, February 25, at Golden Corral restaurants across the country.

Each time the No. 36 Golden Corral Chevrolet finishes in the top 10 this season, Golden Corral will offer a one day "Kids Eat Free" promotion called "JJ's Mondays" on the Monday immediately following the top-10 race finish. 

Details of the "JJ's Mondays" deal are:

  • Free kids buffet with an adult buffet purchase at regular price 
  • Limit of two (2) free kids meals per adult buffet purchased 

"I'm so excited to finish in the Top 10 today at the Daytona 500. Not only is it a great personal achievement but it also means that we'll have a "JJ's Monday" tomorrow at Golden Corral. I'm proud of our team's accomplishment and excited that kids across the country can eat for free at Golden Corral on Monday," said JJ Yeley. 

"We are thrilled to have our first Top 10 finish at the Daytona 500. We're looking forward to our next opportunity for a Top 10 Kids Eat Free finish at Talladega in May," said Shelley Wolford , Vice President of National Marketing and Media at Golden Corral.

Accell Construction Continues to Build Sponsorship Program With TBR

Mooresville, NC (January 30, 2013) – Accell Construction will be back with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) and the No. 36 Chevrolet SS of JJ Yeley for six races in 2013. This marks the third year that the Oklahoma-based company will partner with TBR, serving as a primary sponsor at both events at Phoenix International Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kansas Speedway.

"Everybody here at TBR is excited to have Accell back for the third year in a row," notes team owner Tommy Baldwin, Jr. "Accell has done a great job to prove that business gets done in the NASCAR garage."

"Tommy and his crew have really stepped up their operation for 2013 and Accell is pleased to be a partner," said President of Accell Construction, Steve Todhunter. "We welcome and wish the best for our new driver JJ Yeley."

United Mining Equipment Stakes Claim in Tommy Baldwin Racing for 2013

Mooresville, NC (January 29, 2013) - Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) is happy to announce that United Mining Equipment (UME) will be a primary sponsor on JJ Yeley’s No. 36 Chevrolet SS for three races in 2013. The Butler, PA-based company will be on board for both races at Bristol Motor Speedway, and the annual summer race at Kentucky Speedway.

United Mining EquipTeam owner Tommy Baldwin, Jr. is happy to bring new sponsors to NASCAR’s top level. "United Mining Equipment tested TBR and NASCAR out at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year and really liked what they saw. By expanding their program this year emphasizes that our program and NASCAR can work for any business category."

"We at United Mining Equipment are huge NASCAR fans," says President and CEO Don Simms. "Partnering with TBR gives us an opportunity to connect with other NASCAR fans within the mining industry."

About United Mining Equipment:

United Mining Equipment (UME) has been developing, repairing and supplying long wall equipment for 20 years. Together with their sister company PittLite they now offer low cost, leading technology cap lamps throughout the mining industry. UME has locations and representatives around the globe to better service the industry.  For more information, go to www.umeinc.com.

Golden Corral will return in 2013 as a primary sponsor on the No. 36 Chevrolet SS

Mooresville, NC (January 28, 2013) - Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) is proud to announce that Golden Corral will return to the organization in 2013 as a primary sponsor on the No. 36 Chevrolet SS to be driven by J.J. Yeley at the four superspeedway races. This will mark the third year that the Raleigh, N.C. based company has been a partner with TBR.

Driving the No. 36 Chevrolet SS will add to an already impressive resume for Yeley. The Phoenix, Arizona native has driven in the Indianapolis 500, won the elusive USAC "Triple Crown," and works tirelessly with several charitable causes across the country.

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