With most of the motorsports world on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve decided to highlight some of the sport’s legends on a daily basis. We begin each story within the pages of National Speed Sport News.
J.J. Yeley is best-known today as a journeyman NASCAR driver, competing sporadically in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series.
But not that long ago, he was a dominant force in short-track, open-wheel racing.
In 2003, Yeley had the best season any USAC driver has ever achieved. Yeley became only the second man (Tony Stewart was the other) to win the USAC Triple Crown, taking all three USAC national titles in the same season.
En route to the midget, sprint car and Silver Crown championships that season, Yeley won 24 features in the three divisions.
Yeley, who also won the USAC sprint car title in 2001, has 28 USAC sprint-car triumphs to go along with 17 midget wins and 15 in the Silver Crown division.
Having started his career racing near his native Arizona, Yeley also owns numerous victories with various West Coast sanctioning bodies.
The son of Arizona racer Jack Yeley, J.J. Yeley competed in the 1998 Indianapolis 500. He continues to make sporadic starts in open-wheel events, including the annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
Yeley, who is 43 years old, has made 294 NASCAR Cup Series starts, including three of the four races run this season.
He also has competed in 332 NASCAR Xfinity Series events and 35 races in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.