Before superstar JJ Yeley made strides on NASCAR's superspeedways, he electrified crowds at short tracks in the famed Nine Racing midget. In 2003, JJ was the USAC National Midget Series Champion, and during his career with the team he accumulated 14 wins, beginning on September 27, 2001, at Eldora Speedway. In 2002 he won at Hawkeye Downs Speedway, Fremont Speedway, Eldora Speedway, and Tri-City Speedway. He was victorious six times in 2003 with wins at Stockton 99 Speedway, Madera Speedway, Hawkeye Downs, Lawrenceburg Speedway, Kokomo Speedway, and Belleville High Banks. Also in 2003, JJ became the second driver in history to win the Triple Crown in the same season by winning all three USAC open wheel divisions. The other driver, Tony Stewart, won the Triple Crown in 1995, while also driving for Nine Racing. In 2004, JJ scored a win at the Milwaukee Mile, and won the Copper World Classic in both 2004 and 2005 at Phoenix International Raceway.
The son of seven-time Arizona Midget Racing Association and two-time World of Outlaws midget champion "Cactus" Jack Yeley, JJ grew up with the sport and attended his first race at only three weeks old. He began his racing career at age 10, where he competed in the Arizona Quarter Midget Racing Association. With help from a forged birth certificate, JJ started racing midgets at age 14. At 16, JJ became the youngest driver ever to receive a USAC license.
After collecting his first win in 1995 in a non-wing sprint car at Silver Dollar Speedway and becoming the youngest driver in Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) history to do so, he continued his winning ways in SCRA in 1996 and as a USAC rookie in 1997. In 1998, at age 21, JJ made his debut in the IRL IndyCar Series and became the youngest driver (at the time) to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
In 2001, JJ won his first USAC Sprint Car Series championship and in 2002 won a USAC Silver Crown championship. In 2003, JJ reeled off an amazing 24 USAC wins, breaking the single-season record set by racing legend AJ Foyt, who won 19 races in 1961.
The success of the two previous seasons was phenomenal, and Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) took notice. In 2004, JJ was tapped to drive a part-time NASCAR Busch Series schedule for JGR. He competed in 17 races that season, earning four top-10s with a best finish of sixth at Kansas Speedway.
In November 2005, JJ was selected to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet full time beginning with the 2006 Cup season. JJ competed in 36 Cup races during his rookie year, notching two season-best eighth-place finishes. JJ continues his driving career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
Nine Racing Stats
2005: Copper World Classic Midget Champion at Phoenix International Raceway
2004: Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Milwaukee Mile Copper World Classic Midget Champion at Phoenix International Raceway
2003: USAC National Midget Series Champion Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Belleville High Banks Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Kokomo Speedway Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Lawrenceburg Speedway Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Hawkeye Downs Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Madera Speedway Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Stockton 99 Speedway
2002: Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Tri-City Speedway Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Eldora Speedway Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Fremont Speedway Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Hawkeye Downs Speedway
2001: Won USAC National Midget Series Event at Eldora Speedway