Christopher Beltram Hernandez (J. J.) Yeley (born October 5, 1976) is a NASCAR driver currently not signed with a team. He formerly drove #96 the Texas Instruments/DPL for Hall of Fame Racing Toyota but was released on August 5, 2008. He is currently recovering from injuries occurred during a sprint car race in July 2009.
Yeley initially made a mark for himself in the world of auto racing when he took the Hoosier state by storm during the 1997 edition of Indiana Sprintweek. He won that series and captured the USAC National Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year Award despite only starting a minuscule amount of races.
In 1998, he took on the challenge of competing in the Indy Racing League. Yeley competed in four races with one top-10 finish to his credit. The top-10 placing he earned was at the 82nd running of the Indianapolis 500 where he finished 9th despite a spin on the first turn of the first lap, which nearly collected eventual race winner Eddie Cheever, Jr.
Yeley returned to the IRL in 2000 in an underfunded effort with McCormack Motorsports, but ultimately returned to the more friendlier confines of USAC racing.
Yeley picked up right where he left off, winning the 2001 and 2003 National Sprint, the 2002 and 2003 Silver Crown, and 2003 National Midget Series titles.
He picked up the championship in all three of USAC's top divisions, becoming only the second driver to ever accomplish the feat in a single season. Tony Stewart was the first to pull off the "Triple Crown" in 1995.
Ironically, Tony Stewart was the owner of the Sprint and Silver Crown cars that Yeley used to win the championship with. The midget that Yeley piloted in 2003 (Steve Lewis #9) was also the same car owner Stewart won the midget title for in his own "Triple Crown" year.
Yeley also signed to the same team that Tony Stewart is employed with (Joe Gibbs Racing). In 2004 he started 17 of 34 races in the NASCAR Busch Series. He had 4 Top-10 finishes. He raced in two NEXTEL Cup races in the #11 car. He also competed in the IROC series.
In 2005 he got to qualify Stewart's car when Stewart was injured. He also finished out the last four races of the season in the #11 car after Jason Leffler parted ways with Joe Gibbs Racing.
In 2006, Yeley moved full-time into both the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series. He pilots the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs racing in the Nextel Cup series, as well as the #18 Vigoro / Home Depot Chevrolet in the Busch Series. A quarter through the 2006 season, Yeley's best NEXTEL Cup finish came at California Speedway where he finished 5th, and his best Busch finish was June 17 at Kentucky Speedway. His contcract is up a the end of 2007 he will be relaced by Kyle Busch reportedly due to his poor performance. He now drives the #98 DLP HDTV Toyota for Hall of Fame Racing, replacing Tony Raines.