Happy New Year!Thursday, January 02, 2014
Posted by: Jim Yates

Happy holidays and Happy New Year to everyone from our home to yours! I hope that this finds you and your family winding down from the Christmas holidays and gearing up for a wonderful 2014 year ahead – I know we are!

It has been a wonderful year for our families with lots of highs, and as there always are…a few lows. During 2013 we have welcomed our third grandchild — Nicolina May Civali — established an awesome 3 car Johnson & Johnson Pro Stock team with the addition of Jeg Coughlin, completed a major renovation project on our warehouse which resulted in finally renting the completed space, "swept the swing" with Johnson & Johnson teammates (Allen winning Denver and Vincent winning Sonoma and Seattle), enjoyed quality time with our kids and grandkids, completed the 2013 season with another championship and runner-up finish (great job team!), had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday, and finally, Toni and I just celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary. Whew! I mean, it doesn't get much better than that right?

So with all of these wonderful things happening you wonder what could have possibly been a low point of our year. Well, other than Toni dealing with a broken arm most of the summer, losing our teammate Vincent to another team for next year, and selling our boat "Finishline," I guess my biggest disappointment came from the phone call I received from AJ when I returned home from Pomona letting me know that they did not need my services with the J&J Racing team any longer. To say that I was devastated was an understatement, but I guess all good things must come to an end.

Having the opportunity to win back-to-back championships with a first class team has been awesome and I have loved every minute that I have been involved with everyone from Mopar, Roy and the guys in the engine shop, Jeg, Vincent, Allen, Pam, Revonda and of course all the guys on all three teams. I have been able to establish many new friendships and that is something that is very important to me. Of course we all know that for every door that closes another door opens and once again I am ready to see what lies behind that next door.

So moving into 2014 is a little different for me this year, but I am excited about what my future will bring. In the meantime I am talking to several other Pro Stock teams, catching up on my "projects" around the shop, working with my tenants to keep improvements continuing with my warehouse and of course spending as much time with my grandkids as I can.

Speaking of my grandkids – we have been able to celebrate Ryan's 5th birthday in October, Maia just turned 3 two days ago and little Nicolina will be 1 in February! They grow up so fast and Toni and I enjoy them every minute that we can.

Well, I am hoping that I am not too late getting this blog in… you may be reading this next year but I wanted to make sure that I said thanks to everyone for following along with our blogs this year and helping me, my family, and Team Mopar enjoy a very successful couple of years – without all of the fans in our sport none of us would be where we are today and for that I am so grateful to all of you! So as you get ready to ring in the New Year I hope that 2014 is a year that is: wonderful, life-changing, spectacular, fantastic, thrilling, purposeful, unbelievably happy and most especially – blessed!

From our home to yours – May your Christmas lights always be green, your quarter-mile safe, your ET's fast and your win lights endless! Happy New Year!