NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Podcast: Yates and West: Pro Stock, nitro veterans talk shop and teaching

14 Apr 2022
Posted by NHRA.com staff
NHRA Insider podcast


Jim Yates and Johnny West join host Brian Lohnes on this episode of the NHRA Insider podcast. The two highly decorated veteran racers have turned their considerable experience into the kind of working knowledge teams desperately need in modern drag racing. For Yates, that is coaching and crew chiefing rookie Pro Stock racer Camrie Caruso, and for West, it is working with a myriad from the biggest to the smallest in the sport in order to help get their programs on track or down the track faster.

Yates talks about a wide range of topics, from how his teaching methods have changed with age, how Pro Stock cars have evolved, and how he is working with this fresh team to turn on win lights during a pressure-packed rookie season. He recounts a famous story from 1994, where he took the legendary Darrell Alderman to the cleaners twice on the starting line, perhaps to the dismay of Chief Starter Buster Couch. A great conversation. 

West talks about his development and engineering of parts on nitro cars, his history in drag racing, and his approach to working with smaller teams to sort their programs out. It is the basic bedrock knowledge of a veteran racer being used to better the cars and thereby the sport. West tells of his astonishment to get the call from the CAPCO Contractors team to work on Billy Torrence's car and how it has been a great experience thus far. 

Two guys who live and breathe drag racing telling their histories. What's better than that?