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Tue, 25 Sep 2001, 12:43 PM

Jim Yates Medical Update
Courtesy of David Ferroni

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- NHRA Pro Stock driver Jim Yates underwent a coronary angiogram today at Regional Medical Center in Memphis, where he has been hospitalized since Saturday. The angiogram revealed that one artery behind the heart muscle was blocked with plaque. The procedure was followed with a successfully performed artery-cleaning angioplasty.

Yates, 48, became ill on Saturday afternoon after he qualified his SplitFire/PEAK Pontiac No. 1 at the NHRA AutoZone Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. He was taken to Regional Medical Center where he underwent tests to determine the source of the illness.

Yates is expected to a have a full recovery and is tentatively scheduled to be released from the hospital Wednesday. No decision has been made when Jim will return to competition. Yates' wife Toni said, "Right now we're thankful that Jim's problem has been diagnosed and he, along with the rest of the family, are looking forward to a full and quick recovery. He's a racer and wants to compete as soon as possible. We'll just take it one day at a time."

Yates, a two-time NHRA Winston champion (1996 & 1997), is currently in second place in the Pro Stock season standings. The Alexandria, Va. driver trails Warren Johnson by 76 points or four rounds of competition. There are five races and 20 rounds of competition remaining.

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