World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series
Yaggy makes progress in open-engine transition
By Joshua JoinerWorld of Outlaws Late Model Series
Returning to racing for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in May, Jorday Yaggy, 23, of Rochester, Minn., jumped back into competition head first with four World of Outlaws Late Model Series events between July 10-18 during the national tour’s annual Wild West Tour. | WoO notebook
Yaggy, a standout among WISSOTA’s spec-engine Late Model division who had entered roughly a dozen open-engine Late Model events prior to the Wild West Tour, performed well in his return to the driver’s seat, making the feature lineup at all four events during the national tour’s annual trek through the upper Midwest.
At Friday’s Wild West Tour finale at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., Yaggy reflected on what he called a learning experience in his transition to Super Late Model competition.
“It’s always fun when you get a chance to go run with these Outlaws guys because you definitely learn a lot at a fast rate,” said Yaggy, who had just one WoO feature start prior to the Wild West Tour. “This open-motor stuff has been an adjustment, but I feel like we’re catching on to it like we need to be. Getting to race with these guys like this really helps.”
Yaggy’s most impressive Wild West Tour performance came during the opening round event July 10 at Hibbing (Minn.) Raceway. In his first competitive laps since his surgery, Yaggy topped 43 qualifiers and won a heat race. But after missing the setup on his family-owned Rocket Chassis, Yaggy faded from his seventh starting spot to a 21st-place finish in the 50-lap feature.
The other three Wild West Tour races followed a similar pattern with Yaggy performing well in prelims only to fade in the main event. His best finish was 15th at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, S.D., on July 15.
Yaggy, who added finishes of 22nd at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., on July 13 and 20 at River Cities, noted that the layoff from his surgery likely affected his main event performances.
“Come feature time, as far as making decisions on what to do to the car, I think I was a little behind because of the time off,” said Yaggy, who underwent the surgery to correct previous injuries related to playing hockey and snowmobiling. “Time-trialing and heat races went pretty good, but we just didn’t keep after it as far making adjustments.
”We had a couple good runs with qualifying and stuff, but we’ve gotta get better at the features because that’s where the money gets paid out. But at least we really learned a lot and have something to build on for the future.”
Yaggy is anxious to apply what he learned on the Wild West Tour as the Outlaws prepare to return to his home region for three upcoming events. Yaggy will join the series for races at Independence (Iowa) Speedway on Thursday and Shawano (Wis.) Speedway on July 29 before tackling the USA Nationals at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., July 31-Aug. 2.
With the Wild West Tour experience under his belt, Yaggy is optimistic about the upcoming events, especially the USA Nationals, where he’ll make his second appearance in Cedar Lake’s $50,000-to-win crown jewel event.
”It’d be really cool to make a big show like that,” said Yaggy, who was hampered by mechanical woes during his first USA Nationals appearance last season. “You get better any time you can run around with these guys, pick their brains and get used to driving at their pace. They bring it every lap every night, so hopefully we can head into Cedar Lake with a little momentum and if things fall our way it’d be really cool to make the show.”