Kristen Yeley, the “better half” of NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley, held off the field to win the 4th annual Better Half Dash race Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race was supposed to be a 25-lap event but was shortened due to time constraints after a caution-filled event, ending with a green-white-checkered finish after eight laps.
“It feels pretty good,” said Yeley. “I’ve been doing this for four years, so it is really special. The foundation I am racing for is really close to me heart. My dear friend lost a child this past May and my girlfriend started the foundation to raise awareness for organ donation for children.”
The “better halves” were thrilled to learn they had raised nearly $70,000 for charities including Motor Racing Outreach, Speedway Children’s Charities and a charity of the winning driver’s choice.
Heidi Stoddard, wife of NASCAR team owner Frankie Stoddard, finished second, and Melanie Self of Motor Racing Outreach was third.
“I made a promise to Sherry Pollex and Shawna Robinson that I would see them in Victory Circle,” said Self. “This was for these ladies who are fighting cancer.”
Rounding out the top five were Ashton Bayne (wife of Trevor Bayne) and Adriene Pattie (wife of crew chief Brian Pattie).
Bayne started from the pole by virtue of her having the highest donation total, but she slipped to second when Yeley overtook her on lap four. Bayne was charging hard to retake the lead late in the race when she spun, relegating her to fourth.
The remaining competitors finished as follows: Jenna Robinson (sixth), Jordan Fish (seventh), Karlee Hensley (eighth), Ashley Allgaier (ninth), Ashley Stremme (tenth) and Amy Reimann (11th).