Road America: Owen Kelly preview

AUSTRALIAN OWEN KELLY TO MAKE NASCAR DEBUT Owen Kelly becomes the ninth Australian to race in a NASCAR championship division and follows in the footsteps of fellow Tasmanian Marcos Ambrose, who has used his similar background in karting, Formula...

AUSTRALIAN OWEN KELLY TO MAKE NASCAR DEBUT

Owen Kelly becomes the ninth Australian to race in a NASCAR championship division and follows in the footsteps of fellow Tasmanian Marcos Ambrose, who has used his similar background in karting, Formula Ford and V8 Supercars to great effect to claim two Nationwide Series wins at the Watkins Glen road course since moving to NASCAR in 2006. Kelly is the third on the all-time Race Wins tally for the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, the second-tier series for V8 Supercars, just as the Nationwide Series is to NASCAR, with 13 race victories. The 33-year-old has also raced many times in the top-tier V8 Supercar Championship Series, with a best result of third place in the 2005 Sandown 500.

BAKER CURB ENGINEER GARY GROSSENBACHER BRINGS ROAD RACING EXPERIENCE

Gary Grossenbacher, the engineer for Owen Kelly's No. 27, worked with the best known Road Race sports car team in the country, Holbert Racing, from 1986 to 1989. The team competed with the Porsche 962, the most famous race car in its time and for many people still ranks as the most famous and most prestigious sports car of all time. During his time with Holbert Racing the team won 2 IMSA championships and 18 races, including Road America. Grossenbacher was also a part of two 24 hours of Daytona victories.

OWEN KELLY ON MAKING HIS NASCAR DEBUT

"Making my NASCAR debut with Baker Curb Racing, a top-level Nationwide team, is a great opportunity for me. I've ran V8 Supercars for 10 years and they are very similar to the Nationwide cars. Marcos Ambrose also came from V8 Supercars and he's done a pretty good job in NASCAR, especially on the road courses. If I can do half as well as he has it will be a good start for me. I'm not going to set any hefty goals. I want to make sure that I complete all the laps, keep the nose clean and avoid incidents. I think If I can follow that plan and put myself in a position for a top 10 at the end of the day it would be great for my first start in NASCAR."

OWEN KELLY ON ROAD AMERICA

"I've never been on Road America but I've watched a lot of IndyCar races there on television and I've raced at some very similar tracks in Australia. I've spent a lot of time on iRacing over the last few weeks to get acquainted with the layout of Road America. That might sound a little strange, but it is more realistic than you might imagine. It has been very helpful for me to get use to where the corners and curbs are. The course has a lot of right-angle corners, and some very fast stretches. It is similar to Phillip Island in Australia where I have raced a lot."

OWEN KELLY AND DALE JR.

"Marcos Ambrose introduced me to Robert Pressley and I came over and ran a few late model races for Robert. Dale Jr. was in Melbourne for a V8 Supercar race and I ended up having a couple drinks with him. We struck up a friendship and after that, I ended up coming over to Charlotte and running about 60 late model races for Jr. Motorsports. It was really a great experience but with the way the economy has been it didn't turn into anything more because of lack of sponsorship."

-source: bcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Robert Pressley , Marcos Ambrose , Owen Kelly , Phillip Island