TODD KELLY CHARGES TO SIXTH AS TOP HOLDEN IN QUEENSLAND Jack Daniel's Racing driver Todd Kelly has charged up the order late in the race to grab sixth place in the opening race of the Queensland House and Land.com 300 at Queensland Raceway near...
TODD KELLY CHARGES TO SIXTH AS TOP HOLDEN IN QUEENSLAND
Jack Daniel's Racing driver Todd Kelly has charged up the order late in the race to grab sixth place in the opening race of the Queensland House and Land.com 300 at Queensland Raceway near Ipswich today.
The finish made him the highest placed Holden Commodore in today's race and lifted his one spot in the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship standings into 18th place after 15 races.
Jack Daniel's Racing has now scored 14 top 10 finishes so far this season, with seven top 10 race results each for Todd and Rick Kelly.
Todd Kelly made his fifth Top 10 Shootout appearance for the season earlier in the day, starting today's 33-lap race from 10th position on the grid.
Kelly elected to start the race on his harder Control tyres, switching to four of the softer Sprint tyres at his fuel pit stop on lap 12.
Kelly was able to gradually move up the order, taking advantage of his soft rubber. Had a Safety Car came out in the last third of the race, the gap to the leaders, who started the race on 'softs' and were now of hard tyres, would have evaporated, giving Kelly a real chance at a podium finish.
As it was, Kelly's #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore was still knocking on the door of a top five finish, losing a spot to Fabian Coulthard on the final lap as he attempted to pass Shane Van Gisbergen.
Rick Kelly's day was dashed when he suffered a Watts Linkage failure in the rear end of his #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore in the opening laps of qualifying, putting him out for the session.
The Jack Daniel's Racing crew replaced the component ahead of the race and Rick set about charging from 28th place on the grid to make the best of the day.
Rick Kelly made up eight spots on the first lap in a stirring drive, finishing in 14th place but crucially saving his softer Sprint tyres as well as two brand new sets of the harder Control tyre for Sunday's 65-lap race.
Jamie Whincup won today's opening race of the Queensland House and Land.com 300 at Queensland Raceway ahead of James Courtney and Mark Winterbottom.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"It was looking good there for us," said Todd Kelly.
"I would have liked a Safety Car about two thirds of the way through the race - we would have been laughing with the soft tyres on for the end.
"The Jack Daniel's Commodore was just too hard on its tyres. I drove it extremely smoothly and carefully and only just caught the cars in front, bit by bit, just to try and look after the tyres.
"And even still when I got to those guys, the car's tyres were just toasted by then. It was quite hard to pass plus there was a lot of oil all over the track, which made it a bit harder
"At the end of the day we just didn't have the car speed but it's a good result all the same."
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"We didn't do any qualifying whatsoever so we were unsure of how our Jack Daniel's Commodore was going to go on a good set of tyres," said Rick Kelly.
"I'm really stoked. The crew has given me what I consider to be a bloody good car considering our circumstances.
"To be honest, it was a heap of fun out there. In the first few laps we picked a fair few of them off and that's I guess is when racing is enjoyable.
"We still need to make a few improvements now that we've got a few laps under our belt on good tyres, we will know what to do for tomorrow when we have really good tyres available to us and have the softs still to run as well."