RICK KELLY SCORES SEVENTH AT SANDOWN
Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly has scored a seventh place finish in the first race of the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge at Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne, Victoria today.
Rick Kelly scored his 14th top 10 finish for the season in today's race, which was shortened after a lengthy red flag stoppage and subsequent restart.
It was a day of great pace for both Jack Daniel's Commodores, with Rick Kelly third fastest in qualifying earlier today and brother Todd Kelly just behind in sixth place.
But in the Top 10 Shootout both Jack Daniel's Racing drivers made minor errors, putting them on ninth and 10th place on the grid.
Starting from 10th, Todd Kelly was pushed wide at the start of the race, his off-track excursion slightly damaging his steering.
At the red flag stoppage the Jack Daniel's Racing crew was able to replace Kelly's punctured left rear tyre, damaged in the Turn 1 scuffle, allowing Kelly to power on.
Suffering from understeer with his realigned front-end geometry, Kelly finished in 11th position aboard the #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore.
Paul Dumbrell claimed his first V8 Supercars Championship Series win at Sandown today ahead of Jamie Whincup and Mark Winterbottom.
Jack Daniel's Racing and Kelly Racing congratulates Dumbrell on his maiden win. Dumbrell raced as Rick Kelly's team-mate in 2008 in a team owned by the Kelly family, is a friend of Rick Kelly and is also a sponsor of Jack Daniel's Racing through company Autopro. Dumbrell was also a Jack Daniel's Racing driver in 2006, the company's first season in V8 Supercars.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD:
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"I actually got off the line pretty well at the first start so it was a bit of a bummer to see the red flag for the restart," said Rick Kelly.
"It was an interesting race and the Jack Daniel's Commodore was actually quite good and we had good pace compared to the others.
"But I was stuck behind Will (Davison) for a long time and that cost us some track position and also a little bit of tyre life as well.
"Once we got past him we snuck away quite well but it was just too little, too late to get the guys in front.
"What we can learn from today is that I need to avoid making a few little mistakes because I clipped the fence late in the race, which was a bit of a rookie error, and I did a terrible job in the Top 10 Shootout as well.
"Sunday qualifying is generally the highlight of the weekend for us. We always do a good job in that so we look forward to tomorrow to do a better job in qualifying and then finish a lot higher.
"We have got really good car pace, we just need to finish higher up the grid in qualifying."
RICK KELLY comment on friend and former team-mate Paul Dumbrell's first V8 win
"That was an unbelievable performance from PD," said Rick Kelly.
"The guy is superman at the moment, with running his company, doing Ironman and now he's kicking everyone's arse on the track - everyone's arse, hands down.
"He has done an unreal job. He was unlucky not to get pole this morning and now he's got a race win. It's unreal.
"He deserves that win and he's deserved it for a long time. He is driving great and it's our job to try and catch him now."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
"It was just a big battle the whole time for us today," said Todd Kelly.
"I used the track, the kerbs, the grass and nearly the fence a couple of times, trying to get around and end up somewhere near the front.
"We just didn't have the pace in the race in the Jack Daniel's Commodore so it was a pretty big battle the whole afternoon.
"It was a bit frustrating seeing the pace of the guys just in front but we will go away tonight and figure out what to do tomorrow because that is not where we want to be.
"At the first start we were run wide and the steering was knocked around after I ran wide and had to fly over the bumps on the exit of Turn 1.
"It hurt us in all the battles I had throughout the race because we had bad understeer, which is really bad around here because it hurts your run onto the two long straights. It was quite bad to it really hurt our tyres towards the end of the race.
"We had great qualifying pace but not the best race, so we will look to bounce back tomorrow."
-source: kelly racing