RICK KELLY FINISHES 2010 SEASON ON A HIGH WITH SEVENTH IN SYDNEY
JACK DANIEL'S RACING FINISHES FIFTH IN 2010 TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP...
Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly has finished the 2010 V8 Supercars Championship on a high with seventh place in the final race of the season at the Sydney Telstra 500 today.
The result is Kelly's 17th top 10 finish for the season and his fourth consecutive top 10 finish aboard the #15 Jack Daniel's Commodore.
Kelly finishes the season in eighth place in the Driver's Championship points standings, equalling his points finish of last season.
It was Todd Kelly who led the way earlier today by qualifying in seventh place to give him four top 10 qualifying performances from the last five races.
The driver of the #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore was well inside the top 10 and on his best set of tyres entering the final stint of today's 74-lap race, but a bent steering arm ended his chances.
The Jack Daniel's Racing crew, continually one of the slickest in the V8 Supercars pit lane all season, managed to replace the steering arm and get Todd Kelly back on track to score vital points for not only the Drivers Championship but also the Teams Championship.
Jack Daniel's Racing finishes the season in fifth place in the Teams Championship points standings, beating long established teams such as Stone Brothers Racing, Holden Racing Team, Paul Morris Motorsport and Brad Jones Racing in only the second season of the Kelly Racing operation.
Todd Kelly finishes the season in 18th place in the Drivers Championship points standings, like brother and team-mate Rick, the same position he finished in 2009.
The Jack Daniel's Commodores of Todd and Rick Kelly will be back in action for an official test day with all teams at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney, New South Wales on 29 January 2011.
The first event of the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship is the Yas V8 400 at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE on 10-12 February 2011.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD:
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
On the race ...
"It is a bummer that we didn't get sixth in the championship and we are all a bit disappointed," said Rick Kelly.
"I think sixth, for our second year in the category as a team, would have been a great achievement.
"I think eighth is still pretty respectable. There is only one car in front of us that does not get factory manufacturer funding and that's Lee Holdsworth, and those guys (at GRM) do a great job.
"So I think our team should be pretty happy with that.
"The strategy today really didn't go our way with the Safety Cars but the team did a great job to get my #15 Jack Daniel's Commodore up to seventh and I'm pretty happy with that.
"Today I actually drove better than yesterday. I finished third yesterday and I finished seventh today, so it's quite ironic.
"It's good to finish the year on a high. There are a lot of things that we can improve. It's not like we've finished seventh today and eighth in the championship and we're beat for ideas.
"We've got a lot of things that we could have done a lot better today and I'm pretty excited about how we've got the car working in that last race.
"It's quite a good way, even though it's not the best way, to finish the year."
On the season ...
"We're not going backwards if we've finished in the same spots as last season in the Drivers Championship," said Rick Kelly.
"A few events ago we were stuck for ideas to an extent with the car and a lot of other teams have made big jumps this year.
"So towards the end of the year we've had a lot of good ideas and we've put them on the car and the car has progressed a lot and other teams are starting to come back to us.
"Eighth and 18th in the Drivers Championship is not ideal but we've certainly got great ideas to move forward, which we are very excited about.
"In only our second year as a team we are already in front of the Holden Racing Team as far as the Teams Championship is concerned.
"I think we should be proud of that. Those guys have got funding coming out of their backsides and we are quite a young team and we have beaten them. We should be proud of that."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Holden Commodore
On the race ...
"It's pretty disappointing to not get a good result today," said Todd Kelly.
"We've started to get on top of the car and we were running in the top 10 pretty solidly all weekend in qualifying and the races.
"I was up there looking good for a fifth or sixth place finish quite easily in that race. I just hit the chicane kerbs the same way I have 180-something times before, or however many laps I've done this weekend, and it's just buckled the steering arm. That was the end of our day.
"We are starting to chip away with the car so it was a shame that we could not put a result together."
On the season ...
"A couple of bad events at the start of the year changed our attack for the rest of the year with the amount of stuff we have tried to test at race meetings on my Jack Daniel's Commodore," said Todd Kelly.
"We've sacrificed a bit of stuff to try and move forward with the team and we are starting to put all the pieces together now.
"We've got a huge amount of stuff to try at our test day at the end of the year and hopefully it gets us that last little bit that we are looking for.
"It's all coming together now to have a strong year next year, that's for sure."
-source: kelly racing