The Jack Daniel's Racing pair of Rick and Todd Kelly have started the 2014 V8 Supercar season strongly, with both drivers placing their Nissan Altimas within the top ten in the opening two races of the Clipsal 500.
In the first race, Rick Kelly made a strong start, advancing from 14th to fourth position in the middle of the pit stop cycle.
Following his service Rick was running sixth, and held station to the chequered flag holding off the determined advances of Scott McLaughlin.
After starting 17th for race two, Rick made solid forward progress, but lost ground on a mid-race safety car restart. He rebounded strongly to be classified 11th.
The problem came to a head with only four circuits remaining, with the car limping to the finish in 16th place.
In the latter race, Todd lost ground during the pit stops, although a smart race to the finish saw him place ninth.
The combined results from the day see Rick sit seventh in the championship point score, with Todd equal tenth.
To wrap up the Clipsal 500 weekend, the third and final qualifying session commences at 12:00pm ACDT tomorrow, followed by a top-ten shootout, and the 78 lap final race from 3:15pm.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
Race 1- 7th
Race 2- 11th
"I'm really excited to be where we are right now, the Jack Daniel's Racing team have two cars in the top-ten in the points," said Rick Kelly.
"It's very early days, but the exciting thing is that we have potential.
"I didn't do a very good time in qualifying, and we didn't quite have the car setup perfectly, but I was able to jump from 14th to sixth in the first race, and then 17th to 11th in the second.
"Realistically, we really did get screwed by that restart in the second race, the new restart format in my opinion is quite questionable how it works.
"Through no fault of our own, we went from somewhere reasonable and got passed by four cars.
"Regardless, it is what it is, we got pushed back and finished 11th.
"So for us as a team, compared to last year, it's really exciting.
"In the morning, I want to get up, do a good job in qualifying, and then make the most of that in the race."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima
Race 1- 16th
Race 2- 9th
"We lost a heap of ground in the pits (in race two), we lost a lot of track position, and with it being really hard to pass, it was tough," Todd Kelly said.
"Where our car is very strong is through the first sector, but there isn't really anywhere you can pass through there, and where the passing opportunities are we don't quite have the car, so it's something we have to work on.
"It knocked us around today not being able to get that practice session done (after an engine issue), because maybe we're in a place with the car that we wouldn't be if we would have been able to try out what we had planned.
"It makes it hard, you don't really want to make major changes before a race untried, so we were stuck.
"But we'll tune it up for tomorrow, the potential is there with the car, we just need to make the right calls with it."
Jack Daniels Racing