RICK KELLY RISES TO SEVENTH IN POINTS AFTER CRAZY SURFERS EVENT Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly has risen to seventh in the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series points standings after a strong comeback drive on the final day of the Nikon...
RICK KELLY RISES TO SEVENTH IN POINTS AFTER CRAZY SURFERS EVENT
Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly has risen to seventh in the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series points standings after a strong comeback drive on the final day of the Nikon SuperGP on the Gold Coast today.
But it could have been so much better for the driver of the #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore around the Surfers Paradise street circuit.
Kelly qualified in third position in qualifying this morning and was running in second place in the opening race of the day when black flagged for a small and intermittent fuel leak.
Rather than continue his challenge for the lead, Kelly was forced to make a second pit stop to fix the problem, ruining any chance he had of securing a podium result or victory.
A fired up Kelly hit the track running in the second race of the day, driving up the order from 20th place on the grid, his finishing result from earlier in the day, to claim ninth place in the final hit-out of the gruelling four-race format.
The performance, which came on arguably the hardest track to pass on the schedule, was enough for Kelly to leapfrog Lee Holdsworth seventh in the series standings with three events and six races remaining.
Todd Kelly endured a trying day aboard the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore.
It all started with a crash at the second chicane early in qualifying, which forced the 2006 Gold Coast event winner to start from 28th position on the grid.
Kelly battled on to collect race finishes of 18th and 15th in the two 34-lap races, now sitting in 17th in the series standings.
Mark Winterbottom won today's second day of the Nikon SuperGP ahead of Garth Tander and James Courtney.
Jack Daniel's Racing will be on the attack in two weeks time at the Island 300 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria, where Todd Kelly collected a qualifying race win for the team at the L&H 500 last month.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
Rick Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"I went better than I expected to be honest (in the second race of the day)," said Rick Kelly.
"It's really hard to pass here and I made a couple of moves that I wouldn't normally make, we managed to pass a couple at the end there.
"We had great car speed but we were stuck behind them. I didn't want to do to Jason Richards today what he did to us yesterday, so I just stayed there.
"I always look at the points. I always like moving forward.
"Today we gained a fair few points and a couple of guys in front had a bad day so we have even moved a little further forward.
"That's good and right now all we want to do is prove that we will be strong next year, to ourselves more than anything.
"Today we did that and this time next year we will have a good car and that means a lot to us. "
On black flag for leaking fuel in Race 20 Part A (Sunday morning):
"At Phillip Island and Bathurst we had awesome pace, good enough to challenge for a win, and obviously we had that here as well," said Rick Kelly.
"Words can't express how disappointed I am to have to drive through the pits for something like that.
"At Townsville I followed Fabian (Coulthard) with fuel pouring out of his car. It's the same situation as what we had there but he was able to complete the race.
"It's happened a couple of times this year but I'm a bit disappointed that in this case we got forced to pull in the pits and it cost us a chance at first or second or third.
"It was a definite podium with the pace we had in the Jack Daniel's Commodore so it's just frustrating and there is nothing we can do about it.
"Whatever they say has to stick and we just have to worry about something else."
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"It was just an incredibly disappointing day for me," said Todd Kelly.
"I really like this track and was hoping to get a good result here, but the track takes no prisoners and today wasn't our day.
"I'm going to put this behind me as soon as possible and look to Phillip Island, because we had a great Jack Daniel's Commodore there last month so all things going well we can challenge for the win there."