RICK KELLY FIFTH IN POINTS AFTER SEVENTH AT WINTON Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly now sits fifth in the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship points standings after seventh place in the sixth race of the season at Winton Motor Raceway in rural...
RICK KELLY FIFTH IN POINTS AFTER SEVENTH AT WINTON
Jack Daniel's Racing driver Rick Kelly now sits fifth in the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship points standings after seventh place in the sixth race of the season at Winton Motor Raceway in rural Victoria today.
A strong and consistent weekend in Winton sees Kelly in the top five in points after what was just the third championship event for the new Kelly Racing operation, which made its debut on the streets of Adelaide in March.
After six races this season, Kelly has scored a top 10 finish in all but one race in this year's championship and lies fifth in the points, just three behind Lee Holdsworth who sits in fourth place.
Kelly's second top 10 for the weekend came in a challenging race for the 26-year-old, who did not have any soft 'option' tyres available for today's 66-lap race after using them in yesterday's race.
Incidentally, two of Kelly's wheels, fitted with the soft tyres, were stolen from the Jack Daniel's Racing pit area overnight. Police have been informed of the theft and the team is offering a ride as part of a sponsor ride day on Tuesday at Winton to anyone who can assist with the safe return of the wheels.
Kelly started from eighth place after a good performance in this morning's 20-minute qualifying session, his second top 10 qualifying result for the season aboard the #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore.
Kelly showed great pace early in the race, quickly rising up to sixth position. The two-time Bathurst winner pitted for fuel and four tyres under Safety Car conditions on lap 20, losing vital seconds when the car of Russell Ingall clipped the front right tyre that was about to be fitted.
Kelly's second set of tyres was not as strong as the first, forcing the 2006 V8 Supercar champion to perservere with an ill-handing car from there on.
Nevertheless Kelly pushed on and maintained his hold on a top 10 position, catching and passing Tim Slade in the late stages of the race to grab seventh position.
Todd Kelly had a luckless day aboard the #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore.
Kelly qualified in 17th position and was keen to work his way up the order early on, knowing that he had a set of soft 'option' tyres for the second part of the race.
Unfortunately for Kelly, an off-track excursion at Turn 3 and an additional pit stop for a suspected loose front wheel trapped him a lap down and despite his fast pace in the final half of the race, Todd Kelly was only able to claim 24th place.
Craig Lowndes won today's sixth race of the season ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Garth Tander.
The next event of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series will be the Falken Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains Raceway in Launceston.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"Consistency has been our ultimate aim out there for the first part of the year," said Rick Kelly.
"We're still lacking a little bit of pace. The second set of tyres we ran in that race were dreadful compared with the first set.
"With the first set of tyres, we were the same pace as the top couple of guys there, so it's just disappointing that for some reason that other set of tyres was not quite there.
"Apart from that, getting seventh is quite good, we're just a little bit slower than a few people, and it makes us vulnerable.
"We got run off the road there a couple of times, which slows us down and another car hit our tyre in pit lane, which cost us several seconds.
"If we have those problems and finish seventh the team has done a great job.
"We should be happy with that. Fifth in the championship was our aim and I think that was, for us at this stage of the game, a high aim and we've achieved it.
"All the guys at Jack Daniel's Racing, and Kelly Racing as a whole, should be happy with that and we'll just try and move forward from here."
Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore:
"It wasn't our weekend," said Todd Kelly.
"Too many things went wrong and missing that first race yesterday knocked us around with our set-up, because we were essentially a day behind in tuning the Jack Daniel's Commodore for the track.
"So it wasn't the best car out there today and then we had a few other little dramas, which put us a lap down so it's the best we could do.
"We'll try and keep the same form we had at Tasmania last year when we're down there for the next event, to get a few points back."