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Aug 16, 2013 - 07:37 AM
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2013 Mid-Ohio: Owen Kelly NASCAR Nationwide Practice Recap
Posted by: newsla on Aug 16, 2013 - 07:36 AM
NASCAR News
2013 Mid-Ohio: Owen Kelly NASCAR Nationwide Practice Recap


Australia’s Owen Kelly is back on track in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Mid-Ohio this weekend and has finished practice third fastest in the in the #54 Monster Energy Toyota.

 

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After making his Sprint Cup debut at Watkins Glen last weekend, he re-joins Joe Gibbs Racing for this weekend’s event.

Driving the car ordinarily driven by NASCAR star, Kyle Busch, Kelly ended the first session in fourth place 0.253 seconds behind Michael McDowell before finishing the second practice in third placing a mere 0.111 seconds behind AJ Allmendinger.

The team had scheduled a simulated qualifying run late in the second session, however a broken component in the rear end was discovered, costing him the opportunity to try for a potential qualifying time ahead of Saturday’s Coors Light Qualifying session.

Overall, the team was ecstatic with how the car performed as soon as it hit the track. Despite a number of drivers - including McDowell and Allmendinger - having spent time racing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the past, the NASCAR Nationwide Series has never raced on the famous 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometre) course.

Friday (Saturday Australian time) will feature a mid-morning one hour session, followed by a two hour practice in the afternoon.

Saturday will see Coors Light Qualifying take place from 9:30am with the 90-lap Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 race starting from 2:30pm local time (4:30am Sunday Australian Eastern Standard Time).

This is the second weekend in succession that the 36-year-old Tasmanian has raced in one of the leading NASCAR Series, having made his Sprint Cup debut for Phoenix Racing at Watkins Glen last weekend.

QUOTEBOARD - OWEN KELLY #54 MONSTER ENERGY JGR TOYOTA:

“The Monster Energy car had a great deal of speed from the time we put it on the track, it’s at a pretty good baseline setup and was handling awesome.

“We tried a lot of different things with the car throughout the two sessions today and it improved a lot.

“The extra track time was really important and we made the most of that to learn about the track and adjust the car to it.

“I’ve not raced at Mid-Ohio, but a lot of guys have either raced Sports Cars or IndyCars here in the past and have been in Nationwide all year, so have a lot of experience under their belts.

“We were looking to go for a simulated qualifying run in the second session with green rubber, but found a problem in the rear, which cost me an hour on track, but we feel as though we’re in a good place now, we’ve got more practice tomorrow then qualifying and the race Saturday.”

On the transition from a NASCAR Sprint Cup car to the #54 Monster Energy JGR Toyota:

“They are completely different animals. To come from the Sprint Cup car with 900 horsepower to the Monster Energy car that “only” has 700 horsepower is a great difference.

“700 horsepower is still plenty of grunt, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t feel like it!” Kelly quipped.

“It is great to be back with Joe Gibbs Racing and in the Monster Energy #54 Toyota, let’s hope we can continue the good form tomorrow and right throughout the weekend.”

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Friday, August 16, 2013
11am (Eastern) Practice - 60 minutes (1am Saturday AEST)
1:30pm (Eastern) Final Practice - 120 minutes (3:30am Saturday AEST)

Saturday, August 17, 2013
9:30am (Eastern) Coors Light Qualifying (11:30pm Saturday AEST)
2:30pm (Eastern) Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 - 90-laps (4:30am Sunday AEST)

US TV TIMES:
9:30am (Eastern) - Qualifying - ESPN2
2pm (Eastern) - Race - ESPN2

AUSTRALIAN TV TIMES:
SPEED TV Australia
5am (AEST) - Race - SDD
7:30pm (AEST) - Replay

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