Hot Drive From Jack Daniel's Racing in Darwin
Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima driver Rick Kelly put in a storming drive in the third and final race of the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway, advancing 11 positions to claim ninth place in the 200km encounter.
Following a strategy play from Saturday which saw him have a set of fresh hard tyres at his disposal, Rick was set for an even stronger result if not for a mid-race safety car period.
The race featured several spirited battles, with the pack shuffled with varying tyre strategies.
Todd Kelly meanwhile started strongly, but was the unfortunate victim of contact between Lee Holdsworth and David Wall.
Wall then came back onto the circuit and into Todd's path, with the resulting damage causing race-ending damage to the right rear suspension of the Altima.
The V8 Supercars Championship continues in two weeks with the Castrol Townsville 500 Driven by TAFE Queensland on the Reid Park Street Circuit.
JACK DANIEL'S RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima:
Qualifying Race 19- 20th
Race 19- 9th
"It was a pretty solid result," said Rick Kelly.
"It was really difficult to tell where we sat the whole race long, because there were so many different strategies coming into play.
"Look, I loved it, I had some really great battles out there, a bit of aggressive driving from others and from myself a little bit as well.
"I think as a sport, that's what we're after, a little bit of biff and barge, but still good clean racing.
"For us it was a semi-solid result, so we're happy with that.
"The safety car period hurt us, we got jumped by a few in that exchange, which was a bit of a bummer, because up until that point we were cruising for a slightly better result.
"I'm pretty happy, we scored some good points from the day, the strategy call we made yesterday worked for us, and we head to Townsville with more confidence."
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima:
Qualifying Race 19- 14th
Race 19- DNF
"We had a good opportunity to get a result, we had really good tyres, the guys had a good strategy and I had a great car," said Todd Kelly.
"Every time I was in clean air, I would catch the cars ahead of me quite easily, and I was in a position to attack, pass, and drive away.
"So the car was certainly fast, it's just a shame we couldn't convert that to a result.
"I was getting held up quite a bit by the guys in front, and I made a safe pass up the inside at the hairpin.
"I was past, inside the guys driving out of the corner, and something has grabbed my right rear wheel and plucked the suspension out of it.
"I couldn't have been any tighter in the corner, I couldn't have done much about it at that point, it's just a shame because we could have wound up with an extremely good result then.
"We had everything going for us, but unfortunately we just couldn't pull it together."
1. Mark Winterbottom
2. Shane Van Gisbergen
3. Jamie Whincup
4. David Reynolds
5. James Courtney
6. Garth Tander
7. James Moffat
8. Scott McLaughlin
9. Rick Kelly
10. Russell Ingall
DNF. Todd Kelly
(Provisional after 19 of 38 races)
1. Mark Winterbottom- 1451 points
2. Craig Lowndes- 1290
3. Jamie Whincup- 1265
4. Fabian Coulthard- 1204
5. James Courtney- 1120
6. Shane Van Gisbergen- 1111
7. Scott McLaughlin- 1045
8. David Reynolds- 952
9. Chaz Mostert- 914
10. Jason Bright- 881
17. Rick Kelly- 748
24. Todd Kelly- 516