DARWIN, Australia – 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 tires 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 tire 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 DANIELS RACING QUOTEBOARD
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima
Qualifying Race 19- 20th
Race 19- 9th
"It was a pretty solid result. 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 tires, the guys had a good strategy and I had a great car. 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."
James Moffat shows his class with hot drive to seventh in Darwin
Without the aid of a working cool suit, James Moffat beat the heat to finish seventh in Race 19 of the V8 Supercars Championship at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin.
The Norton Nissan driver drove all the way from 22nd on the grid to claim the top 10 finish, battling cabin temperatures of close to 60 degrees.
It was a fine drive, racing him back up to 14th place in the V8 Supercars Championship.
His Norton teammate also battled the elements, completing the race with a misfiring engine and a broken rear roll bar.
Despite the mechanical difficulties, Caruso climbed from 21st to finish in 13th place.
NORTON RACING QUOTEBOARD
James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima
"I can't recommend doing 200km around here without a cool suit. It certainly makes you feel alive. To come away with a seventh place finish from where we started, I'm pretty happy with that. If we could work out how to qualify on these soft tires and start these races further up, we're proving our race pace is very, very strong. We had a bit of an advantage with having a fresher set of hard tires at the start of the race, and it was important that we made the most of that. I felt like we did and it's good to get back some of those points that we lost yesterday."
Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima
"I'm pretty relived to come away with 13th. We had a broken rear roll bar and had an engine misfire, so the race was a warzone for me. It was pretty difficult, as the rear tires were wearing out pretty quickly because of the roll bar situation. Considering what happened, 13th place was a pretty reasonable result."
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