Gold Coast Magazine

Australian Owen Kelly to realise NASCAR Sprint Cup dream

OWEN KELLY US – NASCAR CAREER * 2008 – Moved to the US to head-up Dale Earnhardt Jr’s late model program in the Whelen All America Series – Winning the Mid-Atlantic 350. * 2009 – Campaigned an entry for Earnhardt Jr in the UARA-Stars Championship before returning to Australia for the V8 Supercar endurance events. * 2010 – had his first taste of NASCAR when he drove a Baker Curb entry to fifth place in a Nationwide race at Road America. * 2011 – Hired to qualify the Nationwide entry of countryman Marcos Ambrose for Richard Petty Motorsport at Montreal, Canada – qualifying the entry in ninth, while Ambrose completed his Sprint Cup commitments at Michigan. Ambrose arrived in Montreal 20 minutes before the race, which he went on to win. * 2012 – Hired by Kyle Busch to qualify his Monster Energy car at Montreal event while he completed his own commitment at Michigan. Qualified the car fifth and Busch was on target to take the win when a late-race puncture forced him to 10th. * 2013 – Hired by Joe Gibbs Racing to drive the Monster Energy #54 car at Road America. Qualified the car second and ran in the top three for the majority of the race and led at one stage before running out of fuel. Dropped back to 34th and worked his way through the field to finish fourth. * 2013 – Will drive the #51 Phoenix Motorsport entry in the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen on Sunday, August 11 * 2013 – Will drive Kyle Busch’s #54 Monster Energy entry in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid Ohio on Saturday, August 17. OWEN KELLY – STATS AND EARLY CAREER Name: Owen Kelly Born: Devonport, Tasmania Lives: Melbourne, Victoria Owen Kelly started his career in karts at the age of nine and has one of the most comprehensive careers of any Australian racer with experience in Formula Ford, Porsche Cup, 2-litre Super Tourers, New Zealand Super Tourers,  Sprintcars and V8 Supercars in Australia. His US experience includes Grand-Am, Late Models and NASCAR Nationwide. Kelly, who has become one of Australia’s most respected drivers, has driven for Kelly Racing in the last three Bathurst 1000s, but has retreated from his endurance opportunities this year to concentrate on his US commitments. AUSTRALIANS IN NASCAR SPRINT CUP Frank Gardner – 1 start Allan Grice – 2 starts Dick Johnson – 7 starts Terry Byers – 5 starts Tony Spanos – 1 start Geoff Brabham – 1 start Marcos Ambrose – 174 starts Owen Kelly – 0]]>

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