Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
We're working hard trying to get some more sponsors lined up for 2008.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
One more thing to mention. After being pretty bummed out about our DNQ in Rockingham, I got home and the Oct 19th issue of DRM (Drag Review Magazine) was sitting in my stack of mail. DRM is the official publication of the IHRA, and is a really, really good publication. However, the last thing I wanted to do was open it up on Sunday night and be reminded of our failure.
But by Tuesday, the sting had worn off enough to where I could bring myself to look at it. You know it's said that God works in mysterious ways, and just when I needed a little pick me up, Mike Perry, the IHRA's Director of Communications and Public Relations decided to write about us and our blog in his column. It made my day for us to get some recognition, especially in the way Mike did it.
Hey, why not join IHRA and subscribe to DRM? Here is the link http://www.ihra.com/dragreview/index.html
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The link is http://www.realracinusa.com/html/harleydrags.shtml
If you can't make it to hear it live, it will be archived on the website, and by the way, it's a pretty cool website with alot of good news in interviews on all types of racing.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Well, we went out to qualify on Friday night, and to everyone's surprise, we smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle. No big deal, as we had two more shots on Saturday. Going into Saturday, the bump spot was 5.20, and we could see that it would take a run in the 5.0's to get in. Everyone has stepped up thier game. In addition to the guys like Creasy, Wyatt, Gilbertson and Haddock, guys like Jeff Diehl, Mitch King and Todd Simpson have gotten thier cars dialed in and are running well.
We had a good run on Saturday, but we tuned it a little soft just to get down the track, and I also got out of the groove at the top end, which probably cost us a 4 or 5 hundredths, and ran a 5.20 at 285. Not good enough, as the bump spot went down to 5.18. So going into Saturday night we were #9, and on the outside looking in, a spot we're not familiar with.
I think we were all pretty confident, as Saturday nights have been good to us. We took advantage of cool air and track conditions in Epping and Milan to earn "Last Man Standing" awards on Saturday night, and it's also the session where we set our (temporary) best speed yet of 305.01. But for reasons we are still looking into (and the computer has shown us some strange things) we smoked the tires at the hit and failed to make the field for the first time this year.
It was like getting hit in the gut. All the other drivers and crew came by to pay thier respects and tell us how bad they felt for us, and I swear it was like being at a funeral. Gilbertson went on to win the event and pass us in the season points standings, so after holding on to the #4 spot since May, we give it up on the last day of the season to Bob (who by the way, ran very, very strong in the 4's all weekend).
So now it's time to go find some sponsorships. I know we can help some company or companies promote their products and/or brand, and in exchange get some badly needed funding to help us get some fresh parts, and also give us the freedom to tune a little more aggressively. We ran a complete IHRA season and didn't throw a rod, put a hole in a block, or anything. We used a few pistons, cracked two main caps, and broke a blower and that was it. I had a great crew that volunteered a tremendous amount of time to help us chase our dream, and I owe them a ton of thanks. I want to mention them all.
Ray Murphy who put aside his own nitro car (the nostalgia funny car "Slabtown Hustler") to help us. Ray's experience is so valuable to us. Jay Giles, who works on weekends we don't race, so he can help us on weekends we do. He does top end and is as professional and hard working as they come. Don Lynch, who helps me with the bottom end. Don is a great asset to us and busts his tail to help us. Butch Beacham. Butch drives the transport and does our clutch. He has spent a ton of time on the road, and has to set up and tear down by himself sometimes so we can get back to Greenville in time for work. If you've ever set up or taken down our awning, you'll know how much we owe him. Jim Poynter who helped us in the first part of the year but as a Federal Coal Mine Inspector had some very important job duties take him away from us late in the season. Richard Hartman, who tunes the car for us. Richard is crew chief for Bruce Litton (who won the IHRA Top Fuel Season Championship today!!) and sets up our motor and clutch settings for us. Paul Constantine, who despite being a mechanical novice, helps by doing anything we need from cleaning parts, setting tire pressure, etc. Jill who cooks for us and also mixes the fuel, hopefully not getting them mixed up! And last but definately not least, my Dad, Pat, who I owe everything to.
Finally, thanks to all our fans. We met so many GREAT people this season. We can't wait to see you again next season when we come back to San Antonio, Tulsa, Rockingham, Edmonton, Grand Bend, Epping, Grand Rapids, Milan, Cayuga, Budd's Creek and anywhere else IHRA goes!
I'll update you all on offseason developments as they happen.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
So we're still 27 points behind Terry for third place. That's a gap we can make up in Rockingham if we qualify strong and go a couple rounds. Gilbertson is only 21 points behind us so we have to have a good showing to stay in fourth.
I've had a few people ask me what happened Saturday night during qualifying when I got "no time". We were pumped up, getting ready to take a shot at the 4's. I was wired when I pulled into the lights, and just after I lit the second bulb I swear I saw something flash, and I went. As I launched I caught a glimpse of the tree with only the first bulb lit in the other lane and I knew I screwed up, but I stayed in the throttle and made a decent pass. No time slip though.
Hey, if any of you want to sponsor the car for the final race of the season, go hit Ebay....I had to cancel and re-do the listing. The new Ebay listing number is 190158971359.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Sponsorship is the life blood of our sport, it's what we are working hard to get. We offer a great way for the right Company to get visibility for their products or services, as we perform in front of 40,000 people at every event. It beats TV advertising because no one goes to the bathroom or TIVO's past the Nitro Cars at a Drag Race! Well, sort of for fun, but also seriously, my PR/Marketing guy Paul and I decided to put Kelley Motorsports on Ebay. Yep, we're selling a "single race sponsorship package" on Ebay this week for the World Finals in Rockingham on October 19-21. If you want to see the listing look at Ebay listing number 190157447315. And don't be afraid to bid!!'
We are on our way to Maryland International Raceway and the President's Cup Nationals. We should arrive first thing in the AM and looking forward to the sea-level track and the cool dry air that supposed to be over the Northeast this weekend! Let's hope I can get my four-second run!
Monday, September 24, 2007
We leave Thurday evening for Budd's Creek, Maryland and the Presidents' Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Hats off to Bob. He beat us both races. In the first race, we didn't put enough power to the ground and I shook the tires a couple hundred feet out. It shook me out of the groove and as soon as I got out of the groove the tires smoked. On the second run I rattled the tires again a little bit and drove through it, but Gilbertson got me be a couple lengths.
Now it's off to Milan, Michigan for the re-scheduled Motor City Nationals. We leave Thursday night as soon as all my crewmembers get off work and get over to our shop. We'll pack up the RV and leave around 7PM, drive all night, and get to Milan first thing in the morning. Butch will have already arrived with the rig (and hopefully have the awning set up!). We'll get set up, service the car, and get ready for our qualifying run that evening.
Friday, September 14, 2007
When we raced our Alcohol Funny Car, we would match race all over the Southeast. In fact, that's what we mostly did. Racing guys like Jimmy Rector at tracks in Alabama, Florida, Georgia was a great time. This weekend it's back to the Match Race circuit as we're taking on Bob Gilbertson at Carolina Dragway just outside Aiken, SC.
The match race is part of the "Thunder Jam" session put on by Live Nation (who runs IHRA). They called us a month ago to arrange this race to add some excitement to what is already a wild program, and we were thrilled to be invited. The neat thing is that it's close to home, so all the family and friends that usually don't get to see us race can come down and enjoy a day at the track.
Gilby said in his press release he "wanted to send Andy Kelley home with his tail between his legs". He should know better than to pick a fight with a bunch of boys from Piedmont!
Hope to see you all there! We race at 7PM and again at 10PM.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Psn Driver Vehicle ET Speed
1. Dale Creasy Jr. Torco Race Fuels '05 Monte Car 5.053 298.14
2. Jack Wyatt '06 Stratus 5.080 290.51
3. Bob Gilbertson Autolite XP Spark Plugs '05 Stratus 5.081 234.09
4. Andy Kelley Holbrook Performance Parts '02 Firebird 5.093 295.98
5. John Lawson Ruane Construction '02 Camaro 5.113 251.53
6. Terry Haddock Temp Mizer Canada '05 Monte Ca 5.290 222.51
7. Jeff Diehl Rockstar '02 Firebird 5.439 282.36
8. Mitch King Sunset Cove/Beyar Waste '05 Fi 5.491 200.20
--------- Not Qualified ---------
9. Randy Bykowsky Hi-Velocity Systems '05 Monte 5.613 225.63
10. Jason Duchene Castrol Syntec '00 Camaro 6.009 187.42
I ran a 5.093 at 295.98 in Friday nights qualifying session, good enough for the third spot so far. There are 10 Nitro Funny Cars here, so two of us won't make it in, but I feel good about our chances with the 5.09 we just put up. I really need to make up some ground against Jack Wyatt and Terry Haddock, and stay ahead of Gilbertson who is in fifth place.
If the rain holds off, the conditions should be great this evening and I'm hoping for a 4-second run. Stay tuned!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
The race has been rescheduled for September 20-22 and we are excited about going back, but it will mean the Kelley team will race four weekends in a row. That's a pace we're not used to, and I am grateful for having such a great team.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
If you saw the press release on ihra.com yesterday then you know we are only 41 points out of SECOND PLACE in the season championship points standings. That's basically two round wins. Terry Haddock is in second and Jack Wyatt is in third, and while both are great guys we'd love nothing more than to overtake them by the last race in Rockingham, NC in October. I would be thrilled if we could wrap up our first full year of nitro funny car racing in the top three. First place? Dale Creasy, Jr. has it all but wrapped up. What a roll he's been on.
For all of you in our local area, we have GREAT news. It looks like we'll be match racing Bob Gilbertson at the "Thunder Jam" event at Carolina Dragway in Aiken on Saturday, September 15th. We'll race each other twice that day as part of the Thunder Jam program that's being held in conjunction with the IHRA Summit Divisionals that weekend. It's not set in stone, but watch for a formal announcement soon. Aiken is only a couple hours for our beloved Piedmont, SC, so come down and hang out with us!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
But it was a great weekend. We qualified 2nd, won Last Man Standing on Saturday night, gained 29 points on Jack Wyatt who we are chasing for 3rd, and extended our lead over 5th place Bob Gilbertson by a few points. We are off next week and then it's off to Detroit's Milan Dragway.
Now for more on that 5.10 at 294 that won us the LMS. We decided to run all out tonite and try to get the car in the 4's for the first time. After a last second decision to lower our tire pressure .2 lbs on each side, the car launched hard, and i had probably the best run of my life going. I was really hauling down the track, but at the 1000' mark the engine threw the blower belt and I coasted the rest of the way. And still went 5.10 at 294!!
We face Mitch King in round one Sunday and he's been hot lately. He went to the finals last week in Michigan and has a car that can run 5.0's.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
After a 4 hour delay because of a rainstorm, we finally got up to the line to face defending champ Dale Creasy, Jr. As soon as the light went amber i hit the throttle and went into some ferocious tire shake. I tried to pedal it but Creasy was on his way to a 5.27, so there was no way i was going to catch him.
Now we will service the car and pack up the trailer. We'll head back to Greenville in the RV, and Butch will go straight to Epping, NH to get set up for our race next week.
Talk to you next from Epping.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Since we felt good about our 5.12 last night we sat out the afternoon qualifying session. But we really wanted to improve our time in the night session. Richard made some adjustments to the tune, but the air wasn't as good, and we ran an identical 5.12 again! Well, that time was good enough for the number 8 spot in the field, and we race Dale Creasy, Jr at noon tomorrow in a rematch of the Final round in Tulsa.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
We'll have a tough field to face. Creasy is running as good as anyone, and Gilbertson's car can put down a great time, too. Haddock and Wyattt are #2 and #3 in the points for a reason; they're good. In addition, we have the guy who is #3 in NHRA points, Mike Ashley, competing this weekend as he's sponsored by Evan Knoll (and this is Evan's track), along with Gary Densham, another NHRA regular.
Our challenge is to be consistent, qualify well, and then not make mistakes in eliminations and wait for our chance. We can get our car into the 4's if we need to, and an elimination round on Sunday is a good time to do it.