Kelsey sweeps at Eagles Canyon Raceway
April 15, 2013
KELSEY SWEEPS @ EAGLES CANYON RACEWAY
Georgetown, Texas rider Danny S. Kelsey won all five races he entered (A Superstock, A Superbike, Formula One, B Superstock, and B Superbike) during the third round of the CMRA Sprint Championship Series held Sunday April 14th, 2013. Conditions were tricky as racers were greeted with drainage issues that created over 20 areas on the track where water was coming up on the racing line. Kelsey however persevered through the weekend and posted his personal best lap time (1:47.923) as conditions improved over the weekend.
Electing to sit out the early sessions on Friday, the team worked diligently to overcome the trying track surface and posted a 1:51.2. Valuable setup information was gained, and crew chief Marcus McBain made critical geometry and internal suspension changes Friday to prepare for the CMRA’s inaugural “Team 60” race run on Saturday which features two rider teams riding 20-35 minutes each and making pit stops to swap transponders under “dead engine” conditions. The race also featured a Le Mans style start that put a historic wrinkle into what turned out to be a popular format with the CMRA racers. The team used the event for more setup data and Kelsey was able to turn the fastest lap of the race with a 1:50.6 on lap 3.
Entering Sunday, the team and Kelsey had mixed thoughts. Although practice and Saturday went well, the team also discovered new problems as existing issues were being addressed. Finishing up final changes at around 3:00am Sunday morning, the crew chief felt Kelsey would have what he would need to perform for maximum results during the CMRA sprints coming up in just a few hours.
Kelsey started the day off with qualifying for the Breast Cancer Research Awareness Formula One race. Danny was quick to get to business and despite using a tire with over 25 laps on it, he was able to set the initial pole time with a 1:49.7. The team was very excited at the obvious initial progress. With one minute to go in qualifying, Kelsey was robbed of the pole position by 0.1 second. It was disappointing for both Kelsey and the team as they were hoping for some validation of the weekend’s work with pole position, but they also realized that you can never count out your competitors and their teams desire to work equally as hard.
With B Superstock as the first opportunity for Kelsey to gain recognition for the team’s sponsors, Danny left nothing on the table as the green flag dropped. He put the Pirelli shod GSXR-750 in the lead early and navigated the constantly improving conditions with a race fastest lap of 1:51.935 on lap 3 en route to a 3.5 second victory. Kelsey was both excited and apprehensive as the team’s aging 750 appeared to be losing the fuel pump and the bike lacked a considerable amount of acceleration. The team would replace the fuel pump to address the situation before his next race on the trusted red Suzuki.
As many of the liter bike participants gridded up for A Superstock, Kelsey would have a chance to see if some last minute changes would give him the extra performance he needed for victory. As the starting lights set the field into turn one, Kelsey launched the M4 equipped Suzuki GSXR-1000 off the line and took the lead by the end of lap one. On lap 3, he posted a race fastest lap time of 1:49.316 to build a 4 second lead. As the checkered flag fell, Kelsey was able posted another big win by 2.904 seconds.
With the Breast Cancer Research Awareness Formula One race just one race after the A Superstock race, the team elected to mount a new rear tire to ensure maximum performance for Kelsey as the hungry and aggressive field provides no quarter for any competitor. Kelsey launched the Dynojet tuned GSXR-1000 off the line well and was able to capture the lead on the opening lap. Kelsey continued to stretch the lead and by lap four held a 3 second lead after posting his fastest lap of the race of 1:47.928. As always, Danny could not relax as the competition began to up their pace too! Kelsey saw his lead shrink to 2 seconds on lap 6, but the young Texan continued to pour on fast consistent laps and was able to post a 3.516 victory en route to the team’s third victory of the day.
Kelsey won the premier Formula One race for the first time this year and was ecstatic on the victory podium, “I was really excited about that race, I was sure that Ty (Howard) would be coming after me. He is a great competitor and I know he has more laps at this track than anyone else, but our team has been working so hard to give us this kind of opportunity and it is so rewarding to take this victory.”
With the third victory for Kelsey and the team under their belt, they were beginning to believe that five victories may be possible. At the same time, the team was really concerned as the next race up (B Superbike) would be against some really hungry young riders and team could not be sure that the issue with fuel delivery was solved with the fuel pump replacement. As the green flag dropped, Kelsey found himself in a dog fight. Although the Suzuki was working better, it was apparent performance was down from what the team has been used to. Kelsey was able to will the team’s GSXR-750 to the point on lap 3 and posted a race fastest 1:50.605 on lap 5 en route to a 1.712 second victory.
With four victories under his belt, Kelsey realized that to sweep the day he had one more “knock down drag out” race ahead of him. “I knew that our competitors were making some changes to up their pace and that I needed to be ready for a hard battle to not only win A Superbike but to sweep the day”, reflected Danny as he gridded up for A superbike.
As the starting lights got the field off the line, Kelsey was right. Danny emerged in 2nd place at the end of lap one. Kelsey did not relent and on lap 2 he made the decisive move with a pass in tricky turn eight to take the point. From that moment on, Kelsey would see leads of “plus zero” on his pit board. This underscored the intense battle going on. As Kelsey encountered lapped traffic, he left nothing on the table and made decisive passes to post his fifth victory of the day and take a 1.578 second victory.
Danny Kelsey will continue to contest the entire CMRA series in his efforts to regain the number one plate. The team would not be able to compete at this level without the special efforts of KMC Controls, RS Taichi, Pirelli, Dynojet, Vortex, Motoliberty, South Central Race Center, Motopia, M4 Exhausts, DP Brakes, K’s Motorsports, GP Suspension, JRi Shocks, Lone Star Track Days, Shoei Helmets, Hotbodies Racing, Silkolene, WRW Racing, Barnett, and Chicken Hawk Racing. Kelsey will resume racing action at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in May during the fourth round of CMRA Sprint Championship Action.