Danny Kelsey Debuts in the AMA PRO National Guard Superbike Series
June 21, 2011
5 years from racing in his first road race, Georgetown, Texas rider Danny Kelsey debuted in DMG National Guard Superbike class with great results held at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Riding the M&M Roadracing CBR1000's, Kelsey and RPSRaceTeam.com teamed up with Mitch McGinnis to give Danny support during his premier class debut. The weekend was promising despite Kelsey's lack of time at the scenic 17 turn road course. Kelsey took to the track for the first time in several years during the first practice session held in a fairly heavy rain. Danny reacquainted himself with the track layout and prepared for qualifying.
Qualifying was a bit of learning session for the team as these were some the first laps run in the dry without issue (as the hose on the shock had split when hit by debris in the first "dry practice"). Danny and the team were ready though and Kelsey safely qualified in 18th place.
As the first race started, it was more than apparent Danny was ready to drop his lap times and move forward with his results. Running in 15th place, mother nature decided to intervene on lap 5 and the race was red-flagged as rain fell hard. The team teetered with the tire decision as the track appeared ready to dry out. Caught a bit out of sync at the 5 minute call, the team chose to run a rain front and slick rear with the anticipation that the track would dry within 5 laps. Unfortunately, the track did not develop a "dry line" until lap 12 of the 17 lap restart. By that time, Kelsey was relegated to the back of the pack. Danny soldiered on to an 18th place finish.
As Sunday morning wrapped up, the team decided on a bold move and had Marcus McBain revalve the Penske shock to increase the speed of the CBR-1000. The changes would help the blue Honda's come out of the corners quicker. As the bikes gridded for the final Superbike Race of the weekend, Kelsey was confident as he could immediately sense the improvement. At the drop of the flag, Kelsey pressed his newfound Honda's performance and put the Honda in the top-15 within a few laps. As the race wore on, Kelsey pushed himself to perform at the level he knew was able to ride at. The result was a fantastic 13th place finish and validation for the team that they could compete at the highest level of professional racing in the United States.
The team would not have attained the great opening round results if not for the great support of its sponsors Island Racing Serivces, Michelin, Komodo, GP Suspension, DP Brakes, KMC Controls, Vortex, Lone Star Track Days, Penske, Dynojet, Hotbodies, Arata Exhausts, Lockhart Phillips, and Liberty Motorsports Park.