SODDY DAISY, TN (1-29-08) - Late Model driver Brandon Kelley will be behind the wheel of the Wayne Hixson owned #23 Chevy Monte Carlo SS when the ARCA RE/MAX Series rolls into Daytona for the 45th ARCA 200 at Daytona.The native of Humble, Texas will be looking to make his first career start in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.His first step toward that goal was this past weekend, when he tested the car at Talladega Superspeedway, turning several heads as he posted competitive times in his first trip to a superspeedway.
"I have been racing for most of my life," Kelley said while watching the team prepare the car Saturday morning for his first laps around the giant speed plant."Starting on dirt bikes when I was about 6 years old, up through the ASA Late Models which I've run the last four years.I want to keep taking steps toward the top tier of racing, and the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the next step."
In fact, at just 23 years old, Kelley has already raced competitively for 17 years. After racing dirt bikes, Kelley moved to go-karts, and then at age 12 began racing Dirt Sprint Cars. With success at each new level, he continued his climb through the racing ranks, moving into his first asphalt stock car at age 17, and then winning the Texas State Championship in Allison Legacy Cars. While he raced, this young Texan proved that a race car was not the only thing he could mount up and ride, making it to the Texas High School State Finals in Bull Riding.
For the last four seasons, Kelley has driven an ASA Late Model for his family owned team. He picked up 6 wins during that time, and had numerous top 5 and top 10 runs. Even more, he showed that he can compete consistently, posting top 10 points finishes in each of those four seasons.
"I am really excited to be going to Daytona," Kelley added. "My goal for Speedweeks is to make the race on time, and then run a solid, clean race and try to attract some attention. We would like to have good showing at Daytona so that we can turn this partnership with Wayne (Hixson) into a full year deal."
If the test at Talladega was any indicator, then Kelley is well on his way to accomplishing his goals for Daytona. After wet conditions washed out the morning test session, cars were finally able to get on track at around 2:30 PM. Veteran driver Ron Cox took the first turn behind the wheel of the car, and after a brief shake down run, turned it over to Kelley for his first laps. Kelley wasted little time getting up to speed, and as he cycled in and out of the garage with the crew making minor adjustments, he continued to clock faster and faster laps. On his last run of the day, he posted a lap of 180.650 mph, which left car owner Hixson with a big smile on his face.
"I am real happy with that," Hixson said as he climbed down from the roof of the hauler. "We had a tire rub early that damaged the left rear fender, and the quick repairs weren't very aerodynamic and were hurting the car, but with the shortened session we just band aided it and got him back on the track. We'll get that fender fixed this week, and that should be worth another couple of tenths."
So, take a soft spoken Texan, mix him in with that Hixson bunch from Tennessee, and what you get is a just a little more flavor to help kick off the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series Season.
Brandon Kelley would like to thank the following marketing partners for their upcoming support in the ARCA 200 at Daytona:
Royal Purple Synthetic Oil: Royal Purple manufactures high performance lubricants for most automotive, industrial, marine, motorcycle and racing applications. Multiple independent university and industry tests prove Royal Purple outperforms leading synthetic and conventional lubricants for unsurpassed performance and protection. Check out their website at http://www.royalpurple.com/.
Porter Glass: Porter Glass specializes in commercial and residential glass in the state of Texas.
Brandon Kelley and Hixson Motorsports are currently seeking additional marketing partners for the 2008 season. Interested parties should contact: Roy Shipley, Hixson Motorsports, email@example.com. Let us show you what we can do for your company.
Hixson Motorsports Public Relations