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Kelsey wins at CMRA finale

Rate this Entry sponsored Danny Kelsey posted two wins in the Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association sprint championship series finale held at the very fast Texas World Speedway. The event was also an opportunity for Kelsey to capture three CMRA sprint championships as well as the CMRA #1 plate for a second straight year.

Grids for the CMRA finale were full and riders from Mexico and all parts of the United States would make for intense competition, but mother nature trumped all riders with a recipe of strong winds with threats of rain on Sunday. Only 40 points separated Kelsey from his championship rival and current championship leader Ty Howard. The team knew first hand from last year’s final event that “anything can happen” when you are trying to capture the #1 plate.

Friday practice went well with Kelsey and the team as they sorted out the Michelin equipped Suzuki GSXR-750 to overcome more bumps and tricky traction areas that have developed on the aging road course. Although Kelsey appeared quickest on Friday, his main championship rival was absent and the team agreed that more work would need to be done to ensure that they would be ready to run up front on Sunday. Crew chief Marcus McBain pulled the shock and forks off to rework them a bit and provide an extra second or two for Kelsey come Sunday. With the displacement disadvantage the Suzuki 750 has in the liter bike classes, the chassis setup had to be optimal to overcome the long straights during this CMRA championship weekend for Kelsey to win all four races.

Kelsey and the team were correct in their assumptions when Howard dropped some fast lap times on Saturday during the CMRA endurance race. Sunday morning practice confirmed that setup had improved on the GSXR and Kelsey bettered his lap times by over a second and half from Friday’s practice times. Kelsey was ready for the final round for the CMRA overall championship and his class championships respectively.

B Superstock was the first event of the day for Kelsey, and Danny dropped the hammer on the big red Suzuki to hold a two second lead as he crossed the line after one lap. On lap 2, Kelsey put in the fastest lap of the race with a 1:46.061 and continued to increase his lead. At the checkered flag, he won by 7.078 seconds and he secured his first championship for 2012.

A Superstock was the first “showdown” between Kelsey and Howard. With only 3 points separating the two Texas riders in the class, it would be a “winner take all” for the class championship. At the drop of the green flag, Kelsey dropped a 1:49.3 lap from a standing start to lead lap one. Howard was close behind Kelsey though as he would pull up to Danny at the end of the long front straight. Laps two, three, and four, played out the same with Kelsey entering the front straight on his JRi Shock equipped GSXR with a strong drive and a 0.5 - 0.7 second lead exiting the last turn and Howard pulling up by the end of the straight.

On the final lap Kelsey focused on creating as much gap as possible in the infield so that Howard would not be able to draft by at the line. As Kelsey entered the final turn, a lapper was right in the middle of the turn and Danny had to alter his line and lost almost all of his drive onto the long front straight. Howard did not need an invitation and pulled into his draft. As Kelsey drifted low on the TWS banking for the checkered flag run, Howard picked up Danny’s draft and took the win by less than 0.1 second as well as the class championship.

The team was disappointed, but B Superbike was up next and Kelsey’s final championship opportunity. With only three points separating Danny and Derek Wagnon, this was another “winner take all” event. Wagnon would be ready to take advantage of any miscue by the Georgetown, Texas rider, Kelsey was already focused on putting in an even stronger effort than his first two races. As the green flag dropped for B Superbike, Kelsey put in another fast first lap with a 1:49.709. He followed that up with the fastest lap of the race with 1:44.988 on lap two as he stretched his lead his lead to nearly 4 seconds at the end of lap two. At the checkered flag, Kelsey took the win by 6.353 seconds and his second CMRA championship for the year.

The final race of the day for Kelsey and the team was A Superbike and it would mark the final race between Danny and Ty Howard. Danny took the green flag and lead lap one on his GP Suspension equipped GSXR-750, but Howard was again following close. Kelsey continued to lead, but Howard would take the lead on lap three. Kelsey pushed hard, but was unable to recapture the lead. With the win Howard not only won the race, but the 2012 CMRA overall championship.

After the race, Danny Kelsey went over and congratulated Ty Howard on his race and his efforts for the 2012 CMRA overall championship. “I congratulate Ty on his season and his racing today. He ran strong all year and has definitely earned the overall championship this year. I also appreciate the sportsmanship that Ty and I are able to share despite the fact that we are competing against each other in some really tight racing on the track”, reflected Kelsey.

“I am really proud of Danny (Kelsey) and the job he did. We keep having competitors, fans, and sponsors watch him ride and realize he is doing a lot with a bike that is a little long in the tooth. For all the laps and races he completed this year, I can count the number of mistakes Danny made on one hand. Not too many crew chiefs can say that about their riders. Also, the level of focus and consistency he has while I try to keep the bike running after 3 hard years of racing on it is incredible. We don’t have a backup bike and he knows he can’t make any mistakes on the track. It is tough to compete like that and I can’t complement him enough on the job he has done this year”, observed crew chief Marcus McBain. would like to thank its sponsors KMC Controls, Rig Tech, Chris Hamilton, JRi Shocks,, Shoei Helmets, Eagles Canyon Raceway, Komodo, Lone Star Track Days, GP Suspension, Dynojet, DP Brakes, LP Racing, Hotbodies, Arata, K's Motorsports, Vortex, WRW Racing, Sam’s Cycle Salvage, and Island Racing Services for their continued support.