Q & A with Todd Kelly ahead of his 150th V8 Supercars event

March 17, 2011

V8 Supercars

TODD KELLY – #7 Jack Daniel’s Holden Commodore

Milestones like this tend to creep up on you. What comes into your head when you realise that you are entering your 150th V8 Supercars event?

“I’m only just starting to figure it out and get my head around it,” said Todd Kelly.

“I’ve had a lot of races in a lot of different scenarios. As a Young Lion getting into it, then with the Kmart team, then the factory team and now our own team and Jack Daniel’s Racing, so over the 150 starts I’ve been fortunate enough to have a little bit of everything.

“It’s been good but I’m not really fussed about the number. I seriously feel that we are starting to get our head around a lot of things, like the way the cars have to be set-up now and how you have to drive them.

“I feel like there is a fair bit left in me. Another 150 or so would be nice.” 

Is your involvement with the technical side of things a big motivator for you at the moment?

“Yeah that’s what it’s all about. That’s what makes the car go fast, all that engineering and then being able to drive it.

“We’ve got some really good engineers in the team now and I’m really enjoying that side of it. To go to a test day and put theory into practice and make improvements is probably the most enjoyable part of what we do.” 

Some drivers can tell you every statistic they have to their name while others don’t really keep track of it. Which one are you?

“I don’t really worry about it. Obviously the only reason we do this is to be successful so when I’ve had race wins, pole positions and things like that I obviously remember.

“But once those boxes are ticked and you get a pole or a win, a lot of people will hang their hat off that for six months where for me that’s fallen out the other end of my brain by the next morning and I turn to working on how to do it again.

“So I’m 99 percent looking forwards, and not really one that’s into looking backwards just yet.”

Both you and Rick started your careers at a young age. So you are not that old but have still amassed a lot of starts as well as some great achievements. Does it surprise you when you see your name mentioned with some of the greats of the sport in the record books?

“Yeah it does. A lot of the time we’ve been lucky to be in good teams, but at the same time to get statistics these days like they used to in the old days is bloody hard. I remember when you could have a bad round and you would be fifth. These days if you have a bad round and you don’t quite nail the car set-up you are 25th.

“To win a race is harder than I’ve ever seen it and you can see by the caliber of guys that are consistently in that space between 10th and 15th trying to crack a top 10 that to keep clocking up the poles and race wins is a lot harder than it used to be.”

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