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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A long haul and hard work rewarded Brandon Kelley with a career-best season. Kelley, 28, of Porter, Texas, made a tow of more than five hours from his Houston-area home to compete in Louisiana and finished the season with three 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series titles.
The Kelley crew hauled more than 300 miles one-way to compete at Revolution Park and Entertainment Complex in Monroe, La. Kelley raced in the track’s NASCAR Pro Late Model division.
In addition, his dad and car owner, Donny, competed against him for the first time in years and finished third in division points. His daughter, Erin, also finished fifth in the track’s Bandolero division point race.
Kelley’s track and state championship record this year was 11 wins and top 10s in all 12 starts.
“We definitely never expected a season like this. I feel kind of humble and I appreciate what’s taken place this year,” Porter said.
“I was off from racing for four years and decided to get back in it this year,” Kelley said. “There’s really no weekly pavement Late Model racing in Texas. We looked around and Revolution Park caught our eyes. We went there to test and never left. It became our home track.
“It’s definitely one of the nicest tracks I’ve seen,” Porter said. “It’s 100-percent concrete and a true three-eighths-mile oval. It’s got good inside and outside grooves. It’s unique. There’s a subtle elevation change and a couple of little bumps that give it character. For short track racing, it’s one of the best.”
There was just one feature race Kelley didn’t win. He and another driver spun while battling for the lead on July 7. Kelley pitted for a tire, but before the race could be restarted rains came and ended the race night. Mark Underwood avoided the incident and got the win.
“We were disappointed to not win that race, but in a way it let us know we’re not perfect. With the effort we put into our cars every day, we think we should always be a frontrunner. Sometimes it doesn’t work out.”
Donny Kelley was racing before Brandon was born and became a longtime car owner in Texas asphalt Late Model racing. As a teen Brandon spent two years in Allison Legacy Series cars before moving into one of his dad’s Late Models. While he was developing his talent, he was also developing his knowledge, with professional instruction in race car suspension and geometry.
“I grew up around racing. Dad and I have been racing with each other for as long as I can remember. When I decided to start racing again this year, so did dad. We always enjoyed racing each.”
Donny Kelley owns Porter Glass and Mirror and PGM Racing. Other sponsors include Royal Purple Synthetic Oil and Conroe Welding Supply. Alex Scribner is the team’s crew chief.
Kelley will be honored for his track and state championships at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards event. The ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 7 at the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
A driver’s best 18 results through Sept. 16 were counted toward their states and national point totals, and
the champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their total would increase incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.
Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.