NASCAR Sprint Cup debut for Kelly

TASMANIAN racing driver Owen Kelly will realise a boyhood dream when he makes his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut for Phoenix Racing at the famous Watkins Glen road course in New York state on Sunday, August 11.

The Devonport-born Kelly will become the eighth Australian to compete in the highest level of NASCAR competition and will join fellow Tasmanian and full-time Sprint Cup driver Marcos Ambrose on the grid in the Cheez-It 355.

``The phrase _ a dream come true is used a lot, but there is no other way to describe this,'' said Kelly when the deal was confirmed with Phoenix Racings owner James Finch.

``When you look at the numbers, NASCAR is the pinnacle of world motorsports and I am humbled that an organisation with the history and depth of Phoenix Racing has provided me with this opportunity.

``I am proud to be one of a select few Australians to have been given a shot at NASCAR's top level and I will be doing everything in my power to give Phoenix Racing the best possible result at Watkins Glen,'' he said.

Now based in Melbourne, Kelly started his career in karts at the age of nine and has one of the most comprehensive careers of any Australian racer with experience in Formula Ford, Porsche Cup, 2-litre Super Tourers, New Zealand Super Tourers,  Sprintcars and V8 Supercars in Australia.

His US experience includes Grand-Am, Late Models and NASCAR Nationwide.

Having driven for Kelly Racing in the last three Bathurst 1000s, he decided this year to concentrate on his US commitments.

The No. 51 Phoenix Racing car to be driven by Tasmania's Owen Kelly on August 11.

The No. 51 Phoenix Racing car to be driven by Tasmania's Owen Kelly on August 11.