Kelley Out For Few Races

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SODDY DAIDY, Tenn. - ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie of the Year contender Brandon Kelley, who was recently announced as the driver for the No. 23 Hixson Motorsports Chevrolets for 2008, will miss several upcoming races. Kelley, whose strong run at Daytona in February caught a lot of people's attention, is dealing with some private personal problems. The decision was made to replace Kelley in the car while he continues to deal with those issues. Kelley hopes to return to the driver's seat later this spring.

"We are committed to having Brandon Kelley as our driver," team owner Wayne Hixson said Monday from his race shop. "Brandon has some problems that he is dealing with, and we respect that. We have to keep moving forward as a team, so we have named a replacement driver for the next few events and will keep working and looking forward to having Brandon back in the car. Out of respect for Brandon's privacy, our team will have no further comment about his absence from the car."

Team owner Wayne Hixson did not have to look long or far in finding a replacement driver. Donny Kelley, Brandon's father and an accomplished late model racer in his own right, will fill in as the driver of the No. 23 during Brandon's absence. Donny Kelley, 48, began racing motorcycles in the 1970's. He then moved on to Go-Karts, Allison Legacy cars, and has spent the past four years in the ASA Late Model Series. In 2004, Kelley made one ARCA RE/MAX Series start at South Boston Speedway, having a very strong run until a mechanical failure late in the race. When he is not racing, Kelley manages his business, Porter Glass and Mirror, located in Porter, Texas.

"This is by no means the way I wanted to get on the track this season," Kelley said Monday. "When we put this deal together for Brandon, Wayne (Hixson) and I planned for me to run a second car out of his shop a few times later this season. I wasn't expecting to get behind the wheel this soon and I can't say that I am happy with the current situation, but you have to play the cards you are dealt. We had some bad luck this last weekend at Salem, but I am looking forward to going to Iowa and Kansas. After that we will evaluate where we are at and make some more decisions. At Daytona I worked with the team, so I knew going into Salem that I have a good team to work with, with Wayne (Hixson), Mark (Haehn), and the guys. I would like to ask everyone to keep Brandon in their thoughts and prayers, and hopefully we will have him back in the car soon."

In his first start of the season this past weekend at Salem Speedway in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 by Federated Auto Parts, Donny Kelley started 30th and finished 29th after being caught up in the first big wreck around lap 30. With Salem behind them and one race together under their belts, Donny Kelley and his Hixson Motorsports crew are ready to press onto Iowa Speedway for this Saturday's Prairie Meadows 250.

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Friday, October 04, 2013

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