Kye Kelley, a perennial bridesmaid in the Street Outlaws No Prep Kings championship standings to Ryan Martin, is seemingly leaving little to chance this year. The New Orleans racer, in his first campaign with a supercharged engine combination, entered the Bandimere Speedway event this weekend with three Great 8 victories in five final rounds, and two invitational wins in as many final round appearances, giving him a commanding lead in the season’s Great 8 standings, and the top position in both the individual and team rankings.
Kelley cemented his dominance of the series this weekend in Denver, winning both the Great 8 and Saturday’s invitational, becoming the first driver this season to complete the double. Friday, he ousted Kayla Morton, Larry Roach, and Giuseppe Gentile to claim the Great 8 title.
On Saturday, he drew Chuck Seitsinger in round one, and a strong-running Kallee Mills a round later. He then defeated Martin and his bright-red Fireball Camaro in the quarterfinals, and teammate Lizzy Musi in the semis, sending him to his third final round of the season.
In the opposite lane, making just his second invitational start ever, Clay Cole made his presence known in his ProCharger-boosted Camaro, marching through a stacked lineup that included early-season favorite Damon Merchant, Robin Roberts, Disco Dean Karns, and Morton to appear in his first-ever final round.
In the finale, Kelley took a slight lead at the jump and was never headed in what was a spectacular drag race worth the price of admission, with less than a car length separating the two supercharged entries. With the win, what is believed to be the last at the Bandimere facility before it’s impending closure at the end of the season, Kelley collected $50,000 ($10,000 for his Great 8 crown and $40,000 for the invitational).
Musi on Friday collected her second invitational win of the season in the postponed final round from Boise, Idaho, where she defeated Chuck Parker. Kelley’s team, comprised at present of he, Musi, David Gates, Cole, and Chris Rankin, now lead the team standings by 110 over Dave Comstock’s squad, and 180 over Martin’s. Kelley also leads the Great 8 by 20 points over Gentile, and the individual points by 20 over Musi and 50 over Merchant.
“This whole weekend started off with Lizzy winning the Idaho final, and then I turn around and win the Great 8, Chris Rankin blows out Outlaw Big Tire, and then I beat our number-four guy to win the invitational. You can’t make that shit up. This was the best weekend ever. Just want to thank Bandimere, this is my favorite track ever,” Kye Kelley said after the win.