• Following a short but successful speedway career, which saw him collect a number of national and state title victories, among other blue-ribbon events, Tasmanian-based Formula 500 racer Marcus Kelly has decided to announce his retirement from speedway racing.

    With the announcement coming off the back of a recent feature-race victory at Hobart Solo Speedway, there’s no doubt that Kelly is still just as competitive as ever. However, the hard-working 40-year-old racer’s decision to retire from speedway has been prompted by a need to focus on work and family commitments, which stepping away from driver duties will allow him more time to do.

    “Speedway has always been such a huge part of my life and I feel extremely lucky to have been able to achieve as much as I have in such a short time,” expressed Kelly, who many credit for playing a large part in furthering the growth and development of Formula 500s, as well as lifting the benchmark in terms of professionalism throughout not only his home state of Tasmania, but the rest of Australia as well, thanks to the contribution he’s made to the sport.

    “I’m so thankful for the time I’ve spent racing and doing what I love, along with the life-long friendships that I’ve made through my time at the track, in particular with my crew chief Craig Munday. I definitely accomplished more during my time racing than I initially anticipated, and I have to give a huge thanks to Craig and the rest of my crew for making it all possible.”

    Having always been involved with speedway in some form, initially as a spectator, Kelly began racing competitively in the 2010-11 season, joining the Formula 500s class, where he was able to gain significant experience from his teammate and three-time Tasmanian Champion Matt Redpath for his first two seasons, showing his speed from the outset by taking out the overall Tasmanian club point score and qualifying on the front row for both the Queensland and ACT Titles, along with numerous feature-race wins and an impressive 10th-place finish in the Australian Championship, after starting rear of field.

    A testament to their constant immaculate presentation and exceptional car standards, Kelly and his team also received the season’s Best Presented Car and Crew award, with the well-respected driver, who is renowned for always being willing to lend a hand to fellow competitors wherever possible, having since bought and sold a number of quality race cars in Tasmania, bringing a significant amount of quality machinery to the state.

    In just their second season with the class, the Kelly and Munday duo continued their success, coming away with the first of what would be three Tasmanian Title victories for the team. The highlight of Kelly’s speedway career came in the 2012-13 season, when he drove the race of his life to win the Australian Title in his home state at Carrick Speedway, becoming only the fourth Tasmanian driver in history to win the event.

    Having won multiple blue-ribbon events in recent seasons, including the Titch Jordan Memorial and Ken McKinnell Memorial, Kelly has also tried his hand at American speedway tracks, travelling to Tulsa Expo Raceway in Oklahoma, USA on two occasions to contest the Tulsa Shootout, most recently in 2016-17 over the Christmas-New Year period, where he was competitive in both the Outlaw (640cc) and the A Stock (600cc) classes against the country’s best drivers.

    Once again planning to travel to America for the third consecutive season later this year, this season’s Tulsa Shootout will be Kelly’s final race meeting and will be a fitting climax to what has been a prosperous speedway career. Kelly will focus his attention towards improving on his previous results in the event, hoping to qualify for the A main for the first time.

    Kelly would like to thank the following 2016-17 season sponsors for their valued support: Joinery Products, Maxwell Industries, Steve Watt Enterprises, and TI-FX. He would also like to give special thanks to Craig Munday for all of his amazing support and assistance over the years, along with the rest of his crew and family.

    To find out more about Kelly and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Joinery Products Racing.

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