Georgetown, Texas rider Danny Kelsey overcame horrendous weather and tough competition to post two wins and claim the fastest lap of the weekend on his Michelin shod GSXR-750 during the penultimate round of CMRA spring championship racing at Eagles Canyon Raceway in Denton, Texas. Kelsey continued his pursuit of retaining the CMRA #1 plate, several class championships, and set the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:51.718 during the race weekend.

Friday practice started under looming skies. With forecasts changing by the hour, Kelsey put in some hard and fast laps uncharacteristically early as every “dry lap” may be the last until race day. Kelsey posted a 1:49.8 lap while testing new GP Suspension pistons designed for better traction over bumpy tracks (Texas can boast that nearly every track in the series qualifies as “bumpy”). The team also kept a close eye on the competition and it was quickly apparent that fellow Texan Ty Howard was ready for any assault that Kelsey may throw at him come Sunday from the observed lap times of Howard.

By mid-day Friday, heavy rains dominated the venue until Sunday morning. The rains were extremely heavy. Kelsey who shined last year at the CMRA races held in heavy rains at ECR was ready for the task of the racing conditions, but also reflected that, “every lap in this kind of weather is a real challenge. The amount of rain we received just makes every lap tricky.” The team discussed tactics and strategy and Kelsey skipped Sunday morning practice with the exception of one sighting lap. With only 51 points separating Howard and Kelsey for the CMRA #1 plate, Kelsey and the team decided to play the first race of the day “safe” and then aggressively go after points in the last three races of the day.

The first race of the day was 750 Superstock. Kelsey holds a 21 point lead over Dustin Dominguez who was absent and 35 point lead over Derek Wagnon who is his closest “on-track” rival. Kelsey put the JRi Shocks equipped GSXR-750 into the lead early, but settled into 2nd place on lap two as he felt out the conditions during his first hard racing laps on the wet ECR surface. He would finish the race in the runner up spot as he extended his points lead to over 40 points in the class.

With some data from the first race, the team manager made some crucial changes to the shock to give maximum traction for the reigning CMRA Champion. Although Howard and Kelsey greatly respect each other and even shared their mutual concerns over the weather conditions during discussions before their races, they are both strong competitors on the track. With the Open Superstock race being the 2nd race of the day being the first of two “head to head” races with Howard, Kelsey wanted to take advantage of any race to gain points on the current championship leader.

As the green flag dropped for Open Superstock, Kelsey started strong, but Howard emerged as the 1st lap leader. Kelsey was feeling out the new setup on the rear and despite giving up several seconds to Howard on the first lap and a half, Kelsey was ready to go after Howard and posted the fastest lap of the morning races held in rain with a 2:11.155 on lap 3. Kelsey was quickly closing on Howard and as the two riders were completing lap 4 Danny closed to within less than a half a second. As the riders emerged out of turn 8, Howard hit a tough patch of water and crashed his RC-8. With Kelsey closely behind Howard, he had to take drastic action to not hit Ty or his sliding RC-8. Although Kelsey nearly came to a stop, he resumed the race and won by over 30 seconds despite the incident.  Howard was mostly unhurt. The finishing positions left the class championship up for grabs with a “winner take all” race now in the making for Kelsey and Howard for the final round at Texas World Speedway.

As the lunch break completed, the rain had slowed and the story of the afternoon would be how riders would adapt and equip their bikes on the drying track. Kelsey would choose to go to full DOT’s for his next race Open Superbike, which was also the second “head to head” race with Howard. There would be a twist to the race though as Howard would be on his “back up bike” that he had to go drive to his house and pick up during lunch.

Kelsey blasted into the lead of Open Superbike and by turn 4 had over a 1 second lead on Howard. As Danny entered the Turn 6 area, catastrophe nearly struck as the GSXR-750 went completely sideways and nearly high-sided Kelsey as he went off the track and into the deep mud. Despite the amazing save, Kelsey now was over 6 seconds behind Howard and still cleaning the mud off his tires as lap one completed. Danny remained undeterred though and started closing on Howard quickly. By lap 3 he was within 4 seconds of Howard. On lap 4 Kelsey closed to within 2 seconds of the leader. On lap 5 Kelsey put it on the line and caught Howard in the Turn 10 area momentarily as they were lapping a rider. Despite posting the fastest lap of the day (1:51.718) on the final lap, Kelsey came up 0.326 seconds short of the race win. Kelsey’s lap was extremely impressive as there remained numerous wet patches and water running on the track. 

The final race of the day for KMC Controls sponsored Kelsey was 750 Superbike where he started the day 2 points behind class leader Derek Wagnon. When the green flag dropped Kelsey put the hammer down and took the lead by nearly 3 seconds as lap one completed. Danny extended his lead to over 13 seconds on the final lap. The win sets up another “winner take all” showdown for Kelsey and Wagnon at Texas World Speedway as they are only separated by 3 points.  

“It was great battling with Ty out there today.  It was also pretty tough as any mistake could easily mean that you could be on the ground. It was a great weekend nonetheless.  I was thinking several times that I had to slow down, but it is hard to do that when green flag drops”, recounted Danny Kelsey. would like to thank its sponsors KMC Controls, JRi Shocks,, Komodo, Lone Star Track Days, GP Suspension, Dynojet, DP Brakes, LP Racing, Hotbodies, Arata, K's Motorsports, Vortex, WRW Racing, Sam’s Cycle Salvage, Michelin, and Island Racing Services for their continued support. For more information about Danny Kelsey and, please visit

 Associated Links:

  • Brandon Bones Photos from Hallett (HIGH QUALITY)

  • RPS Official Press Release on RRW

  • CMRA Official Press Release on RRW