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Australian to make Sprint Cup debut at Glen

August 06, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Australian to make Sprint Cup debut at Glen
Owen Kelly has top-five finishes in two previous Nationwide Series starts

Tasmanian driver Owen Kelly will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Watkins Glen International.  On Tuesday, the sanctioning body issued an updated entry list for with Kelly in the No. 51 car.

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Kelly has two previous NASCAR starts -- a pair of top-fives in NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Road America, most recently fourth earlier this year for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 car.

The 36-year-old’s first national series start came in 2010 at the Elkhart Lake, Wis. facility. He finished fifth in the No. 27 Baker Curb Racing car.

A former V8 Supercars racer in his native Australia, Kelly met Dale Earnhardt Jr. Down Under in 2007 and began driving for JR Motorsports Late Model team in 2008.

Fellow Tasmanian Marcos Ambrose has won the previous two Sprint Cup races at Watkins Glen.

AJ Allmendinger was originally listed in both the No. 51 car of Phoenix Racing and the No. 47 ride for JTG Daugherty Racing. He will drive the 47.

Allmendinger has four career Sprint Cup starts at Watkins Glen, with a top result of fourth for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010. The former open-wheel driver has finished 13th or better in his past eight Sprint Cup starts on road courses, a stretch that dates back to the late summer of 2008 and also includes four events at Sonoma Raceway.

The 31-year-old northern California native has made nine starts for Phoenix Racing, as well as a pair for JTG Daugherty. His best finish is 11th at Phoenix International Raceway in the No. 51 car.

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