December 23, 2014
The History of Kelly Moss Motorsports
May 1988 –
What would a history be without a few stories and anecdote’s, so here goes. The original owners and co founders of Kelly Moss Motorsports were Madison business man Rich Moskalik and his wife Kathy Kellogg. Rich was also the founder of a local Madison financial investment firm, Northern Capital Management.
Rich was a car enthusiast with a particular passion to the Porsche brand. Around this time Rich and Kathy also had a second residence in St Petersburg Florida. This was during the hey day of the “Grey Market” car era, which led Rich to the ownership of a boutique exotic car dealership in St. Petersburg.
David Stone, co founder of Kelly Moss, while taking a look at a new profession, wanting to make a change from the construction industry and having been in racing of many types since a very young age, took the role of GM and Service department at Euro Imports.
With a life long and natural interest in racing, David noticed that when two Porsches would come and go from the workshop, that they had received some track related, mainly safety related modifications, albeit not very well done.
When the opportunity presented itself, David mentioned the issues to Rich. Being the type of successful and serious man he was, Rich asked David to correct the situation. Soon after, Rich mentioned he also had numerous Porsche cars in Madison, WI that he enjoyed driving at Track Time events and asked David if he would come to Madison for an inspection of those cars which ultimately led to his work to bring Rich’s northern stable up to the finest standards of performance and safety.
Soon after, Rich asked David if he would consider moving from Florida to Wisconsin to start a Porsche racing team. In short, once the details were agreed to and establishing the fact that Rich had the resources to do a proper job, David moved to Madison and the journey began in May 1988….Kelly Moss Motorsports had begun.
At this point David had barely even looked under the hood of a Porsche or competed in road racing. The only real exposure to the sport had been from his first attendance as a youth to the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1967 followed by more Sebring races and one venture on a high school road trip with a couple of buddies that led to a race at Mid Ohio in 1971, which honestly turned into more of a party at the KOA campground…but that’s another story.
One thing David learned at a young age was the fastest way to learn about what you did not know, was to put your ego on the shelf, and expose yourself to the best and brightest minds in whatever area you wanted to learn.
In the beginning David was a one-man show with the exception of fly in help. He swept the floors, built the cars, loaded and unloaded the trucks, drove them all over the country to the races and so on.
In order to accelerate the learning curve David and Rich hired the best they could find to learn from on a temporary basis. They worked with a group out of St Louis with a small independent European road car repair facility with particular experience in the Porsche brand and some SCCA type track experience which they worked with for a couple of years.
The very first race KMM competed in was the IMSA Firestone Firehawk race at Road Atlanta in 1989 and Winning! It was enough encouragement to lead the KMM group on into the future and establish them selves as a successful and often-dominant force in any series of racing they chose to participate in.
1990 – 1992 IMSA FIRESTONE FIREHAWK ENDURANCE SERIES
With the 1989 win at Road Atlanta as fuel for encouragement to forge ahead, David, Rich and the all-volunteer team moved into their future of road racing. It was a more than full time affair. During this time, David’s younger brother Jeff came on board as a fly in crewmember. Jeff and David have been at each others side through thick and thin, ups and downs ever since.
Some of the early drivers that led to the successes of the KMM team, aside from Rich himself, were Bob Strange, Jeff Purner, Paul Tosi, Bobby Akin, Nick Ham, James Weaver, Price Cobb, Maro Baldi, and numerous others.
KMM won the 1990 Firehawk Championship with Rich and Jeff Purner driving. It was an outstanding first year full time in road racing. In 1991 KMM finished a disappointing close 2nd in the Championship missing by just a few points to the Charlie Cook led team of drivers Mark Sandridge and Joe Varde, whom had moved from their stalwart Chevy Camaros of previous years to a, what else, Porsche 944S2. After KMM winning in 1990 with their home brewed Porsche 944 S2’s, the Porsche factory built just 7 special S2’s that became known as the “Super 7” based on the details of the KMM built S2….but that also is another story.
Having come so close to a repeat championship in 91’, David and Rich knew some changes had to be made internally. The entire KMM effort was solely run and based out of Madison, Wi from that point on. It was a complete shake up and for the better. 1992 was a stellar season winning 8 of 10 races that year and finishing 2nd in the other two. KMM would have won 9 of those races except for a mistake by David that he has never forgotten. He let an infraction by the other team at a Sebring race go due to a friendship involved with that team. Friends are friends, but on the track it’s a different story. Lesson learned.
1993 – Bridgestone SuperCar Series
By the time 1993 was rolling around, Porsche AG and PMNA had taken notice of the KMM group. In the previous couple of seasons, Porsche had given some sporadic help in ways of parts and technology to KMM, however this year would be another step up. Porsche wanted KMM to be sort of back up to the older more established Brumos Racing team of Jacksonville, Fla who would be running Hans Stuck and Hurly Haywood in a pair of 911 Turbo’s. With such a great year in 1992 for KMM and driver Nick Ham, Porsche supplied two 911 Turbo’s to KMM. What could go wrong? Well, that too is another story. It was the worst year in KMM history. We crashed out of 8 of 10 races that year and crashed on the way to those two in testing. We can only smile about it today, but it was nothing to smile about at the time.
1994 – SCCA World Challenge Pro Racing
What a great year. Fortunately Porsche did not hold the 1993 SuperCar season against us, and to this day 1994 was the last fully supported Porsche Factory deal a team has had the benefit of. Porsche supplied two 911 Turbo’s and all the special parts you could ask for, not to mention an undisclosed, but substantial amount of cash. It was not going to be an easy year. All the factories had special teams there, Corvette, Nissan, BMW, etc. At the same time, Brumos was going to be running two Porsches in the IMSA Series. The concept was for our cars and the Brumos cars to match in every way possible for interchangeability in time of crisis.
It was game on and the Stone Brothers went to work. They built the new chassis’ in house at KMM, then one cold morning in January 1994, Jeff and David loaded up and headed for sunny Santa Ana California, Porsche Motorsports……it felt like we were going to the fatherland. The idea was for the two Brumos cars, which were already there, and the two KMM cars to match up in every detail. We spent about 3-4 weeks there, experienced the massive LA earthquake of 94 and a lot of great memories while doing so.
1994 starts out with a bang. After countless long days and miles on the road, our first race of the season was to be the Miami Grand Prix…..what a great venue that was…Miami had all the right ingredience, much like Long Beach, sun, beaches, beautiful girls and a great diverse crowd. Only a few problems along the way.
As racing seems to always be, time was short and we had zero track time on the cars. Fortunately Alwin Springer, then Boss of PMNA, had long time connections with the INDY car crowd who always hold their winter testing in Sebring, so they let us join them. Did I say 1994 started out with a bang? What I meant was, a crash. We could not have been happier with our new driver line up. Our first driver of choice was Le Mans Winner, and big car, big power prototype driver, Price Cobb! Price was big time and I am happy to say that some years later Price and his wife Charissa Cobb joined KMM and Charissa is still with us today. Their dedication to KMM and the Stone Brothers has been appreciated more than they will ever know. We are happy to call them friends and have been on many adventures together over the years. Now back to the story.
While Price was “our” pick of drivers, since Porsche was our benefactor, they made the choice of driver for the second car. Enter Mauro Baldi, F1 driver, Le Mans winner, etc. sounds good to us. Sebring first lap, old hairpin turn, crash into the tires. Brand new car in route to first race, FUBAR. We had what was known as the (top-secret) “Goodyear Box” in the car. Today it would be more commonly known as a Racing ABS brake ECU.
Unfortunately for all involved, Mauro had never driven anything with ABS brakes, so when he got into the brakes at the hairpin and the brakes did what ABS brakes do, he was startled and by the time he got it figured out, it was too late, here comes the tire wall. OK, so we put that car aside, finished the day in the other car and then spent the rest of the day and night rebuilding the car until we had to leave for Miami around 3:00 a.m. with just enough time to make the line up for parking. Did I mention Mauro was Italian and had lots of great looking female cousins that accompanied him to the races? He did not, so never mind. The one fond highlight of the night was to turn around and notice F1 Star Nigel Mansel was sitting under our tent relaxing and watching us work. Our experience with Nigel was great and he actually sent us all individually signed 8×10 glossy’s of him racing F1 in Montreal. It was nice keepsake of a time we all look back on and smile. I have found that is the key to life, just keep smiling, it will all get better eventually. And it did.
In spite of all the work, blood and sweat and there was blood, but that is another story also, we won the Miami Grand Prix in a torrential down pour.
It was party time at Shula’s Steak house! They actually kept the place open just for us. David and Jeff’s names are still on the wall there for having eaten the giant steak they have for a challenge…. trust me it was no challenge at this point. Oh yes, we also won the 1994 World Challenge Championship and Price Cobb was the first American driver and KMM the first American team, to win the coveted Porsche Cup.
1995 – A New era for KMM
1995 led to big changes for KMM. The Porsche factory was gearing up for the new Porsche AG operated GT1 Program so that meant no more factory funding or support for independent teams.
We do take pride however in being chosen by Porsche to handle the logistics for the Factory Porsche AG teams GT1 racing in 1997 for Sebring and Laguna Seca. It was a great time and epic road trip from Florida to California.
Time to turn KMM into a business. Fortunately for KMM, several years of success, coverage by the automotive press, and numerous magazine articles, and the advent of Porsche Club racing led to the new concept of “Arrive and Drive” racing. KMM pioneered the concept where amateur racers with the resources to own Porsche cars for the track, but not the time, expertise or inclination to maintain or modify them, could sign up with KMM for a full service, Red Carpet driving experience and also allow them to experience all the famous tracks around the US. They could now bring the families, do side trips to wine country in California, shopping and nights of fun in Vegas, sun and beaches in Florida, have private track days with famous race car drivers as their personal coaches, food catering, the works. It saved many a marriage I assure you.
Fast forward to 2012 and KMM has moved from its somewhat humble beginnings at 3017 Perry St, to a new 55,000 square foot facility in Madison complete with a bustling European Road Car department, full paint and collision department, all wheel drive chassis dyno, engine dyno, fabrication department, composite shop and much more.
Kelly Moss Motorsports is now under the umbrella of The AutoPlex as part of a full service Road and Racing facility with, KM Auto Body, Stone Brothers Garage–Radical Rides, The Mirage Group ( A Motorsports Management firm ) and SignEdge Graphics, building everything from Porsche race cars, Porsche restorations and Special Porsche Retro Mods, Retro Mod Muscle Cars and Classics, Hot Rod Harleys and really anything a customer with a dream might want.
With Jeff Stone primarily handling the Porsche racing teams and development, David has spent most of his time building and operating as 2008 to 2014 as Team Manager of Level 5 Racing from 2008 to 2014 as competing World Wide in the ALMS Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Together the Stone Brothers and many great, dedicated professionals have been fortunate to live and work their dreams for them selves and many customers with the passion of the automobile.
If you have a dream, or just want to see what KMM is all about, we invite you to stop in for a personal tour at 5105 West Clayton Road, Madison Wisconsin.
By the way, one question that has come up many times over the years is where did the name Kelly Moss come from? If you did not put it together already, it is an anachronism for Rich Moskalik and Kathy Kellogg.
We invite you to return to to this site to stay on top of Kelly Moss Racing as we continue to make history in the future. Your loyalty as fans and customers is greatly appreciate
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