No. 47 Kroger Racing Crew Chief Mike Kelley and His Wife’s Passion Extends Outside of Racing

Mike Kelley is our 2023 DAYTONA 500 CHAMPION crew chief and so far this year he has led the No. 47 Kroger Racing team to the iconic Daytona 500 victory, the first Round of 16 Playoffs, two top-fives, 8 top-10 and 15 top-15 finishes. When he’s not racing, we believe Mike and his wife, Dana, are superheroes in the racing community that are saving animals through their passionate work at Lake Norman Humane in Moorseville, N.C.


Mike plays a crucial role volunteering in many areas of need to keep the place running and Dana is the Director of Operations at Lake Norman Humane. Through their tireless efforts with the staff, they rescue, rehabilitate and rehome pets. Their work has not gone unnoticed by Kroger Racing partner Blue Buffalo™, maker of high-quality, natural food and treats that dogs and cats love.  

Blue Buffalo™ has committed to donating product from their portfolio of high-quality, natural food and treats for both dogs and cats on a monthly basis for the next year to Lake Norman Humane.


“We’re a proud sponsor of JTG Daugherty Racing, and the work that Mike and Dana do to help pets find their forever homes is inspiring to all of us at Blue Buffalo,” said Rob Branham, Sr. Customer Manager, Blue Buffalo. “It’s a wonderful way to live out our mission to love, feed and treat all pets like family, and help dogs and cats in need.”


This news could not have come at a better time to help draw more attention to Lake Norman Humane, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal rescue that relies solely on the community’s generosity and donations to survive. On Tuesday night, they will hold their annual “A Night for Paws” fundraising event to help offset some of the costs to rescue animals, care for them, and provide medical needs.

Another esteemed partner of the race team, Sugarlands Distilling Company, will be providing spirits with a bar setup for those in attendance for dinner, live entertainment, raffles, and silent and live auctions. Tickets are still available for purchase on their website


“It’s an event held annually to raise money and awareness about Lake Norman Humane,” said Mike Kelley. “Lake Norman Humane can house 60 cats, and 50 dogs in the facility and have a foster-based program where they pair up great people with extraordinary cases for short-term care.”


“On average Lake Norman Humane will have 400 dog adoptions, and 500 cat adoptions a year (a no kill shelter),”added Dana Kelley. “We do everything possible to ensure that every animal is adopted into a loving home.” 

Each year their presence grows in their community and outreach is one of their biggest goals to educate people about the enjoyment of being a pet owner, but also the responsibility too. We appreciate all that Mike, Dana and Lake Norman Humane do to give furry friends (like below) a second chance.

JTG Racing PR