Atlanta: Bires - Friday Ford interview

Kelly Bires, driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford Fusion talks about the single NASCAR Nationwide Series practices session held today. The first practice session was canceled because of rain. Bires brings a new race Fusion to Atlanta and seeks a...

Kelly Bires, driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford Fusion talks about the single NASCAR Nationwide Series practices session held today. The first practice session was canceled because of rain. Bires brings a new race Fusion to Atlanta and seeks a top-10 finish during tomorrow's Nicorette 300. Bires has two top-15 finished so far this season.

TALK ABOUT THE SINGLE PRACTICE SESSION. "We unloaded a new car today and had to work a lot of bugs out of it. We wish we had another half an hour practice or so. I think we could have gotten our Clorox Fusion that much better. The rain has forced us to do a little bit of guessing overnight, but I think they are going to be pretty educated guesses. We know what direction we need to go. We needed another practice session, time to work on it and then a final practice instead of the single practice. I think that would have helped us out. I think we'll still have a top-15 finish. It's what we are looking for. We can't expect to bring a new car that we haven't raced with a different tire into a track that's my first time in Nationwide car. I think if we would have had a car that we've ran before and come here, then we probably would be a little better off, but with the weather going the way it did. The guys changed a lot of stuff and work really hard. I'm thinking it will pay off. I think we'll find ourselves in the top 10 tomorrow."

SO THE TIME CHART MEANS NOTHING TO THE TEAM TODAY? "Right, the timing chart doesn't mean anything at all to us today. We're just looking for a comfortable race car that's consistent and to be able to drive the way I need to drive, not just on lap three but lap 20. That's all we worked on today. We were trying to get the balance right. This track is very close in balance in being too loose or too tight. You keep going back and forth, but once we get the attitude of the car right, then we'll start working on the balance. I think another 20 minutes of practice we would have been able to get it on the money. I think we know what direction we have to go. Scott Zipadelli [crew chief] and the guys will have the car dialed in for me overnight."

HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR TOMORROW'S COLDER TEMPERATURES? "I'm not sure. It will be more a factor with the rubber and what the rubber is going to do to the track. When it gets really cold, it can make it looser. A lot of times when it gets cold, you get more grip and you're tighter. There's a temperature there when it gets too cold and it just makes you lose all grip. It will be interesting to see."

ON THE TRACK. "It's good. I've been here in the truck last year and it feels different in a Nationwide car compared to the truck. I like the track; it's fast. To me, it's just another mile-and-a-half track, you've got to have the car be able to do what you need to do in order to race fast. If you can run that perfect line every lap, then your car might handle, but when you get in traffic, you'll struggle a bit. It's a matter of getting the car balanced right so when you do approach cars, you can pull up and pass them. We're hoping for a top-10 finish on Saturday."

YOUR GOALS HAVE CHANGED SINCE DAYTONA. "Yes, we wanted a top-15 finish in Daytona and we were able to get that. Now, I want top-10 finishes. I feel on the mile-and-a-halves we should be top 10s. That's what we worked on over the winter. Plus, that's the majority of the tracks we raced at. Last year, I left that was our strongest point at the end of the year going into the off-season, so I think we picked up where we left off last season. I want top 10s at tracks like this. We had a top 10 car in California, we would have had a top 10 last week, so we'll just keep working on those."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kelly Bires
Teams HART