DOVER, Del. -- For the first 70 laps of Saturday's Camping World RV 200 at the Dover International Speedway, it appeared Kelly Bires was on his way to his first victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. After starting on the pole and running...
DOVER, Del. -- For the first 70 laps of Saturday's Camping World RV 200 at the Dover International Speedway, it appeared Kelly Bires was on his way to his first victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
After starting on the pole and running first or second during the first 70 laps, Bires blew a left-front tire, sending the No. 47 The Animal Adoption League Ford into the third turn wall -- and a 34th-place finish.
It took less than two seconds for a day full of hope and optimism to turn into bitter disappointment.
"There was no warning at all," Bires said. "We had a fast car; we were very happy with it. We were going to get a good Top-five finish with it, if not a win. Now we have to build a new car. This JTG Daugherty Racing team will build another one just like it and we'll be fine." Bires was one of the 10 fastest drivers in both practice sessions early Friday. He then posted the fastest lap during pole qualifying on Saturday until Kyle Busch finally knocked him off the pole late in the session.
"We came here with a setup in mind and all we worked on in practice were race runs," crew chief Scott Zipadelli said. "We were good right off the truck. It started out like it was going to be one of our best races of the year. Some things are out of your control. We don't know if Kelly ran over something or not. When you blow a tire like that, it's usually just a bad bit of racing luck. It was fun while it lasted."
Bires remained 14th in the Nationwide Series standings.
"We were giving The Animal Adoption League a really good run," Bires said. "We hit really hard in Turn 3. I'm not physically hurt, by my feelings are hurt a little bit. We had a great car and it's a shame we didn't come out of here with the kind of finish we deserved.
"When I got to the end of the backstretch, the tire let go. I tried to slow down, but there's no slowing down getting into (Turn) 3. You don't realize how fast you're going until you hit the wall."
Zipadelli said the team planned to take a different car to Kansas.
"We've got more bullets," he said. "We lost a real good race car, for sure. But we've some more back at the shop. We'll be ready for Kansas. This was a setback, but it won't keep us down for long."