Dover: Kelly Bires preview

A year ago, Kelly Bires came to the Dover International Speedway as a rookie in the truck series. This year he returns as the driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford in the Nationwide Series. His learning curve remains in high gear.J Bires' ...

A year ago, Kelly Bires came to the Dover International Speedway as a rookie in the truck series. This year he returns as the driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford in the Nationwide Series. His learning curve remains in high gear.J

Bires' development has been quick according to crew chief Scott Zipadelli. His development will never be more important than during Saturday's Heluva Good! 200 at Dover.

"It's amazing how far his confidence has come in the last year," Zipadelli said in preparation for Saturday's race.

"He knows what he likes and what he doesn't like," Zipadelli said. "The next step is to help us get the car to the way he likes it. That's the toughest part of any driver's development process."

Bires, who is 16th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings, is eager to do his part. He's involved with the set-up process so he can get a better understanding of how his car responds to each change.

"There are so many ways a car responds to the slightest change, and it's part of the process to know the difference," he said. "It's really nothing more than gaining experience. The Nationwide Series is very competitive, so you learn everything on the run. But as a team, we've made huge gains."

Dover's high banks and narrow concrete racing surface is a tough place to find a comfortable set-up. Things happen quickly, especially at the exits of the second and fourth turn where there's no room to escape somebody else's trouble.

"What we need most of all is a good, solid finish," Bires said. "We've had a little bad luck lately, so it's important to finish this race on the lead lap. If we do that, it will be a good day. If it's a Top-10, it will be even better."

Zipadelli knows JTG Racing is on the verge of consistent Top-10 finishes. The cars are fast and the driver is one of the top talents in the series.

"This is a tough sport to learn on the run, but he's certainly managed," added Zipadelli. J

And always in high gear.

-credit: jtgr

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kelly Bires