Homestead: JTG Racing/Bires race report

BIRES MAKES STRONG PITCH FOR FUTURE ABOARD HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Kelly Bires hopes last Saturday's ninth-place finish in the Ford 300 will be more than the final chapter of the 2008 season. Despite starting last at the Homestead-Miami Speedway,...

BIRES MAKES STRONG PITCH FOR FUTURE ABOARD

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Kelly Bires hopes last Saturday's ninth-place finish in the Ford 300 will be more than the final chapter of the 2008 season.

Despite starting last at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, Bires drove the No. 47 Tom's Snacks Ford to a Top-10 finish that hopefully will help JTG Daugherty Racing wrap up sponsorship for the future.

"There was a lot more to that effort than finishing the 2009 season," Bires said. "It was a statement for the future."

Bires was forced to start last after his team changed an engine before qualifying. By midway, Bires was inside the Top 15 and moving forward.

"The most satisfying aspect of this entire season is how we've progressed as a race team," said crew chief Scott Zipadelli. "Kelly has matured as a driver; we've matured as a team. The car is certainly better. We had some issues with the engines and that held us back a bit. But to be a constant Top-10 performer during the second half of the season says a lot about what this team has to offer."

Bires was sporting the Tom's Snacks sponsorship for the first time. He gave the company a wild ride by improving a race-best 34 positions.

"We've got the best people in the business working on this race team, and we've certainly got the best people working on sponsorship," Bires said. "I'm confident we'll get things in order for 2009. Right now, we can be proud of what we accomplished in 2008. We finished 13th in the points, and we made dramatic improvements during the second half. Given the opportunity, I believe we could contend for a championship in the future.

"When you have this much success, you want to keep it going. I wish the next race was on the next weekend. We're on such a roll. I really want to keep it going."

-credit: jtgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kelly Bires
Teams JTG Daugherty Racing