Loudon: Kelly Bires preview

BIRES, CLOROX TEAM READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP AT NEW HAMPSHIRE LOUDON, N.H. -- The big picture for Kelly Bires and the No. 47 Clorox race team is a matter of little steps. The team has taken several significant steps during the NASCAR ...

BIRES, CLOROX TEAM READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP AT NEW HAMPSHIRE

LOUDON, N.H. -- The big picture for Kelly Bires and the No. 47 Clorox race team is a matter of little steps.

The team has taken several significant steps during the NASCAR Nationwide Series season, and they head into Saturday afternoon's Camping World RV Sales 200 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the verge of yet another breakthrough.

"We've definitely made our cars a lot better from this time last year until now. Everyone at JTG Racing has been working hard. But this year has been a lot better. We've been consistent. I'd say we have a 10th place car week in and week out. Sometimes we've been better than that; sometimes we've been worse. We're just trying to get better each and every week."

Bires is 14th in the Nationwide standings for JTG Racing. More important, he's going to the Magic Mile on a roll with four consecutive Top-20 finishes.

"This is a stretch where you go to Milwaukee and New Hampshire, and you've got at Gateway, you've got ORP [Indianapolis]," Bires said. "There's a lot of short tracks here in the next month or so, two months. It's kind of a building stretch. What you learn here, you'll take to the next one and just try to keep improving your package week in and week out. We don't do a lot of testing, so it's pretty much what our test is. We're just trying to get better at the race track every week."

Bires finished 11th last week at The Milwaukee Mile. He ran in the Top 10 most of the night, but the team lost the handle on his Ford Fusion during the final segment. "We were a little disappointed we didn't close out the deal," crew chief Scott Zipadelli said. "Milwaukee and Loudon are very similar. Both are one-mile tracks. Both are flat. We learned some important things at Milwaukee that will help us at Loudon. Our car was really fast during the daylight at Milwaukee and this week's race is a day race. We're pretty excited about our chances."

Bires said the difference between running in the Top 20 and inside the Top 10 is a matter of little things. But those little things quickly add up. "There's always air pressures, there's wedge, nose weight, track bar and stuff that you always mess around with to fit the track conditions or the difference in track," he said. "I think you can be very similar. If you run good here, I think you can take it to Loudon and be pretty close."

Close enough to take the next step.

"Week in and week out we had really fast race cars," Bires said. "Performance-wise we were running any where from 10th to fifth to 12th. We were running there every week. We had a five-race run of bad luck that put us behind. It's not anyone's fault of it happening. Our goal is to get back into the Top 10 in points, and that's what we're working on from now until the rest of the year."

-credit: jtgr

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kelly Bires