Loudon: Kelly Bires race report

TEAM CLOROX VS. MOTHERNATURE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE LOUDON, N.H. -- Kelly Bires and the No. 47 Clorox team were expecting a challenge from the difficult New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as well as the other 42 teams in Saturday's Camping World RV Sales...

TEAM CLOROX VS. MOTHERNATURE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

LOUDON, N.H. -- Kelly Bires and the No. 47 Clorox team were expecting a challenge from the difficult New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as well as the other 42 teams in Saturday's Camping World RV Sales 200.

They didn't count on fighting Mother Nature.

Heavy cloud cover and cooler temperatures threw the team for a loss Saturday afternoon. They prepared for warmer conditions, but still managed to finish on the lead lap -- and in 22nd place.

"Basically we were bouncing the front tires," Bires said. "We were able to make it a little better at the end, but it was a handful. It was 30 degrees cooler than practice. We didn't have any of those conditions during practice."

Bires said his JTG Racing team easily could have adjusted his Ford Fusion, but the changes would have required work in the garage. NASCAR impounds cars after qualifying in the Nationwide Series, so changes essentially were limited to adjusting air pressure in the tires. "When the weather changes like that, you have to make an educated guess," said crew chief Scott Zipadelli. "We were really close, but in this sport you have to be spot-on. We're a better team than that. We'll bounce back next week at Daytona."

Bires said the Clorox Ford was tight -- a condition where the front tires lose traction in the corners. He fell off the lead lap at mid-race, but managed to get back on the same lap with the leaders. Once he got back there, he stayed there. "It's hard to set up for something like that," Bires said. "We had real good balance with the car in practice. I thought we were going to be really good in the race. We just couldn't get it freed up enough.

"The guys on this Clorox team made a lot of changes during the race. These cars are so sensitive they react to every little thing. It's not as easy as turning a wrench and everything is fine. You have to do things in very, very small steps."

Bires said he's eager to get back on a roll at Daytona Beach, Fla., on Saturday night. b^0x001cWe're excited to get to Daytona," he said. "We'll get right back up there. This one caught us off guard a little bit. It won't happen too often."

-credit: jtgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kelly Bires