Michigan: Kelly Bires race report

BIRES IN COMFORT ZONE IN CLOROX FORD WITH NINTH-PLACE FINISH BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Kelly Bires was back in his comfort zone last Saturday, racing the No. 47 Clorox Ford Fusion at 185 mph on the high banks of the Michigan International ...

BIRES IN COMFORT ZONE IN CLOROX FORD WITH NINTH-PLACE FINISH

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Kelly Bires was back in his comfort zone last Saturday, racing the No. 47 Clorox Ford Fusion at 185 mph on the high banks of the Michigan International Speedway.

After two weeks of road-racing, Bires showed why he likes oval racing the most with a ninth-place finish in the Carfax 250.

"I'm real happy," Bires said after posting his third Top-10 finish of the year for JTG Daugherty Racing. "There's no secret I love the big ovals. That's where I'm comfortable; that's where we've been the strongest. We came here looking to run in the Top 10 all day, and we did that. It was a flawless day for this Clorox team. We can all look forward to more days like this -- and even better finishes."

Bires started 12th on the two-mile, D-shaped oval. He was racing a car that hadn't been used since last May, but the Scott Zipadelli-led team had no problem getting it up to speed.

"So much has changed since May," the crew chief said. "We learn something with these cars every week. It's an on-going process. It's a good car, one that's really built for a track like Michigan. We were fast when we unloaded and we made the car better during the race. If not for some traffic at the end of the race, we probably were a Top-Five car. But overall, it was a good day."

Bires said the long, sweeping corners puts a premium on using the slip-stream of lead cars. He got stuck behind some slower cars that cost him some spots at the end, but he still managed to stay in the Top 10 to give the team momentum for next Friday's race at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

"We started the race just a little tight, but we made the right adjustments and didn't touch the car the rest of the day," Bires said. "We got stuck behind a couple lapped cars that really hurt us a couple times on those restarts that made us lose some positions. If you weren't in the right line, two or three cars could go by you and you wouldn't even know it. If we had another 10 laps, we would have gotten those spots back.

"Everyone did a great job on pit road; the car was great from the start. When you get that kid of effort, you can't complain. We'll take a Top-10 finish. As long as we keep having days like this, we'll reach our No. 1 goal to finish in the Top 10 in points. We're 14th and we have 10 races to go. Anything is possible."

-credit: jtgr

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