Milwaukee: Kelly Bires preview

BIRES, CLOROX TEAM ON FAMILIAR GROUND AT MILWAUKEE WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Kelly Bires came home to Wisconsin three days early to see old friends and family. But make no mistake, when Bires and the No. 47 Clorox Ford hit the track for Saturday ...

BIRES, CLOROX TEAM ON FAMILIAR GROUND AT MILWAUKEE

WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Kelly Bires came home to Wisconsin three days early to see old friends and family. But make no mistake, when Bires and the No. 47 Clorox Ford hit the track for Saturday night's Camping World RV Rental 250, it's all business.

Bires grew up less than two hours away from The Milwaukee Mile in Mauston, Wis. He won a pair of state high school wrestling championships -- one in the 103-pound class, another in 112 -- and he called the Milwaukee area home when he won the American Speed Association national championship in 2006.

"I love Milwaukee," Bires said. "I get around that track really well. I won an ASA race there and I know I'll have a lot of friends and family at the race. It's nice to have all those people there. Hopefully they can pick me up; hopefully I can pick them up."

And yet, Bires knows the real key to success will be his Ford Fusion and his JTG Racing team. "We've struggled a little bit on the short tracks, but we've got some new things planned for Milwaukee," crew chief Scott Zipadelli said. "The track is flat and that really adds to the challenge. We've concentrated a lot on finding a balance for our Fords, and we think we've got some new things we're eager to try. We can't wait to see."

Bires relaxed for a few days before arriving at The Milwaukee Mile. "I get to spend some time with my best buddies," he said. "We're going to a couple (Milwaukee) Brewers games. We're going to grill out and have a good time. It will be like old times. b^0x001cBut I'm not coming home for a reunion. I'm home to get our Clorox Ford up front and contend for a win. It will be nice to see everybody, but it will be even better to get a good finish -- or a win. We work hard to do that every week. For me, the comfort level is higher because I'm from Wisconsin; I love the area; I love to race there."

Bires comes into Saturday night's race ranked 14th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. The team has three consecutive Top-20 finishes. "You have to remember Kelly's only been in the car for one year," Zipadelli said. "He's had to learn a lot on the run".

-credit: jtg

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kelly Bires