St. Louis: Kelly Bires preview

BIRES LIKES HIS ODDS AT GATEWAY IN CLOROX ANYWHERE FORD MADISON, Ill. -- Most of the drivers who do double-duty in NASCAR will be on vacation during Saturday night's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at the Gateway International Raceway. While...

BIRES LIKES HIS ODDS AT GATEWAY IN CLOROX ANYWHERE FORD

MADISON, Ill. -- Most of the drivers who do double-duty in NASCAR will be on vacation during Saturday night's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at the Gateway International Raceway. While that increases the odds for Kelly Bires and the No. 47 Clorox Anywhere Ford, he will miss the chance to beat the veterans from the Sprint Cup Series.

As many as 15 Sprint Cup drivers have appeared each week in the Nationwide Series, and Bires still has managed to maintain a 14th-place position in the standings. There will only be six Cup drivers at Gateway as that series enjoys the final open weekend of the racing season.

"It's nice to have the Cup guys around," Bires said. "I love the challenge. We have a better opportunity to run better when they're not around, but it will be good to get them back next week. The odds are certainly better this week, but it's up to this JTG Racing team to take advantage of the situation."

Bires said he likes the unique shape of the 1.25-mile track in the shadows of the Gateway to the West Arch in St. Louis. He started ninth there a year ago and was running in the Top Five, only to suffer engine problems and finish 24th. "No matter what you do, the car's going to be tight in Turns 1 and 2," crew chief Scott Zipadelli said. "It's the nature of the beast. You can get it close, but the turn is so tight it's tough to make it turn.

"We'll go there to make the best of Turns 1 and 2 and get after it in Turns 3 and 4. You rely a lot on the driver there. He can be a bigger factor there than a lot of adjustments."

Bires has six Top-20 finishes in his last seven races to be just 56 points from the Top 10.

"With most of the Cup guys going to the beach or the mountains, it's a good chance for the Clorox team to make a move in the point standings. We don't get this chance too often, so we need to make sure we take care of business. The Cup guys will be back soon enough -- and I can't wait. We can survive one week without most of them."

FAST & FUN FACTS:

- Bires is 14th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with two Top-10 finishes in 20 starts for JTG Racing.

- Bires has one career start at Gateway. He started ninth there a year ago and finished 24th.

- Bires is a two-time Wisconsin state high school wrestling champion.

- Bires won the 2006 American Speed Association national championship.

- Pole qualifying for the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 is at 5 p.m. ET Saturday.

-credit: jtg racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kelly Bires