St. Louis: Kelly Bires race report

STRONG RUN FOR BIRES AT GATEWAY ENDS PREMATURELY MADISON, Ill. (July 17, 2010) -- Kelly Bires was slowly making his way through the field of the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 when contact with the frontstretch wall of Gateway International...

STRONG RUN FOR BIRES AT GATEWAY ENDS PREMATURELY

MADISON, Ill. (July 17, 2010) -- Kelly Bires was slowly making his way through the field of the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 when contact with the frontstretch wall of Gateway International Raceway ended a strong run for the Mauston, Wis. native. The 24-year was tucked behind Michael Annett on lap 55 when Annett made contact with the wall leaving no where for Bires to go. The No. 27 Ford Fusion slammed the wall causing damage to right side of the Baker Curb Racing Ford Fusion and ultimately breaking something internally that forced the team to retire from the race.

"We had a real strong car and I was trying to be patient and make my way to the front," said Bires. "I was tucked up behind Annett and he got into the wall and I had to check up. The car got a little loose on me and we ended up hitting the wall as well. Going out first in qualifying really hurt us and our starting spot wasn't indicative of how good our Ford Fusion was. We definitely had a car that was capable of a top-10 finish and with a few minor adjustments maybe a top five. I'd like to thank Baker Curb Racing for the opportunity to get back in a car and hopefully things work out and I'll be back on the track again soon."

An issue with the transmission forced the No. 27 team to miss all but the final ten minutes of the first practice session. Despite making only four laps, Bires ended the first practice session fifth fastest with a speed of 132.724 mph.

Shortly after the finish of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday afternoon, the No. 27 was the first car to make his way around the 1.25- mile oval for qualifying. Bires' lap of 130.932 mph (34.369) ended up being 29th fastest. The track seemed to get faster as qualifying progressed causing each of the first seven drivers to take the track for qualifying to start the race outside the top 20.

By lap 25 the Bires had patiently made his way into the top 20 for the first time. He communicated to crew chief John Reese that the car was just a little tight in traffic and that track position would be critical. The first caution of the race occurred on lap 45. When pit road opened, the 24-year old brought his No. 27 down pit road where the Baker Curb Racing crew put on four fresh tires, filled it with fuel, made wedge and air pressure adjustments and returned him to the track scored in the 17th position.

The race restarted on lap 52 and Bires quickly made his way around three competitors into the 14th position. After the contact with the wall happened on lap 55, Bires brought his Ford Fusion down pit road for four fresh tires. He returned to the track and notified the crew that something was wrong mechanically with the steering on the No. 27 and was forced to the garage.

The team made repairs to the Baker Curb Racing Ford Fusion and returned Bires to the track on lap 111. The attempts to repair the No. 27 were unsuccessful and after a few laps the Mauston, Wis. native was forced to park the car for good and settle for a disappointing 32nd-place finish.

The Baker Curb Racing No. 27 team, which ranks 10th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series owner point standings, heads to O'Reilly Raceway Park for the Kroger 250 benefitting Riley Hospital for Children on Saturday, July 24th, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

-source: baker curb racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kelly Bires , Michael Annett