BIRES EIGHTH IN PRACTICE AND WILL START 12TH IN TEXAS Kelly Bires will start Saturday's O'Reilly 300 from 12th position after qualifying was rained out at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas today. Bires was eighth fastest in the ...
BIRES EIGHTH IN PRACTICE AND WILL START 12TH IN TEXAS
Kelly Bires will start Saturday's O'Reilly 300 from 12th position after qualifying was rained out at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas today.
Bires was eighth fastest in the #47 Clorox Ford Fusion at the 1.5-mile speedway in the sole practice session held today before weather intervened.
The 23-year-old and his JTG Racing are riding high at the moment, bringing their best intermediate track car to Texas as they chase a second top 10 result for the season. Bires was fifth at the most recent race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway and was second fastest in the final session of the recent open test at Richmond International Raceway.
Before heading to Texas Motor Speedway for this weekend's action, Bires joined JTG Racing team-mate Marcos Ambrose for a road course test on Wednesday at Virginia International Raceway in preparation for the Corona Mexico 300 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City on April 20.
For Bires it was not only his first-ever drive of a NASCAR on a road course, it was his first drive on a road course since his days racing go karts as a kid in his native state of Wisconsin.
The #47 Clorox crew, led by crew chief Scott Zipadelli, were very impressed with their driver's form on the day, with Bires learning the ropes very quickly and setting competitive times on the challenging VIR road course layout.
Kelly Bires - #47 Clorox Ford Fusion
*On the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway --
"I'm really looking forward to running at Texas and have been since my last first run there last November," said Bires.
"I had a strong run at Texas late last season and I feel we had a top 10 car there late last season.
"We had a fast car but we got a hit from another car that ruined our aero and it dropped us back. From that point to now I feel JTG Racing has made a lot of improvement so I think we can challenge for a good position this weekend.
"We are taking chassis number 43 to Texas, which is probably our best intermediate track car, so we have got our best piece there and we are looking at having a top 10 car.
"Each mile and a half track has it's little differences and Texas has it's own feel. It's quite fast and the speeds through the banking are quite high.
"It's a little rough through Turns Three and Four so you have to watch that, but all in all it's a great track, a fantastic venue and a place I picked up pretty quickly last year, so I've been looking forward to getting back there ever since."
*On Wednesday's road course test at VIR --
"It was a very good test and the Clorox Ford was balanced right from the start of the day," said Bires.
"I personally took a couple of laps to get going and to get the feel of it in the morning.
"After that we really got going and I surprised myself, because I actually got the hang of it pretty quickly.
"The thing that you really have to adjust to on a road course is the gears, especially the down changes under braking, but the whole experience was really fun and I can't wait for Mexico.
"The test was my first day driving a race car on a road course since I raced go karts as a kid back in Wisconsin and Mexico City will obviously be my first road course race in NASCAR and I'm really looking forward to it because I had a blast out there at VIR."