LITTLE BIT GOES LONG WAY FOR BIRES IN 17th-PLACE FINISH AT BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Kelly Bires' No. 47 Bush's Baked Beans Ford was nearly perfect during last Friday night's Food City 250 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. But at the World's...
LITTLE BIT GOES LONG WAY FOR BIRES IN 17th-PLACE FINISH AT BRISTOL
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Kelly Bires' No. 47 Bush's Baked Beans Ford was nearly perfect during last Friday night's Food City 250 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. But at the World's Fastest Short Track Bires needed an absolutely perfect race car.
"We just missed it a little bit," Bires said after finishing 17th. "We took a couple shots at it, but we couldn't quite get it. We got it better by making it a little freer getting into the corner, but we couldn't get it where we needed it.
"We were on the verge of making it perfect. In this sport, however, even if you're close to perfect, you're not going to win. You have to be absolutely perfect -- the car, the pit stops, the strategy, everything." The finish, however, continued to show the improvements at JTG Daugherty Racing. Bires started 14th and remained in the Top 20 throughout the entire race.
"Kelly was competitive all night," said crew chief Scott Zipadelli. "We were afraid to make dramatic changes to the car because with only 250 laps, there's not enough time to recover. We were one minor change away from getting the car to rotate through the corners. "The primary goal every week is to race on the lead lap, bring the car home in one piece, make the car better during the race and be competitive. We accomplished that. We made the most of our opportunities."
"We learned a lot," he said. "We'll do our homework before we come back here next year and we'll be a lot better. We won't need much to be really good the next time. But at Bristol, a little bit goes a long way."
The team is looking forward to traveling to the two-mile, D-shaped oval at Fontana, Calif., for next Saturday's 300-mile race. The high-banked speedways have been the team's strongest suit this year, and it comes as the team continues its push to finish in the To 10 in the Nationwide Series point standings.