CLOROX TEAM HOPE PATIENCE TURNS INTO SPEED AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- To go fast at the Daytona International Speedway, Kelly Bires believes you sometimes have to slow down. The driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford said patience, not ...
CLOROX TEAM HOPE PATIENCE TURNS INTO SPEED AT DAYTONA
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- To go fast at the Daytona International Speedway, Kelly Bires believes you sometimes have to slow down. The driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford said patience, not horsepower, will be the key in Friday night's Winn-Dixie 250.
Restrictor plates and three-wide traffic will turn the main event for the NASCAR Nationwide Series into a game of chess. Some moves will be dramatic, others will be disastrous. If JTG Racing is to be successful on the 2.5-mile speedway, it will have to be meticulous in its calculations -- especially the decisions that have to be made in a split second.
"Daytona is about being in the right line; it's about being patient," Bires said. "Sometimes you're in one line and you feel like everyone is going by you, but the next time you come around and your line is moving, so sometimes you get a huge run and you want to pull out and pass someone, but sometimes you've just got to stay there and you'd be better off. It is a lot of making decisions and you don't get very much space and time to make those decisions, so you rely on a good spotter helping you out and a lot of it is instincts. There's so much patience involved."
Bires has been good at quick thinking. In two career starts at Daytona, he's got finishes of 16th and 12th. He hopes Friday's race leads to a Top-10 finish so he can continue his march toward the Top-10 in the series rankings.
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli believes the Clorox Ford is good enough to race to the front whenever Bires decides to pull the trigger. More important, it's good enough to stay there. "We spent all night Monday night making sure the car was ready for Daytona," he said. "This has always been a good racetrack for JTG Racing and Kelly seems to have a knack for this place. He's always in that lead group."
The key, he said, is being patient. "You're telling yourself, 'No, no, no,' more than anything," Bires said. "You want to do it. You've got a run and it's like, 'I can easily pass these guys,' and the next thing you know you're 15 spots back when you get through the end of the corner. Some people are better at it than others, but I think we're pretty good and I think we're taking a great Clorox Ford Fusion there, too.
"At all of these restrictor-plate races you can get involved in something not of your doing just by being in the wrong spot, so we're going to race smart. When it gets down to about 20 to go, then we're going to go hard.
But not any sooner.
FAST & FUN FACTS:
- Bires is 14th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with two Top-10 finishes in 18 starts for JTG Racing.
- Bires has two career starts at Daytona. His best starting spot was 23rd a year ago in July; his best finish was 12th last February.
- Bires won the 2006 American Speed Association national championship.