BIRES TO TURN UP THE HEAT IN No. 47 ICP FORD AT CALIFORNIA FONTANA, Calif. -- Turn up the heat. The hotter the better. And while you're at it, make the Auto Club Speedway at California greasy and slippery for Saturday night's Camping World ...
BIRES TO TURN UP THE HEAT IN No. 47 ICP FORD AT CALIFORNIA
FONTANA, Calif. -- Turn up the heat. The hotter the better. And while you're at it, make the Auto Club Speedway at California greasy and slippery for Saturday night's Camping World 300.
At least that's the plan for Kelly Bires and the No. 47 International Comfort Products Ford.
The team left the Michigan International Speedway -- California's sister track -- with a ninth-place finish and a good idea how to make the JTG Daugherty Racing-prepared car even better. Better yet, the team's setup works even better in hot, slippery conditions.
"The first time we used that new setup for hot and slippery tracks was Michigan and we got out of there with a ninth-place finish," said crew chief Scott Zipadelli. "If we had one more pit stop in that race, we could have made one little adjustment that would have taken us to a Top-Five finish. When we unload for Saturday's race, the car already will have that last little adjustments. We should be good from the start."
California and Michigan have a similar layout. What works at Michigan should work at California, Zipadelli said.
Bires is making a late-season push to finish in the Top 10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. He's currently 14th, 55 points from 13th.
"We're still taking it one race at a time, one spot at a time," Bires said. "The big picture is the most important thing, but you can't get there in one race. We're working with a new generation race car Scott and the guys at JTG Daugherty Racing developed and it's really paying off. We're in good shape for the last nine races of the year."
Zipadelli said the only way to compete in the Nationwide Series is to be thinking ahead. He's already got plans for a newer generation -- the sixth overhaul of the team's fleet in the past three years.
"Every time you make a significant change in the way these cars are built, it takes months of planning and some on-track testing," Zipadelli said. "We try to incorporate some minor adjustments during practice and the race. The ones that work become part of the permanent construction for future cars. When you get the car right, you better be thinking about something new because nobody keeps the same generation of race car very long. There's an old saying in this sport that if you're caught up, you're already behind. I believe that."
Bires will be sporting the colors of ICP, a company that designs, manufacturers and markets high-quality central air conditioning systems and gas and oil furnaces. He said the team's new setup for hot and slippery conditions provided dramatic results at Michigan.
"In 2007, we really struggled at Michigan," Bires said. "We came back with a new car a couple weeks ago and we instantly were a Top-10 car. To top it off, it wasn't nearly that hot at Michigan. When we get to California, we hope it's hot; we hope it's slippery. If it is -- and temperatures are expected to be about 90 degrees at the beginning of the race -- everything will go exactly as planned.