STRATEGY, PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF FOR BIRES, No. 47 ICP FORD FONTANA, Calif. -- Kelly Bires started Saturday night's Camping World RV Service 300 with a disadvantage, but that didn't keep the No. 47 International Comfort Products Ford team from...
STRATEGY, PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF FOR BIRES, No. 47 ICP FORD
FONTANA, Calif. -- Kelly Bires started Saturday night's Camping World RV Service 300 with a disadvantage, but that didn't keep the No. 47 International Comfort Products Ford team from giving up. The team started the 300-mile race at the Auto Club Speedway short one set of tires, but they forged ahead for a 13th-place finish.
NASCAR limits the number of tires each Nationwide Series team uses every weekend, and JT Daugherty Racing was forced to use an extra set during practice on Friday. That means crew chief Scott Zipadelli only had two sets for the main event.
"We were put in a tough spot, but we did best we could do," Zipadelli said. "We picked the middle run to stay out on old tires. We lost a lot of ground by doing that, but we made a good comeback at the end. We finished on the lead lap; we brought the car home in one piece; we still are on track for a Top-10 finish in the points. All in all, it was a good night."
Bires agreed. He started 15th and stayed on the lead lap despite a dominating performance by Kyle Busch. There were only 14 cars on the lead lap at the end of the race -- and none had the obstacles Kelly faced.
"At times in the race we had a faster car and we were just a touch tight and then went to the extreme loose side," Bires said. "With the tire rule, we had to use an extra set of tires Friday in practice, so we were a set short.We couldn't take tires on one stop and had to take fuel only and the car got really off-balance and we lost a ton of speed and track position.We played the rest of the race trying to make it back up. All in all it was a solid night.We were real close to where we needed to be. We'll go back and make it a little bit better."
Bires remained 14th in the Nationwide standings, just 29 points from 13th place. By skipping a chance to change tires at mid-race, Bires also won the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award.
"That lets you know that you did something right," Bires said. "That shows you had a good car. With tires, we would have had a great car and a better night. We started the race in a bad situation, but we were determined to make the best of it."