Milwaukee: Bires - Saturday media visit

Kelly Bires, driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford Fusion, participated in a Wisconsin based drivers press conference today at The Milwaukee Mile. Bires, from Mauston, talks about memories of The Milwaukee Mile and his season to date. AT THIS...

Kelly Bires, driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford Fusion, participated in a Wisconsin based drivers press conference today at The Milwaukee Mile. Bires, from Mauston, talks about memories of The Milwaukee Mile and his season to date.

AT THIS POINT LAST YEAR, YOU WERE ONLY IN YOUR THIRD NATIONWIDE, NOW YOU'RE RUNNING FULL TIME IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES. TALK ABOUT THAT TRANSITION OVER THE LAST YEAR. "Yeah, I'm definitely a lot more comfortable now. Last year at this point, I didn't know if I was going to be in a ride full time. It was kind of just a week-to-week schedule. It wasn't long after this; they [JTG Racing] told me that I was going to drive it [47 Ford Fusion] for the rest of the year. We've definitely made our cars a lot better from this time last year until now. Everyone at JTG Racing has been working hard. But this year has been a lot better. We've been consistent. I'd say we have a 10th place car week in and week out. Sometimes we've been better than that, sometimes we've been worse. We're just trying to get better each and every week."

DO YOU REMEMBER GOING TO THE MILWAUKEE MILE GROWING UP IN THIS AREA? WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE TO WIN AT YOUR HOME TRACK? "Yeah, just like Scott [Wimmer], I've been coming here too for a lot of years watching races from the grandstands. Back then you know it was a place that you always wanted to race at, a place that you always want to run good at and just being from Wisconsin, this is the closest track you to running home. It's a place that you want to perform. I've got a lot of family, friends and people from your home town and people just from the state of Wisconsin that have watched us grow up through the ranks and stuff. There's a lot of people that know us and you definitely want to run good here and not look bad."

DO YOU REMEMBER RIDING ON THE GONDOLA OVER THE TRACK? "I've personally never been on that thing, so I don't really know what the experience is like there. I do remember, like Scott said, the old grandstands. This place has changed so much in 10, 12 years from the first time ever coming here until now. They've done a great job keeping this track up. It's a place that we always look forward to coming back."

THIS WEEKEND ROBERT PRESSLEY IS PRACTICING AND QUALIFYING THE NO. 59 FORD FUSION. TALK ABOUT WORKING WITH HIM. "He hasn't been in a car with the coil bound set-up ever, so it's his first time here this weekend. I've spent a little bit of time at the race shop with him early this week. He says they're a handful and a handful to drive; it's not handling. He's talking about back in the day and even four or five years ago where you could hook the apron to make the car turn or you weren't so worried about being aero sensitive or the attitude of the car. The coil bind set-up, it's a lot more difficult to drive and it's showing that today. He said that he's struggling quite a bit with it. It just shows that you can be just a little touch off with one of these cars and you're running 15th or 20th instead running fifth. It doesn't take much. We worked real hard and improved our cars each and every week. This is a stretch where you go to Milwaukee and you've got at Gateway, you've got ORP [Indianapolis], there's a lot of short tracks here in the next month or so, two months. It's kind of a building stretch. What you learn here, you'll take to the next one and just try to keep improving your package week in and week out. We don't do a lot of testing, so it's pretty much what our test is. We're just trying to get better at the race track every week."

LAST WEEK IN KENTUCKY YOU SAID YOU HAD A HANDLING ISSUE WITH THE CAR. CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOU WERE DOING AND DO YOU HAVE IT FIGURED IT OUT? "I'm not sure if they put a finger on it, but I know we had a really fast race car in practice. It was doing everything I needed it to. We went out there to start the race and we were having problems with it hitting the right front spring, in which your coil binded at all of these tracks. It wouldn't get on the spring and it wouldn't turn. I guess the easiest way to describe it was like a front wheel drive car and you've got the gas wide open and you're trying to turn and it wouldn't turn. That's what we experienced the whole race. We never could fix it. We just missed it, I guess. That's about all we could figure out."

HEADING TO NEW HAMPSHIRE NEXT WEEK ARE YOU USING THE SAME SET-UP AS MILWAUKEE? "We always, at our team anyways, at JTG Racing, we'll take what we run here and what we find out that works and we'll take the base package to Loudon. There's always air pressures, there's wedge, nose weight, track bar and stuff that you always mess around with to fit the track conditions or the difference in track. I think you can be very similar. If you run good here, I think you can take it to Loudon and be pretty close."

WHAT WILL YOU GUYS ACCOMPLISH BY THE END OF THIS SEASON? "We started the year off really well. Week in and week out we had really fast race cars. In the middle part of the season, we still had fast cars, or the last two months, I'd say starting with Mexico City, we had fast race cars but we couldn't get the result that we needed. Performance wise we were running any where from 10th to fifth to 12th. We were running there every week. We had transmissions breaking. We've been caught on pit road under green flag pit stops, just bad racing luck. It's not anyone's fault of it happening. That stuff happened to us, there was a good four or five weeks straight that really put us behind in points, but our goal is to get back into the top 10 in points and that's what we're working on from now until the rest of the year."

-credit: ford racing

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Drivers Kelly Bires