BIRES TO TURN UP THE HEAT IN No. 47 ICP FORD AT CALIFORNIA RICHMOND, Va. -- Kelly Bires is a short-track driver who likes to go fast. That makes Friday night's Emerson 250 at the Richmond International Raceway a perfect fit. The ...
BIRES TO TURN UP THE HEAT IN No. 47 ICP FORD AT CALIFORNIA
RICHMOND, Va. -- Kelly Bires is a short-track driver who likes to go fast. That makes Friday night's Emerson 250 at the Richmond International Raceway a perfect fit.
The three-quarter-mile track encompasses short-track temperament and speedway finesse, and the driver of the No. 47 International Comfort Products Ford Fusion said that falls well within his team's comfort zone.
"Richmond drives like a short track but the speed that you carry on the place incorporates having a good body on the car," he said. "There is some aero grip that's involved there where some of the other short tracks most of it's mechanical grip with a little bit of aero grip. But it seems like it's 50-50 at Richmond. You have to have a really good piece there to run good."
There are eight races remaining and Bires is 14th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. The team's goal was a Top-10 finish, so each race down the stretch has added importance.
"We're looking at Top-10 finishes the rest of the year," said crew chief Scott Zipadelli. "We can't worry about what other teams do; we can only be concerned with our own preparation. We've got good cars, some newer generation cars, lined up.
Bires, who will be making his 47th-career start in the Nationwide Series, said the key to Richmond is getting comfortable, especially through Turns 1 and 2. The exit of the second turn sets up the sprint down the backstretch, and it's traditionally where most of the accidents happen.
"The characteristic of the track is once you get the thing turning good enough in the center of the corner you're always too loose getting into the turn," Bires said. "It's a point where you can get it to where you can stand it getting in the corner and yet still be able to cut and have grip off. You're carrying so much speed through the center of the corner there this that it makes it tougher to get the thing to turn. When you get it to turn, you just get momentum loose instead of getting rear tire spin loose.
"It is a pretty fast short track. If you love short-track racing and you like to go fast, it's one of the best places you can be."
Bires won the 2006 American Speed Association national championship, a series that races primarily on short tracks. His three-best finishes for JTG Daugherty Racing this year, however, have come at the faster 1.3- and 2.0-mile tracks.
"Richmond is a place that I should excel at. We want to get a Top-10 run this weekend. That's our goal right now, to keep getting Top-10 finishes."