TEXAS TOUGH ON BIRES FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Kelly Bires tried to smile after last Saturday's O'Reilly Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway, no matter how hard he tried to make the most of a 22nd-place finish. His JTG Daugherty Racing team came...
TEXAS TOUGH ON BIRES
FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Kelly Bires tried to smile after last Saturday's O'Reilly Challenge at the Texas Motor Speedway, no matter how hard he tried to make the most of a 22nd-place finish.
His JTG Daugherty Racing team came to the 1.5-mile speedway with expectations of a Top-10 finish in the No. 47 STP Octane Booster/O'Reilly Auto Parts Ford, but a lack of practice created a deficit they couldn't erase.
The team had a mechanical issue that kept them parked for most of the first practice session on Friday. They fixed the problem, but lost valuable time in finding the perfect balance for the race car.
"We made the most of our weekend, but this wasn't what we wanted," Bires said. "We missed it a little bit, but in this business that's all it takes. If we had a little more practice time, we would have been able to zero in on our setup. As it turned out, we had to start with something basic and build from there."
Bires remained 13th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. He's 143 points from 12th place.
"Our goal is to get to 12th place," said crew chief Scott Zipadelli. "If we take care of the things we can control, that's all we can do. Every lap of practice is important because you gather a lot of important facts and information. It didn't take us long to get everything ironed out in the race, but we had bad track position and had to battle all day."
Bires started 26th
"The mile and-a-half tracks are our strong suit," he said. "These were unusual circumstances. I'm still very proud of this STP/O'Reilly team for the way they hustled to catch up. We may not like the finish, but we should be very satisfied with the effort. I'll take that every weekend."
There are two races remaining in the Nationwide Series season, including next Saturday's Hefty Odor Block 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway.
"We finish on two good racetracks for me and this team," Bires said. "We're going to these last two races looking for a solid Top-10 finish, if not a win. We're certainly capable of doing it."
Which would make Bires smile.
FAST & FUN FACTS:
- Bires is 13th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with five Top-10 finishes in 33 starts for JTG Racing.
- Kyle Busch won the O'Reilly Challenge. Carl Edwards was second, followed by Mark Martin in third, Joey Logano in fourth and David Ragan in fifth.
- JTG Daugherty Racing teammate Marcos Ambrose was ninth.
- The next race for Bires and JTG Daugherty Racing is the Hefty Odor Block 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 8.
-credit: jtg racing