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Lady Luckís Timing is Off for Biresí No. 47 Clorox Team

Kelly Bires
Kelly Bires
Kelly Bires and the No. 47 Clorox Ford team had another spectacular run in the Samís Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday. Though Bires will be shown having finished in the 15th spot overall, he ran much better than that for the majority of the day.

They say that Vegas is all about luck--and the exact moment Lady Luck abandoned Bires & Co. occurred on their final pit stop of the day on lap 185. As crew chief Scott Zipadelli brought the No. 47 Clorox Ford down pit road for service, he made the call to go with fuel onlyóa gutsy move. Had it paid off, Bires looked almost certain to finish in the top-five. But just as Bires left his pit stall, and still on pit road, the caution flag flew for debris on the trackótrapping the No. 47 Clorox Ford one lap down to the field.

After starting the race from the 16th spot, Bires worked his way to the front of the field numerous times throughout the day. His first march led him inside the top-10 running order after a lap 27 pit stop for fuel only advanced Bires 10 spots in the field. In a town like Las Vegas, Crew Chief Scott Zipadelli was quick to show that he was willing to roll the dice for a great finish.

From the halfway point of the Samís Town 300 on lap 100, Bires was either in the top-10 running order, or just outside of it in 11th or 12th. The No. 47 Clorox Ford was hooked up and looking stout against the competition. Pit stops were solid all day long for the over-the-wall crew. Bires also did a masterful job of avoiding several accidents and mishaps during the dayóa few of which occurred just outside of his front windshield. Though there were a record 13 separate caution flag periods, Team Spotter Al DiRusso was right on the money each time, helping to guide Bires to the correct lane of escape.

As the race wound down, Bires and the No. 47 Clorox Ford were clearly in position to strike. On the teamís final pit stop, Zipadelli once again called for fuel onlyójust as he had during the teamís first stop. Unfortunately, the team didnít get the opportunity to get the finish they had earned, but crossing the line in 15th place with an intact car is sometimes a gift in and of itself. And it leaves little doubt that the performance expectations of this No. 47 Clorox Team have already more than surpassed the previous year.

Kelly Bires, Driver of the No. 47 Clorox Ford:
"I think we probably would have ended up between fifth and eighth. I think we were running 10th or so when we pitted there, but we didnít have very good fuel mileage all day and we didnít want to chance it and run out. So we pitted and did a fuel-only stop and the caution came out as soon as we pulled away from our pit box. The guys did a great job. We had a solid car. We were racing conservative all day and had probably 10 percent more that I was going to let loose at the end of the race, but didnít get a chance to do it. Itís tough, but itís nice to know that we had a fast race car and were competitive. We had solid pit stops and the thing is in one piece, so we can go back, clean it up and take it to Atlanta if we want to. We had a good points day, so even though we had bad luck, it still was a solid day for us.

I probably wonít sleep too well because itís tough--you run a whole race and then something like that happens to you at the end. Itís hard to swallow, especially here, because Iím very competitive. But the guys did a great job. There were a lot of people from Clorox here, so it was a great run for us to do that in front of them and Iím excited to go to Atlanta. Weíve been fast every week. We had a top-10 car last week for sure at California and that car was probably even a little better than this car, so itís nice to know when youíre sitting in the seat that youíve got top-10 cars or top-15 cars every week.Ē

Scott Zipadelli, Crew Chief of the No. 47 Clorox Ford:
ďI guess this is why crew chiefs get gray hair. I feel like we really got belted today and it was nobodyís faultójust timing. We had a plan to get this car in the top-10 and we did it. Then we had a plan to get up there and finish top-five and we probably would have had it, if it werenít for the caution flag there at the end.

But donít get me wrong, this was a great effort for this team. Kelly ran an awesome race for us. This was by far our best weekend of the year. We practiced well, qualified well and raced well. But then thereís still the finish. I hate to sound disappointed with a 15th place run, but I guess that shows you where our expectations are this year. We should have a lot of fun next week in Atlanta.Ē

-Kelly Bires drove the No. 47 Clorox Ford to a 15th place finish in the Samís Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
-A late race caution for debris on lap 185, when Bires was pitting, trapped the No. 47 Clorox Ford one lap down to the field.
-Mark Martin won the Samís Town 300, followed by Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and David Stremme rounded out the top-five finishers on the day.

WHERE: Atlanta Motor Speedway; Hampton, GA
WHAT: Nicorette 300 (195 laps, 300 miles)
WHEN: March 8th, 2008; 2:00 p.m. EST
NETWORK: ESPN 2 Network; PRN & Sirius Satellite Radio Networks

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