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Bires Heads Into Off Week with 20th-Place Finish at Richmond

Kelly Bires
Kelly Bires
RICHMOND, Va. – Tropical Storm Hanna caused a two-day delay in Kelly Bires’ plans for the off week. At least he headed into the break with a respectable 20th-place finish Sunday night in the Emerson 250 at the Richmond International Raceway.

The race originally was scheduled for Friday night, but NASCAR and speedway officials closed the track late Friday afternoon and Saturday to prepare for the tropical storm. The race was staged as the second half of a doubleheader Sunday night.

“We just finished a run of 16 racing weekends in a row,” Bires said after keeping the No. 47 International Comfort Products Ford in 14th place in the Nationwide Series standings. “Everyone was so eager to take a week off and relax. With the storm coming, NASCAR did the right thing. It was a time to be smart and proactive.

“We practiced during the day on Friday and didn’t get back in the car until Sunday night. The track changed a lot. The guys who raced in the Sprint Cup race earlier Sunday had a huge advantage because they knew about the track conditions. They knew what changes had to be made to the car before the race started. The rest of us had to make educated guess and go from there.”

The starting lineup was based on the current car owner standings. JTG Daugherty Racing was 21st, so Bires that’s where Bires started.

“We were hoping to get qualifying in because we had a pretty good car,” said crew chief Scott Zipadelli. “We had to settle for 21st after the rain. We fought track position all night. We had to work through our adjustments early in the race and we had the car pretty good at the end. The guys who raced earlier in the day had a huge advantage.”

Seven of the Top-10 finishers in the Emerson 250 also drove in the 400-lap Cup race earlier in the day.

With the first open date since the middle of May, Bires said he’s going to use his free time to go camping in Wisconsin.

“When we come back for the race at Dover, we’ll be re-energized and ready to go.”


  • Bires remained 14th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with three Top-10 finishes in 28 starts for JTG Racing. He’s 38 points from 13th place.
  • Carl Edwards won the Emerson 250 for Ford Racing. Scott Wimmer finished second, followed by Clint Bowyer in third, Denny Hamlin in fourth and David Ragan in fifth.
  • JTG Daugherty Racing teammate Marcos Ambrose was 13th.
  • The next race for Bires and the Clorox Ford is the Camping World RV 200 at the Dover International Speedway on Sept. 20.

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