Bires Looks To Break Through

Kelly Bires has put together a string of consistent Nationwide Series finishes for the JTG Racing Team and hopes to find his way to victory lane Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.

Bires has only finished outside the top 20 on one occasion this season out of seven races, with a best result of fifth in the No. 47 Clorox Ford Fusion.

The string of strong, consistent runs for Bires has put the Wisconsin in ninth position in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series heading into Phoenix, one of the most unique and challenging venues on the schedule.

“Phoenix should be a good race for us,” said Bires. "We’re taking a car that we tested at Richmond, that’s car 34. It was pretty quick at Richmond and I think we learned a lot there. We’re going to build on it and go to Phoenix.

“What’s nice is that we go to the track and everyone on the team feels like we’ve got a shot to have an outstanding run every week. It’s not like we get to the track and think we’re not going to run good. It comes from running consistently well. It comes from having good runs and it comes from everything coming together and the momentum. It helps everyone’s morale, both at the shop and on the road."

Bires believes having experience at PIR will help him this time around.

"Overall, I think I’m more comfortable in the car this year," said Bires. "And more comfortable being able to tell (crew chief) Scott (Zippadelli) what exactly I need and how I need to drive prior to the race. We’ve made huge leaps and bounds on our cars over the winter and through the end of last year. We keep improving them every week."

“We went to Richmond and were pretty quick there. We improved the car to be able to go to Phoenix. We’ll see what we’ve got."

The former ASA Late Model Series standout comes into the weekend ninth in the standings and believes things can get even better as the season rolls on.

“It’s just that everything is going together," he said. "Everyone is working hard, working together and we all want to get where we are a 10th-place car every week, which we’re getting close to. Then improve on that and be a fifth-place car every week. It takes everyone that works on the cars to be able to do that. The season is going well and we just want to keep doing what we’re doing.”

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NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2008

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