NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tag Archives: Kelly Bires

Fanning the Flames: Who’s This Year’s Chase Cinderella? The Numbers Line Up for Newman… To Finish Third

It’s all in the numbers, see? And the momentum, of course. Every year, some guy from the back half of the Chase field makes a dent at Loudon that throws that momentum their way. Except for 2004, when Big Mo hung with a seventh-seeded Kurt Busch and they won a title together, it’s been a Schoolhouse Rock routine... _‘3,’ it's the magic number!_

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Does It Really Matter If You Can Drive Anymore?

In an "interview":https://frontstretch.com/bkeith/25370/ I did with Jeremy Clements earlier in the summer, the driver of the No. 50 car dropped a line on me that to this day has stuck at the forefront of my mind when covering the Nationwide Series: “It doesn’t even matter if you can drive anymore.” Now that’s not entirely true. The drivers at the forefront of the Nationwide Series in 2009 certainly have considerable talent behind the wheels of a stock car. It takes talent to win 15+ races in just over a season and a half like Kyle Busch (and in his case, equally so a talented crew chief with a vast budget). It takes talent to become the first driver to actually last a full season at JR Motorsports, like Brad Keselowski has done. And it definitely takes talent to win races in this era of NNS competition like Jason Leffler has managed to do with Braun Racing, or Mike Bliss with Phoenix Racing.

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Beyond the Cockpit: Kelly Bires – From Wisconsin to Iowa

_Last season, Kelly Bires was one of the up-and-coming drivers in the Nationwide Series, finishing 13th in points with six top 10 finishes. This year ... he's been forced to take pretty much any open ride that comes up. After no sponsorship forced his No. 47 JTG Daugherty team to turn to Michael McDowell, Bires was left out in the cold and forced to take rides with "start and park" teams -- cars without enough money or resources to go the distance -- in order to stay in the sport._ _Being left out in the cold in this tough economy is enough to get any driver down. But Bires has made the most of it, finishing 10th or better in each of three races he's been allowed to finish this season. That included a 5th place run at Iowa behind the wheel of the No. 10 Braun Racing Toyota, one of several teams the young driver hopes to align with in 2010 as he looks to get his career back on track._ _Our own Jeff Meyer sat down and talked with Kelly at Iowa Speedway Saturday, discussing how he got his start in racing, the ups and downs of starting and parking, and whether the series he loves so much is headed back in the right direction._

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa

If there is one thing that has kept Brad Keselowski from challenging Kyle Busch for the Nationwide title in 2009, it has been an inability to keep up on the short run. The No. 88 car has been among the fastest after a few laps…but that’s all it’s been taking for the No. 18 to pull away. That all changed on Saturday. Despite having two fresh right side tires on his Toyota, Busch found himself unable to fend off Brad Keselowski who, after leading the most laps, stormed to the point with eight to go after mounting a furious charge from the exit of turn 3 all the way down the frontstretch.

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Lagasse’s Release A Short-Sighted Move, Long-Term Problem for NNS

While Silly Season 2009 has so far been quieter than in years past, it hit the Nationwide Series with full force following race weekend at Gateway. And, frankly, it was one of the more convoluted moves the Series has seen in recent memory. Scott Lagasse Jr., a solid Rookie of the Year contender and a driver who has managed to keep the No. 11 car competitive after taking over for the veteran Jason Keller late last season, was released in favor of Denny Hamlin for two races, and then… TBD. Viewing this decision simply as one involving a development driver and the No. 11 team, a rather simple question needs to be asked here…why?!

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Meijer 300 at Kentucky

Finally, someone has Kyle Busch’s number. And it’s his teammate. Running his first Nationwide Series race since an incident that saw him knock Busch from the lead at Dover with two laps to go, Joey Logano beat his teammate without the chrome horn on Saturday…and took the checkers for his trouble. On a late restart on lap 189, Logano engineered the best restart anyone not driving the No. 18 car had all night, lining up directly on Busch’s bumper and capitalizing, taking the lead on lap 191 when Rowdy got loose in turn 2 and moved up the race track. From there, Logano drove off into the sunset, scoring his second Nationwide Series victory of the season and second consecutive at Kentucky Speedway on the anniversary weekend of his first major NASCAR victory one year ago.

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Nuts for Nationwide: TV Coverage Strangling the Nationwide Series

Back when the deal was first announced that ESPN would be returning to NASCAR broadcasting, and would also be giving the Nationwide Series a steady, permanent home, I was absolutely thrilled. What could go wrong here: a network whose Wide World of Sports coverage was largely responsible for NASCAR’s ascension from a niche to a national pastime and a mainstream TV home for NASCAR’s second-tier series? How could I have been so naïve?

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Pepsi 300 at Nashville

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all of our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and car owners themselves. This week, here's a special Nationwide Series peek at what the drivers were thinking following the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2009 Pepsi 300 at Nashville

Overcoming early problems with lugnut glue on pit road, JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano managed to conquer Concrete Carl, changing the lead multiple times at the front over the last 100 laps before Logano took control for good on lap 216, en route to scoring to his second career Nationwide Series victory. Carl Edwards, who led 45 laps, surrendered the lead on lap 135 after his tire changer reported that he had failed to tighten enough lugnuts on the previous pit stop. The mistake mired Edwards’ back in 25th, a gap he never recovered from.

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Ford 300 at Homestead

Carl Edwards did everything he could to try and steal his second consecutive Nationwide Series crown. Qualifying on the outside pole, Edwards ran in the top five all race long and led a third of the race (66 laps). Edwards also managed to pass Kyle Busch’s vaunted No. 18 Toyota with 34 laps to go on an intermediate oval, scoring his second consecutive win and seventh of the season. But it wasn’t enough.

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