Kelly Bires

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Kelly Bires
Kelly Bires.jpg
Bires in 2008
Born (1984-08-25) August 25, 1984 (age 33)
Mauston, Wisconsin
Achievements 2001 Great Lakes Allison Legacy Series Champion
2006 ASA Late Model Series Challenge Division Champion
Awards 2006 ASA Late Model Series Rookie of the Year
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
3 races run over 1 year
Best finish 54th (2012)
First race 2012 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 (Loudon)
Last race 2012 Hollywood Casino 400 (Kansas)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
88 races run over 6 years
Best finish 13th (2008)
First race 2007 Federated Auto Parts 300 (Nashville)
Last race 2012 OneMain Financial 200 (Dover)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 13 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
8 races run over 2 years
Best finish 44th (2007)
First race 2006 Easy Care Vehicle Service Contracts 200 (Atlanta)
Last race 2007 Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 (Milwaukee)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0
Statistics current as of October 21, 2012.

Kelly Bires (born August 25, 1984) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He most recently drove part-time for Go Green Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. Previously, Bires drove competitively for JTG Daugherty Racing, JR Motorsports, and Braun Racing in the Nationwide Series.

Early career[edit]

Bires began karting at Sugar River Raceway in Brodhead, Wisconsin at age 9 and began competing in national karting events at age 12. He won several regional titles and two national championships.[1]

He became the Great Lakes Allison Legacy Series Rookie of the Year in 2000, and followed up the championship by winning the series in 2001. Bires next moved up to the Super Late Model race cars at Dells Motor Speedway, finishing fifth in points and named 2002 Rookie of the Year. The following year he finished second in championship points. Bires made his first start in ARCA in May 2004. In 2006, he joined up with veteran American Speed Association Late Model Series crew chief Howie Lettow and won the season championship that year.[2]

NASCAR career[edit]

Bires during the 2007 Ford 300


In the 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Bires was the driver of the #21 Wood Brothers Racing truck in 19 races, handing over driving duties for the other six races to veteran Mark Martin. He had a tenth-place finish at Atlanta. After the departure of Jon Wood due to illness, Bires left the Truck Series and started racing for Tad Geschickter beginning at Nashville Superspeedway. His best Busch Series start was 26th and best finish was 7th in the Meijer 300 presented by Oreo race at Kentucky Speedway. Named the permanent driver of the #47 car in 2008, Bires had six top-ten finishes en route to a 13th-place points finish. But with Clorox/Kingsford moving up with Marcos Ambrose to the Sprint Cup Series, he was left without a full-time ride at the end of the season due to lack of sponsorship.

Bires' 2009 Nationwide car

2009 to present[edit]

Bires spent the 2009 season driving for various teams, including Braun Racing, MSRP Motorsports, and JTG where he did start and park, as well as competing for Kevin Harvick Incorporated and CJM Racing. His best finish that year came at Iowa Speedway, where he finished fifth in Bruan's Fraternal Order of Eagles Toyota. Bires also had a 10th-place finish for KHI at Nashville. At the end of the season, Bires signed a two-year contract to drive for JR Motorsports in the #88 Chevy through 2011, with Earnhardt eager to see what Bires could do in his equipment.[3] Bires drove the #5 Ragu Chevy for Junior at Homestead in preparation for running full-time in 2010.[4]

Due to sponsorship obligations with Unilever and their Hellmann's Mayonnaise brand, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran the #88 car at the 2010 season opener at Daytona and Danica Patrick ran the #7 car with her sponsor, forcing Bires to sit out.[5] In his debut at Fontana, he did have a seventh-place finish. Even more curious than his missing Daytona was when Bires was removed from the #88 car in favor of Cup driver Jamie McMurray after only five races run, with only one finish below 17th (a crash at Las Vegas).[6] Earnhardt Jr. cited chemistry issues between Bires, JR Motorsports management, and the team including Tony Eury, Sr. and Jr., and implied that Bires was taking a seat from "the next Brad [Keselowski], the next Jeff Gordon." Prior to Brad Keselowski, the team had also hastily released Mark McFarland in 2006 after 21 races and Shane Huffman in 2007 after 18 races.[7] Bires returned to the Braun Racing #10 at Richmond, where he finished 11th, then ran races for Baker-Curb Racing, Team Rensi Motorsports, and RAB Racing.

Bires returned to the Nationwide Series in 2011, driving for Rensi. However, Bires had to start and park his #25 on numerous occasions, and withdrew from two races. After Rensi cut back its schedule, Bires was hired by Joe Gibbs Racing to drive their #18 Toyota at Richmond and Chicagoland. Bires also ran two races as a start and park in Go Green Racing's 04 car.

Bires attempted six races in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012 for Go Green, making 3 races but finishing no better than 38th. Bires was released from both the Cup and Nationwide rides in November.[8]

In 2013, Bires became crew chief for the late model team of Matt Kenseth's son Ross Kenseth.[9]

Motorsports career results[edit]


(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Daytona 500[edit]
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
2009 BlackJack Racing Dodge DNQ

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]


  1. ^ Biography at official website, Retrieved September 28, 2012
  2. ^ Jim, Tretow. "Howie Lettow Remembered". Speed 51. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (September 15, 2009). "Bires signs deal with JR Motorsports". Mooresville, North Carolina: ESPN. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  4. ^ JR Motorsports (November 17, 2009). "Homestead: Kelly Bires preview". Retrieved 23 August 2014. JRM DEBUT - Kelly Bires will make his debut with JR Motorsports in the No. 5 Ragu Chevrolet this weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. WEEKEND OF FIRSTS - Homestead marks Ragu's first race with JR Motorsports. 
  5. ^ McCubbin, Ashley (Feb 20, 2010). "Kelly Bires Looks to Debut for JR Motorsports at Auto Club Speedway". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 23 August 2014. When they signed the contract, Kelly Bires was ready to start the year off strong for JR Motorsports, though when it came to Daytona, he wasn’t to be found in either JR Motorsports car. 
  6. ^ Busbee, Jay (April 13, 2010). ",233887". Yahoo. Retrieved 23 August 2014.  External link in |title= (help)
  7. ^ Gluck, Jeff (April 16, 2010). "Earnhardt Jr. Explains Why JR Motorsports Fired Kelly Bires". SB Nation. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Wolkin, Joseph (November 6, 2012). "Kelly Bires loses start and park ride". Rant, Inc. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Southmayd, Reed (July 10, 2013). "ARCA Midwest Tour notes: Mauston's Kelly Bires goes from driver to crew chief". West Allis, Wisconsin: 

External links[edit]