A native of Mauston, Wis., Kelly Bires has frequented the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2006.
Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations
MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Rising talent Kelly Bires has signed to drive a full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series entry for JR Motorsports in 2010-11, general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced today.
A native of Mauston, Wis., Bires has frequented the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2006. In 66 career NASCAR Nationwide Series starts, Bires has earned three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He tallied two of his top-fives this season with a career-best finish of fourth at Nashville Superspeedway on April 11 for Kevin Harvick Inc. and fifth at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1 for Braun Racing.
“Kelly is a talented young driver, and we want to give him the opportunity to showcase that talent,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of JR Motorsports. “Our whole premise at JR Motorsports from the beginning has been to take up-and-coming drivers, give them the chance to drive good equipment, and help them reach the next level. Kelly has a lot of promise. I noticed his potential earlier this year, and we are glad to have him at JR Motorsports.”
JR Motorsports fields the Nos. 88 and 5 teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. It has not been determined which of the two Bires will drive in 2010, as JR Motorsports is still in the process of securing sponsorship for next season.
“I can’t thank Dale Jr. and Kelley enough for this opportunity,” Bires said. “JR Motorsports is a quality organization. They win races, and they contend for championships. As a driver, that’s all you can ever ask for. They have a tremendous infrastructure of support with Rick Hendrick and Tony Eury Sr. These are people who know how to win races, know how to win championships, and know what it takes to be successful.”
Bires got his NASCAR start in 2006 in a Camping World Truck Series entry for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing (now JTG-Daugherty Racing). He was scheduled to tackle a partial truck schedule in 2007 but was promoted to the team’s NASCAR Nationwide Series entry after just seven races. In 2008 – his first full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series attempt – Bires finished 13th in the point standings with six top-10s.
Like many of today’s racers, Bires started early. By the age of 17, he had already secured two regional karting championships and two national titles. He entered the Allison Legacy Car Series at the age of 15. In his first season, he captured Rookie of the Year honors. In his second season, he was crowned series champion. Bires made the move to late models in 2002, and in his first season in the ASA Late Model Series, he earned eight wins, four poles, and 15 top-fives. He finished no worse than 10th in each of his 17 starts.