Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that Kelly Bires will drive two races for its No. 18 NASCAR Nationwide Series team as part of a partnership with International Comfort Products, a leader in the heating and cooling systems industry, with its brands Arcoaire, Comfortmaker, Day & Night, Heil, Keeprite, and Tempstar brands.
Bires will be behind the wheel of JGR's No. 18 Toyota on April 29 at Richmond International Raceway and June 4 at Chicagoland Speedway.
"We look forward to having Kelly and ICP on board with us in Richmond and Chicago," said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Kelly is a driver with a bright future in our sport and the 18 team is excited to have him on board as they compete for their third straight Nationwide Series owners championship."
Bires is in his fifth season driving in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with three top-five and 12 top-ten finishes in 82 career starts. He has made four starts so far in 2011. Bires has five career starts in Richmond with a best finish of 11th in 2009 and has made three career starts in Chicago with a best finish of 12th during the 2008 season.
"This is exactly the type of partnership ICP needs to build its relationships with our dealers," Brian Cash, Marketing Manager, with ICP explained. "Kelly is a terrific young man and fantastic shoe in the car. Like our dealers, he has earned his way through every step of his career; we feel he represents our company and our customers well. ICP was founded on a standard of excellence and Kelly shares those same values with us."
This is Bires' fourth year of involvement with ICP and also marks the reunion of ICP with crew chief Jason Ratcliff.
"Jason was the crew chief for Casey Atwood in 1999, our first year of involvement in NASCAR." stated Edward Winston, Area Sales Manager with ICP. "Jason brought us to the winner circle back then, hopefully we will be back there again."
"I'm thrilled to continue the partnership with ICP and have this opportunity to race for JGR," said Bires. "ICP and its dealers have stuck with me through the tough times and I am really looking forward to a good run with the No. 18 team. Obviously this team has experienced a lot of success over the past few years and it's exciting to have a chance to contribute to their season."