TRAVIS KVAPIL SEEKS ARCA RE/MAX SERIES VICTORY Penske Racing South Enters Kvapil in Pocono ARCA Event Mooresville, N.C. (June 8, 2005) - In an effort to provide Travis Kvapil with experience at Pocono Raceway, Penske Racing South has entered ...
TRAVIS KVAPIL SEEKS ARCA RE/MAX SERIES VICTORY
Penske Racing South Enters Kvapil in Pocono ARCA Event
Mooresville, N.C. (June 8, 2005) - In an effort to provide Travis Kvapil with experience at Pocono Raceway, Penske Racing South has entered the Janesville, Wis., native in the ARCA RE/MAX Series race at that speedway.
Kvapil will drive the No. 27 Kodak Dodge Charger, a Penske Racing South-prepared entry, headed by the Director of Engineering, Roy McCauley.
Kvapil, a 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate, hopes his ARCA debut at the Long Pond, Pa., facility will provide him with the familiarity needed to navigate the 2.5-mile triangle during his Cup Series effort on Sunday.
"We chose to run in the ARCA race at Pocono for a multitude of reasons," Kvapil said. "First and foremost, the additional track time will be a tremendous help come race time for the [NEXTEL Cup Series]. MBV did the same thing for Scott Riggs last year and I think it helped. He was there at the end of the Cup race and I think that is what matters."
Riggs completed 100 percent of the laps in both Pocono Cup Series events in the 2004 season after clinching a victory in the ARCA race in June.
Kvapil's Cup Series crew chief, Shane Wilson, says the benefits of running in the ARCA race go deeper than the race alone. Running in the ARCA series essentially afforded Kvapil and his No. 77 Kodak Racing team with an additional test session without having to use a Cup test.
"Roy took Travis and his group of guys to test at Pocono in mid-April," Wilson said. "It's almost like a free test session since the ARCA car is basically a Cup car with a few minor changes. [The test] gave Travis a feel for the car on Pocono and we can still test somewhere else down the road.
"With a limited amount of test sessions, we have to find areas where we can improve and put ourselves in situations that allow us to learn. In this case, I think we accomplished our goal. Roy and Travis work great together and the 77 team will reap the benefits."
In addition to Kvapil's ARCA effort and overseeing the daily grind of the engineering staff, including wind tunnel and shaker tests, McCauley is the point man for Penske's NASCAR Busch Series entry for Alltel driver Ryan Newman.
"My schedule got a whole lot busier this year," McCauley said. "I love the challenge of keeping up with everything. This weekend with Travis will be fun. I think we might be able to add another win in the ARCA column for Roger [Penske].
"I worked with Travis last year when Penske fielded a fourth car [in three events]. Travis has real talent. He is aggressive but not overly so. What he needs now is seat time to build confidence. His day is coming. I am looking forward to helping him further his talent and increasing his confidence."
This is not the first time Penske Racing has entered a rookie driver in the ARCA event at Pocono to build his confidence.
When Ryan Newman joined Penske Racing South in 2000, he was committed to a limited ARCA schedule. In five events, Newman earned two pole positions and claimed three victories in that series. Newman went on to run a split schedule for PRS in 2001 competing in ARCA, NASCAR Busch and Cup Series events - commonly referred to as an "ABC schedule" - before moving to the Cup series full-time in 2002.