Chicagoland: Travis Kvapil preview

Chicago Race Hits Close to Home for Kvapil Midwest Native Looks for Good Run under Saturday Night Lights Statesville, N.C. (July 6, 2010) - Travis Kvapil will feel right at home at Chicagoland Speedway. After all, the hometown of the driver...

Chicago Race Hits Close to Home for Kvapil Midwest Native Looks for Good Run under Saturday Night Lights

Statesville, N.C. (July 6, 2010) - Travis Kvapil will feel right at home at Chicagoland Speedway. After all, the hometown of the driver of the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford is just a couple hours north. Kvapil will spend plenty of time in Janesville, Wisc., both before and after this weekend's LifeLock.com 400, and will have his own hometown cheering section at the 1.5-mile oval on Saturday night.

Kvapil has three previous Sprint Cup starts at the Joliet, Ill., speedway, with a top finish of 37th.

Comments from Long John Silver's Racing team driver Travis Kvapil on Chicagoland Speedway and Night Racing:

"Chicago is a racetrack I really enjoy going to. It's close to home. Typically, my family and I head up that way to Wisconsin right after Daytona and spend the week up there, and then Chicago's only a couple hours away from home. So, we always have a lot of friends and family at that race. And the next weekend after the Chicago race, we don't race so we head back to Wisconsin with the kids and hang out back home.

"Chicagoland is a track I really like. It's very similar to Las Vegas and Kansas. It's got some characteristics of Charlotte and Texas in it, too. One cool thing about Chicago is the backstretch. It's got a curve to it. It's not straight like most straightaways on the circuit. It's got a nice, gradual arc to it, which really gives you a good approach to Turn 3 and a nice exit off of Turn 2.

"It's a very racy racetrack. You can run two or three different lanes there and it's really fast. It's a place I really like going to and it's close to home. I can't wait to run there and have a good showing.

"When we run night races, there are a few different things you encounter as a driver heading into the evening. Depending on the start time, you have to worry about the tape on your windshield. A lot of the places we go to, the sun's not quite set yet when the race starts. So, you have to tape your windshield down as low as you can, so that when you come off the corners on the straightaway you're not just blinded by the sun. Then once the sun does set, we'll peel that tape off the windshield from the inside and be all set with a clear view.

"We'll do different things with our visors. Typically we'll run a clear visor at night, but if the sun has not quite set all the way, we'll put tinted tear-offs on the visor. So, you'll start with a darker shield, and then you'll peel that away when the sun completely sets and you'll be left with a clear shield.

"The track's got a lot more grip at nighttime. So if we practice during the day, and then we race at night, our car is actually going to go faster, so we have to worry about different things with the set-up going from the heat of the day to the coolness and additional grip of nighttime.

"I enjoy night racing. It reminds me of Friday- and Saturday-night short-track racing back home. The cars always seem like they go faster and they look cooler at night. You can see the sparks flying. And it's always a bit cooler inside the racecar for me, so that's always a good thing, too."

-source: front row motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers John Long , Travis Kvapil