'We Never Saw It Coming' Kvapil Ready to Bounce Back after Missing Loudon Statesville, N.C. (June 29, 2010) - Travis Kvapil and the Long John Silver's Ford team are looking forward to getting back on track at Daytona (Fla.) International...
'We Never Saw It Coming'
Kvapil Ready to Bounce Back after Missing Loudon
Statesville, N.C. (June 29, 2010) - Travis Kvapil and the Long John Silver's Ford team are looking forward to getting back on track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400. The team missed last week's Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after failing to qualify on speed - an unexpected result for a car that was fast in practice.
But the No. 38 crew is ready to put the setback behind them and get back up to speed, and then some. The team is preparing for this weekend's superspeedway race that will see some of the season's fastest racing, thanks to a new restrictor plate that will provide cars with increased horsepower.
Kvapil has eight career Sprint Cup starts at the famed 2.5-mile oval, with a top finish of 19th. He finished 29th in the season-opening Daytona 500 after contact with a competitor late in the race.
Comments from Long John Silver's Racing Team Driver Travis Kvapil on Daytona International Speedway, the New Restrictor Plate and the DNQ at Loudon:
"Daytona's going to be really interesting. Obviously, it will be the first time we're taking the Cup cars there with the new spoiler and we'll have the bigger restrictor plate that will give the cars more horsepower. It's going to make the cars carry more speed in the draft. It's going to be an interesting race. That track is so rough. In the summertime, especially, you have to have a really good handling racecar.
"It's going to be the last time we really run that place in that configuration. Right after this race, the track is going to be repaved, so a lot of things are going to be different the next time we go there. So it's going to be exciting to race there, with this bigger plate and more horsepower.
"In the middle of the summer, these cars are always sliding around. They don't have a lot of grip. So we really have to work on getting a good handling racecar. But you have to have a lot of speed in your car to go fast for one lap in qualifying. It's not really too big of a deal to qualify up front with the way the draft works. You can make your way from the back to the front, or the front to the back, in just a few laps.
"Hopefully, as we go to places like Daytona for the second time this season, our performance should pick up a little bit. Having that notebook of things we tried that worked or didn't work gives us something to build off of. I feel like our cars are better each time we go to the track. We're making improvements and we definitely have a good direction of where we need to go. It's just a matter of time to build this team up and get there, and having the money and resources to do it.
"Last week at Loudon was heartbreaking. We never saw it coming that we wouldn't qualify for that race. The car was really good in practice and we felt confident going into qualifying. But something happened with the car and it just got way loose. And afterwards the guys looked at it and found a problem with the rear gear and locker. It just shows you can't ever take anything for granted in this sport.
"It was tough on me, it was tough on the guys, and, of course, it's tough on Front Row. We got points taken away a few weeks ago, so we're clawing for everything we can get to get back in the top 35. So we definitely have our work cut out for us. But we've got a good team, we're working hard and we're just going to put Loudon behind us and get back to work."
-source: front row motorsports