DOVER, Del. (Sept. 20, 2005) -- Travis Kvapil is a fan of roller coasters, but the driver of the No. 77 Kodak Racing Dodge Charger says he has never been on one as up and down as his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rookie season. This week, the 29-year...
DOVER, Del. (Sept. 20, 2005) -- Travis Kvapil is a fan of roller coasters, but the driver of the No. 77 Kodak Racing Dodge Charger says he has never been on one as up and down as his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rookie season.
This week, the 29-year old Janesville, Wis., native returns to Dover International Speedway and hopes to begin a long climb that will last through the 2005 season, carrying him into his sophomore year.
"I have had relatively good success at Dover and it is one of the tracks I have been looking forward to visiting for the second time this year," Kvapil said. "Dover is challenging because it is a high-banked, high-speed track that really makes for a fun race.
"Like the Richmond race a couple of weeks ago, I know we learned something back in the spring. The track is going to tighten up as the rubber is laid down and I will have to learn to adjust for it."
Following the June event on the "Monster Mile" in which Kvapil traded his Kodak colors for the brighter Jasper Engines paint scheme, Kvapil said, "The Jasper Engines and Transmissions Dodge was the best it has been all day, right there at the end. We started the race a little tight and finally, right there at the end, it started to come back to us."
Keeping the track's natural progression in mind will help the rookie in addition to the extra seat time he will gain during practice for this weekend's event.
Since the Dover race is not an impound event, Kvapil believes the extra practice Saturday morning will only add to his familiarity with the track's concrete surface and the conditions he will face come Sunday.
With the NASCAR Busch Grand National North Series running its event Friday evening, Kvapil noted,
"Provided it doesn't rain Friday night, [the Cup Series] will have the benefit of running on the track after some rubber has been laid down. That will really give me a feel for what to expect, knowing also that by the time we begin the Cup race, the [NASCAR] Busch Series is going to have their way with the track -- not that anyone can really have their way with Dover. It just kind of sucks you in."
Kvapil thinks of Dover as an over-sized Bristol.
"Dover is a track that, I think, every driver looks forward to racing, whether they think they do or not. It's kind of like Bristol on steroids."
NEWS OF NOTE
Equipment: Primary: PRS-037
The Kodak Racing team raced PRS--037 in the June Michigan International Speedway event this year (St. 37th/Fin. 26th), as well as the fall Dover event last year (St.25th/Fin. 22nd). The Kodak Racing team acquired PRS-037 from Ryan Newman's Alltel Racing team last year. Newman raced PRS-037 twice in 2003 and once in 2004 - Las Vegas '03 (St. 3rd/Fin. 7th); Spring Charlotte '03 (St. 1st/Fin. 5th); Las Vegas '04 (St. 5th/Fin. 27th).