Martinsville II: Travis Kvapil preview

Kvapil to Lead Front Row's Drive for 5 No. 38 Team within Arm's Reach of Top 35 Statesville, N.C. (October 19, 2010) - Four months ago when the No. 38 Long John Silver's team sat 150 points outside the top 35, many wondered if the climb back...

Kvapil to Lead Front Row's Drive for 5
No. 38 Team within Arm's Reach of Top 35

Statesville, N.C. (October 19, 2010) - Four months ago when the No. 38 Long John Silver's team sat 150 points outside the top 35, many wondered if the climb back would be an impossible one. This week as Travis Kvapil and crew head to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the TUMS Fast Relief 500, the team sits just five points outside the top 35 in owner points. Kvapil now has the opportunity to qualify for Sunday's race on speed and earn enough points to reclaim a spot among the guaranteed starters.

The Long John Silver's team had a strong run in March at the 0.526-mile oval. Kvapil was running in the top 25 toward the end of the race but slipped back in the final laps to finish 27th. He has nine total Sprint Cup starts at the paperclip-shaped track, with a top finish of 18th. The team will do some short-track testing in advance of the race when Front Row Motorsports takes all three of its cars to Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., on Thursday.

Alan Howard, Front Row Motorsports' shock specialist, will represent the No. 38 team in TUMS' Pit Crew Grand Marshal program, where a member from each team's pit crew will give the command to start engines on race day. Howard is a native of Covington, Va.

Comments from Long John Silver's driver Travis Kvapil on Martinsville, On-Track Paybacks and Pit Crew Grand Marshal Alan Howard:

"Martinsville is one of my favorite racetracks. It's a really tight, half-mile short track. You've really got to take care of your equipment and take care of your brakes. It's where I made my very first Cup start in the fall of 2004, so I'm excited to go back there. I always seem to have a knack for getting around that place really well.

"We ran OK in the spring but we kind of faded toward the end of the race. But I'm really pumped up about going back. I feel really confident about the package we're taking to Martinsville this time, and I just feel like we're going to do well. Front Row Motorsports can go and run solidly and run in the top 20 and come out of there with a great day.

"We're only five points away from getting the No. 38 car back into the top 35. David (Gilliland) has done a great job the last couple weeks shaving more points off of that gap, and now we have the chance to get in there this week and have a guaranteed starting spot for Talladega. Every single person at Front Row Motorsports has been working hard to get us back in there and our goal is definitely within reach this weekend.

"A lot of times when you go to Martinsville, there are guys who might owe somebody a payback from earlier in the season. Somebody might've taken you out a few weeks ago, and places like California or Michigan or Talladega aren't really tracks where you're going to pay somebody back. But at a place like Martinsville, you could put the bumper to somebody and not really take the risk of hurting the guy or wrecking the racecar real awful bad. It's kind of tradition. If somebody is upset at someone else, paybacks often happen at Martinsville.

"We've just got to keep our nose clean and stay out of trouble. It's a long, grueling 500 laps. Like I said, you've got to take care of your car, take care of your equipment, not make too many enemies and you'll have a good day.

"It's really cool that Alan Howard, our shock guy, is going to be honored as a grand marshal at Martinsville. He's actually the shock guy for the whole company right now. He's a really good guy who works really hard. He stepped up to the plate in the middle part of the season to take on building the shocks for all three of Front Row's cars. So he's got a lot going on, not only in the middle of the week getting things ready for the race, but also on the race weekend running back and forth between the three teams to give us all the support we need. We couldn't ask for a better guy."

-source: front row motorsports

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Long , Travis Kvapil
Teams Front Row Motorsports