Phoenix a Feel-Good Track for Kvapil Team Confident in Short-Track Set-Up Statesville, N.C. (November 9, 2010) - Travis Kvapil and the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford team head to the one-mile Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway hoping to...
Phoenix a Feel-Good Track for Kvapil
Team Confident in Short-Track Set-Up
Statesville, N.C. (November 9, 2010) - Travis Kvapil and the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford team head to the one-mile Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway hoping to forget the past two NASCAR Sprint Cup races. The team missed the race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and then got knocked out early at Texas Motor Speedway with an overheated engine.
Kvapil and crew chief Brian Burns feel they have the set-up information they need from previous races and test sessions to bring a strong Ford Fusion to the desert track this weekend, as they will need to qualify on speed for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500.
Kvapil has a top-10 finish in his seven career starts at Phoenix. He was knocked out of the spring race earlier this season with an engine problem, finishing 36th.
Comments from Long John Silver's driver Travis Kvapil on Phoenix International Raceway, Preparing for a Race as the No. 38, and Goals for the Final Races:
"I really like Phoenix - all the short tracks, really. I know I say that about all the tracks, but I do like them all. Phoenix is a one-mile racetrack but it feels just like a short track, like Martinsville. I'm very optimistic about going to Phoenix after the strong car we had at Martinsville. We had a lot of trouble in Martinsville, but we had a strong racecar that was very competitive.
"I feel like we learned a lot with the test we did before we went to Martinsville and our weekend at Martinsville. I feel like a lot of those things we can take to Phoenix and I think we can have a great finish there. We need to get some strong runs to end the year on, and Phoenix is a place where we can run up front.
"Last week at Texas was such a bizarre thing. The '7' car kicked up some dirt when he skimmed the grass early in the race, and it just clogged up our grill and we overheated. And not only did it get me, it got my teammate Dave Blaney. You don't see something like that happen very often, especially so early in the race and especially to have it happen to two cars. That was obviously pretty disappointing. We were looking forward to a good race.
"Preparing for a race as the '38' team is obviously a little more challenging than if we're in the '34.' We like the notice as soon as we can whether we're going to be the car to qualify on speed for a certain race. There are little things we do here at the shop to get ready for that. We'll strip the car down and try to get all the extra stuff out so we can have as much lead in the racecar as possible, which makes the car handle better. Then, going into the actual race, you take that lead out and replace it with coolers and brake fans and things like that. So, there are some things we can do to try to get a little more speed out of the car, and it all starts here at the race shop.
"Toward the end of the season now, working with my crew chief, Brian Burns, and David (Gilliland) working with Peter Sospenzo, I think we're just trying to hit on some basic set-ups for the short tracks and mile-and-a-half's that seem to fit us. I felt pretty good after we left Charlotte that we had a pretty good package for that type of racetrack. And I felt good after we left Martinsville because we had a technical package that gave us a competitive car there. Obviously, getting the No. 38 back in to the top 35 in points is the team's number-one goal. But we'd also like to go into the off-season with a little certainty that we know what we need to have in our racecars so we can start 2011 off strong with better finishes than what we had this year."
-source: front row motorsports