Las Vegas: Race winner interview

TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150 -- (finished 1st, qualified 1st) TALK ABOUT THE RACE AND ESPECIALLY THOSE LAST FEW LAPS WITH JOHNNY. "Man, what an awesome finish. Our weekend in general, this is the truck we won a couple of races...

TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150 -- (finished 1st, qualified 1st)

TALK ABOUT THE RACE AND ESPECIALLY THOSE LAST FEW LAPS WITH JOHNNY.

"Man, what an awesome finish. Our weekend in general, this is the truck we won a couple of races with earlier in the year. So, we knew it was fast at this type of race track. This was my first time here in this configuration. We were good in practice, just kept working on it. Everybody on the team just did a wonderful job staying with it. Qualified on the pole. In the race we were off a little bit. We were just a little too tight in the first half of the race. I was trying to run the bottom of the race track in one and two. My truck was just not set-up good enough to get through the bumps through one and two like I needed. So, I had to search around a little bit and it took me a little while to figure out how to carry speed through in turns one and two. I found just running the outside lane, going around the bumps, worked for me. I think it took me a little while and some of the guys to get the groove kind of worked in up there. It was slippery the first couple times I went up there then it seemed like it was coming in. We were a little tight in the first two pit stops and we just kept working on it. Mike Beam and the K&N Ford team did just the right adjustments again. We went out there on the last restart behind the 21 and 23 and didn't really think I was going to have much for them, but I had seen in the previous runs that my truck was good in the long run. I was getting through one and two really good and we all were getting through three and four at the same speed around the bottom. I knew I had to try something different, so I started testing the waters on the outside of three and four and quickly realized that I was going to be able to make up some ground out there. I just drove it in out there and had clean air outside these guys. It stuck good for me; running on the outside you've got a lot of momentum and I was able to complete the passes."

YOU GAINED A LOT OF POINTS ON MIKE [SKINNER] AND RON [HORNADAY] TONIGHT. WITH SIX RACES TO GO, DO YOU THINK YOU CAN CATCH THEM?

"I tell you what, coming into tonight, I didn't think we had much of a shot. You never give up hope and you never know what can happen in six or seven races. We gained 80-some points in one night. And one or two more night like that, we're right in the mix. So, we didn't do a very good job last week in Loudon. We gave up 80 points to those guys. We just ran poorly out there. We've got some tracks I feel like we're going to keep running this truck right here at Texas, Atlanta and Homestead. This is the third win this truck has this year. It just seems to run really good. We're going to continue to run up front and try to win races. If they have a bad day here and there, I think we'll be right there in the hunt by the time we get to Homestead."

WATCHING JON AND JOHNNY DUKING IT OUT ON THE BOTTOM OF THE RACE TRACK, ARE YOU THINKING AT THAT POINT THAT YOU'VE GOT THIS?

"Well, I knew I was better than them through one and two after a few laps. It seems like they would both try to hold the bottom of the race track really tight and I could really just keep my momentum up on the outside and really roll through and carry a lot of speed. I knew I was going to get through one and two and was better than them. I just took me a little while to figure out how I was going to get through three and four better than them. Through one and two I was avoiding the bottom from about lap 20 on. I figured my truck and the set-up that we had in it, it was too rigid, too bumpy. I didn't have grip on the bottom, so I just started trying to run that outside lane and we could run the outside lane in one and two fast and right on the bottom of three and four fast. But when I started catching those guys in three and four, I'd start losing the air on the front of my truck and I'd start to get tight and thought well [heck], if I can run on the outside of one and two, I'll try three and four and see what happens. I was amazed at how much grip the track had in the second lane and I was able to get out there and make the passes. What an amazing finish. Those last handful of laps or whatever it was, I was running wide open on the outside of turns one and two and but 23 and those guys could run wide open on the bottom and it just made for some great racing. I had to hold them off through three and four and the 21 with Jon there, he got loose once under me and I heard him pedal the gas and doing everything he could and not wreck but still try and go for the victory. So those guys did an amazing job and put a great race on for everybody."

THERE SEEMED TO BE A LOT OF TIRE PROBLEMS TONIGHT. WHERE YOU CAUTIOUS ABOUT TIRES?

"This is the same tire we raced a Charlotte. We feel it's a very hard, durable tire, fairly conservative. You've just got to pay attention and be careful with your set ups. You can't be too aggressive with your camber settings and things like that. You're air pressure, you gotta watch and you must first finish to finish first. That's kind of been our theory all year here. We really paid attention to our tire wear and our heat on the tires in practice and we felt comfortable with that. We were too aggressive early in practice with it and we had to back off on our settings a little bit to get longevity in our tires. It takes speed away when you do that, but in the long run we were still out there making laps. Goodyear did a great job; it was a great tire with plenty of grip and you have to pay attention to your settings and not abuse that tire."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Truck