Michigan: Winning team interview

TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 6 K&N Engineering Ford F-150 (finished 1st) "Obviously, it all starts back at the race shop, and I've got to thank everyone at Roush Fenway Racing, K&N and Ford for giving me this opportunity. We started the year off kind...

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

"Obviously, it all starts back at the race shop, and I've got to thank everyone at Roush Fenway Racing, K&N and Ford for giving me this opportunity. We started the year off kind of struggling, and Mike Beam and the guys here really just figured out what we needed to do to make the trucks where I could drive 'em fast. Kansas was probably thr big turning point for our trucks, and my teammate, Erik [Darnell], won there and since then we've been a top-five truck every time we come to the race track. Haven't really been able to pull it off or get the whole weekend get put together, but we finally did here at Michigan."

MIKE BEAM -- crew chief, No. 6 K&N Engineering Ford F-150

"Like Travis said, it's been a struggle for us. We've got this '07 nose and some of the things we did over the winter we thought was going to be better, but once we run a couple of races we decided we needed to re-do our program a little bit. So, everyone's worked hard and Travis has done a great job on his feedback and it's given us a direction to go in. Today, we came off the truck and we were fast, and were fortunate enough to sit on the pole. It was a great day, he drove a great race. I was worried there for a while, but it worked out for us."

JACK ROUSH -- owner, No. 6 K&N Engineering Ford F-150

THIS IS YOUR 45TH WIN IN THE SERIES.

"It's certainly a milestone, and very proud of that and everybody that has driven these trucks over the last more than a decade. I talked two or three times, down on my hands and knees, to beg Travis to come over here and help us with this, and I felt like we let down -- today, we almost let him down. We had a 17-second pit stop there that Mike and I are going to work on that caused him to have to go from being in the lead and coming back third, and then had to work his way back up there. Everyone raced him clean. My compliments are to Brendan and to Mike and to Kyle Busch and Ted Musgrave. Everybody out there was racing clean, they were being respectful. Travis had a great truck, a Ford truck, was really the hammer he needed. And, he was able to close the deal. Of course, Travis won a championship over here but until he won a race in our truck there was a question in my mind of whether or not he was deal closer, but he sure made that clear today; he won that race at least two or three times."

WAS THE HEAT A FACTOR TODAY?

TRAVIS KVAPIL: "The conditions that we saw here today at Michigan are, I guess, are pretty normal or average. The heat of the summer and when we get to the Midwest and places like Memphis, Milwaukee the next couple of weeks will be under very similar conditions. So, that's pretty much the norm. It'll be hot for 400 miles for these guys tomorrow, too. The night-time races are little cooler, and have a little more grip for the track, but the conditions what we saw here today are pretty normal. I like heat, what we had today. Our truck seemed to have a little more grip. This was one thing I commented over the radio, where it looked like it got pretty cloudy there for a little bit, and the 51 seemed to be a little faster when it was a cloudy and had a little bit of grip. When the sun peeked back through a little bit, we were able to prevail."

ON WINNING FROM THE POLE.

TRAVIS KVAPIL: "We came off the truck in top-two in both sessions. Our first run, I told the guys, 'The truck feels real good. Let's keep tweaking away at it with little bitty adjustments,' and we kept getting a little better and a little better. We knew we had a shot at the pole. There was a handful of us I thought were pretty fast, but we were able to put that lap down and really just show the speed that our Ford had in it today. And we were able to just make the right adjustments in the race. We were off just a little bit to start the race, we fell back a little bit, it looked like Mark Martin's Ford was awful strong at the beginning, but he had problems. We just made the right decisions on pit road, got the right adjustments in the truck where I could drive it hard and be aggressive with it."

COULD YOU DESCRIBE THE LAST PASS FOR THE LEAD?

TRAVIS KVAPIL: "I knew I had to time it right and when I did make my attempt I knew I had to complete the deal. A few times I was able to get side-by side with Kyle and race him all the way down the straightaway. And when we were doing that, I noticed the third- and fourth-place guys could really close up and utilize the draft to really close up some ground. I just wanted to make it a two-man race. I was going to actually wait prior to the last lap, if nothing else it looked like I could beat him off turn four to the line, that was kind of the last trick in the bag, but we got down into turn three and he slipped a little bit and I had to capitalize on it right at the spot, right at that time."

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS VICTORY.

MIKE BEAM: "It's so important to run here -- it's important to run well everywhere, but to come to Detroit, with the manufacturers -- and basically I was using a line from Max Jones, our general manager, that's what he told me Tuesday. To come here and it's Jack's home track, and just to share it with his family to beat the other guys, the other manufacturers, is really special to us because, like I said, we've struggled a little bit and the other manufacturers have done well, but the 99 was fortunate enough to win Kansas. We really hold the 6 truck in high standards just because that's just the way we need to race, and we've been disappointed with our performance, as far as our team. Travis has done a great job sticking with us, and nobody got excited and Jack gave us all the support and Ford did with all the wind-tunnel time, so it was special to us because of all the hard work at the shop. Those guys can breathe a lot easier now. We cut up a lot of sheet metal this year. So, it's a pretty special win here."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ted Musgrave , Max Jones , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin
Teams Roush Fenway Racing