Daytona Duel: Kvapil - Ford interview

Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 28 K&N Filters Ford Fusion, was the fastest qualifying Ford in Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session (seventh). Kvapil, who is in his first year with Yates Racing, will be making his race debut with the...

Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 28 K&N Filters Ford Fusion, was the fastest qualifying Ford in Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session (seventh). Kvapil, who is in his first year with Yates Racing, will be making his race debut with the new car in tomorrow's Gatorade Duel event.

TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 28 K&N Filters Ford Fusion

WHAT IS YOUR PRIORITY FOR TOMORROW? "Our main priority is to get through the race unscathed. I feel like we've got a really fast Ford Fusion and we don't want to mess it up. We don't have a lot of laps in the draft yet, just testing so far, so it's gonna be a big learning experience to figure out for myself positions that I can and cannot put the car in. We've seen the guys in the Shootout and Shootout practice talk about that quite a bit. They've learned quite a bit in how this car reacts differently than the old car, so, for me, I'm gonna try to figure that out and work through that and get an understanding of that. I think our car will be fast enough to where we can keep it towards the front and that's a goal. We want to stay up in the front of the pack and don't want to get mixed up in the middle or get caught up in something. There are a lot of different agendas tomorrow and we just need to kind of steer clear of it and come through it unscathed."

DO YOU FEEL LIKE A ROOKIE ALL OVER AGAIN? THIS IS YOUR FIRST RACE IN THE NEW CAR? "Yeah, but I think a lot of other people do, too. I'm excited about it. I know this vehicle drives a lot differently than a truck and aerodynamically it's a lot different than a truck, but it's closer to a truck than the old Cup car, I think. So I'm hoping I can take a lot of the information and knowledge I had from the Truck Series days and apply it to this new car. If we do that and pick up the nuances on this new car, I think we'll be a contender and we'll be towards the front of the pack all day and that's what we're looking for."

IT WOULD BE GREAT TO WIN, I'M SURE. "Definitely. With the situation we're in, it's really important for us to just complete all the miles on Sunday and have a solid finish and, really, throughout the first handful of races that's important to us -- establish our team in the points. Then I think we can really go after it, but most importantly -- early in the year -- it's about establishing ourselves in the top 35 and build a good foundation these first handful of races. But if the opportunity comes up and we're in position to win tomorrow, we're gonna go for it."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Travis Kvapil
Teams Yates Racing