Statesville, N.C. (June 5, 2012) - It's a fresh start for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway. The track has new pavement and shed 100 miles off its previous race distance. Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 93 Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota, is anxious to hit the track and see how the variables play out in this week's Pocono 400.
Kvapil has nine NSCS starts at Pocono. His best finish is 16th, which came in 2008. He's led one lap at the 2.5-mile raceway and has been running at the end of each event.
Kvapil was involved in the multi-car wreck on Lap 9 last week at Dover. Although his car suffered extensive front-end damage, the crew kept Kvapil on the track for the remainder of the race to net a 23rd-place finish. The performance moved the team up one position to 30th in the owner point standings.
Comments from BK Racing Driver Travis Kvapil heading into Pocono:
"With the new pavement, there's a big unknown going there. I've talked to a few guys that have tire tested there. They said that the track still drives the same, but it has more speed in the corners. It's still a very big race track. Every corner's different. It's hard to get a car that's perfect everywhere. With the new repave, it's going to require a completely different setup, especially the shock and bump stop package. We'll probably be a lot more aggressive with our setup. Aerodynamics is going to be key. The platform of your body and splitter height are all going to be critical factors. We're going to wait and see when we get up there and get a few laps on the track. We have some test time before the race and before qualifying. We'll take a nice approach and have a game plan that we're ready to work through, but it's going to be one of those things that you won't know until you get out there and see for yourself.
"We'll have a hundred less miles this time. Pocono is so big and flat. I think the lap times there are some of the slowest on the NASCAR circuit. It can make for a long afternoon. I definitely think that knocking a hundred miles off is a good idea to keep the excitement level up. It's going to require a different strategy. Knowing that you won't have an extra hundred miles to figure it out, you'll have to make different calls and have a different pit strategy. We'll have to see how the tires hold up. There could be two-tire pit stops or fuel-only stops, things like that which we probably wouldn't have seen in the past. They might be an option with the new pavement.
"Last week was a real gut check for our team. We were involved in the wreck on Lap 9. The Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota was torn up pretty good, especially on the front-end. My team never gave up, though. They kept making repairs during the caution periods. They fixed the toe and added several pieces to the nose where our sheet metal had been torn off. We lost some laps, but we never had to take the car to the garage and stayed on the track until the end. We finished 23rd. It was definitely a hard-earned top-25. A lot of teams would have thrown in the towel."