The first time that Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford Fusion, saw Bristol Motor Speedway, he won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race (2003). The first time he raced there in a Cup car (2005), he scored his first-ever series...
The first time that Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford Fusion, saw Bristol Motor Speedway, he won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race (2003). The first time he raced there in a Cup car (2005), he scored his first-ever series top-10 (seventh). Kvapil says he always looks forward to racing at Bristol, and this weekend his No. 28 Ford Fusion will be carrying a special paint scheme; it will promote the return of the television show, Knight Rider , which will debut on NBC in September. In the new series, KITT, the car, is a modified Shelby GT500KR.
TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 28 Ford Fusion
WHAT'S YOUR FIRST THOUGHT WHEN YOU KNOW YOU'LL BE RACING AT BRISTOL SATURDAY NIGHT? "Excited. Growing up and watching races on TV, that was, for sure, one of the races I made a point to watch, especially the night race. I think back at some of the great finishes there with Dale Earnhardt and Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, some of the bump-and-runs for victories, things like that. It's just a great race track. And then for me, the very first time I went there in the Truck series, I won that night, in 2003. I had a great truck there last year. It's just a place that I really enjoy going. I scored my first Cup top-10 there. It's just a place for me that I'm comfortable at. I like what they did when they reconfigured it -- you're able to pass without having to bump the guy out of the way, which for the competitors is better -- maybe the race fans have a different view. But, it's just a fun track. It's the ultimate short track."
WHAT ABOUT SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES ABOUT GETTING AROUND THAT TRACK? DRIVERS TALK ABOUT WRECKS THAT HAPPEN A FEW TURNS AHEAD AND NOT BEING ABLE TO AVOID THAT WRECK. "Oh, yeah. I've been that guy. I've been in the middle of turn one and two and drove into the wreck in turn three. It happens so fast. Obviously, the laps times are real quick. It's just one of those places that it's got so much banking that, as a driver, when you're in a corner, you can't see the straightaway, really, until you kind of pop up out of the hole, and it's just tough. It's a challenge, and it's easy to get caught up in other people's trouble. But, that's just part of it. It's something you've got to be aware of, and your spotter does a great job to help you out."
AND, YOU'LL BE DRIVING THE KNIGHT RIDER CAR THIS WEEKEND. "We're really excited about it. You know, unfortunately, we haven't had fulltime sponsorship, but that's given us the opportunity to have some really cool partners, and this is another one. Lafayette Ford and CHP [California Highway Patrol] were some of my favorites, and now the Knight Rider car -- it's going to be really cool. I grew up watching Knight Rider and I was a fan of KITT. It's just very cool that I get the opportunity to drive it. I'm looking forward to it, it's going to be fun, and I think there's going to be a lot of excitement around it. It should be really cool."
-credit: ford racing