TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 28 Academy Sports & Outdoors Ford Fusion "I'm just so excited about my team and what we've kind of been through this year. At the beginning of the year, I don't think a lot of people knew where this team was gonna go and...
TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 28 Academy Sports & Outdoors Ford Fusion
"I'm just so excited about my team and what we've kind of been through this year. At the beginning of the year, I don't think a lot of people knew where this team was gonna go and what kind of direction it was gonna head and Doug and Max just worked really hard and persevered and pieced a bunch of sponsorship packages together and this is a great day for us. We're just really excited. My team worked really hard. This is a brand new car. The fab shop, the engine shop, I'm just really proud of what they've done for us and it's really nice to go out and have a little success."
DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THE CAR TOMORROW AND DID IT HELP TO HAVE AN EARLY DRAW?
"I don't think draw-wise really was much of an effect. We were watching that flag today and it looked like it was pretty still for most of the day, and as far as what we've got to do to make it race, basically just pull the tape off of it. We worked a little harder on qualifying yesterday than most of the teams that were locked in the top 35, but we knew we had a shot at possibly getting the pole, so we wanted to take advantage of that. We did go out and get in the draft and did a good race-type run and it seemed to handle just fine, so, really, the way the track is so smooth, there's not much of a handling issue, so, truthfully all we have to do is pull the tape off and we're good to go."
DOES THIS MEAN MORE MENTALLY FOR YOUR TEAM?
"This is huge for our team. Definitely qualifying doesn't really mean a whole lot as far as your chances to win the race after 500 miles, but we get a good pit selection. We'll have less chance to get caught up in a wreck early on in the race. It doesn't take long to get shuffled to the back and I'm sure I'll be shuffled in and out and around throughout the field, but the first few laps we'll be up front and hopefully keeping it clean. Pit selection is big. I think there's gonna be quite a bit of pit strategy tomorrow with two tires and no tires, so having a good pit stall to get in and out of is gonna help in that aspect of it, but, more than anything, it's a huge morale booster for Yates Racing."
CAN YOU REFLECT ON THE HERITAGE OF YATES RACING AT TALLADEGA?
"I remember watching the 28 with Davey running up front and leading laps and this is a place that's really special to the Yates family and my crew chief, Todd Parrott, loves coming here, so having the 28 with the Alabama Gang and that whole notoriety comes with the 28. It's awful special. I didn't really start thinking about that until now, I guess, but it's awful special. There are a lot of 28 fans in the Talladega area, so it's pretty cool that we can come out here and get my first pole and give those 28 fans something to cheer about."
WHAT ARE THE FUTURE PLANS FOR YATES RACING, SPECIFICALLY YOU AND DAVID?
"Today is a big day in helping for 2009 and beyond for Yates Racing. Paul coming over and adding a third car, that's great. That's gonna help make more of a solid foundation for Yates Racing, but we're still trying to lock down all of our sponsors for the 28 and 38 car for next year. I feel like we're in a pretty good position to do that. We're talking with a bunch of companies and we've had a bunch of interest, but to go out there and get those deals wrapped up, if you can go out and run good and run up front, that makes it a lot easier. So this is just a big step and hopefully help put those packages together -- get our name out there and run up front and a lot of times those sponsor things kind of take care of themselves, so hopefully this will just help in that situation."
-credit: ford racing