Watkins Glen: Travis Kvapil preview

DOUBLE VISION Kvapil to Run NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series Events at 'The Glen' Mooresville, N.C. (Aug. 9, 2005) - Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 77 Kodak Dodge Charger and 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Raybestos© Rookie...


Kvapil to Run NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series Events at 'The Glen'

Mooresville, N.C. (Aug. 9, 2005) - Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 77 Kodak Dodge Charger and 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Raybestos© Rookie of the Year contender, will have his hands full this weekend as he maneuvers through the road course at Watkins Glen in not one, but two races as he will attempt to make his second career start in the NASCAR Busch Series.

Kvapil's Busch Series entry is owned by Bob Torriere, owner of NDS Motorsports which typically fields the No. 35 car for Ted Christopher in the Grand National Division, Busch North Series.

Given the added hardship of running in two different series at "The Glen", Torriere is taking it easy on the rookie. In the Watkins Glen 200, Kvapil will drive a No. 77 Kodak Dodge, exactly like his Cup machine.

"We were pretty fortunate. The No. 77 was available and Bob was willing to work with us," Kvapil said. "On top of the number, the car will have the same look I am used to, Kodak gold."

Kvapil hopes to have much of the same results he experienced at Infineon Raceway this year. Prior to the event, Scott Riggs gave Kvapil a little bit of advice that the Penske-Jasper Racing driver found helpful: "Keep it on the track."

Kvapil's limited road course experience extends to Infineon Raceway earlier this year. Kvapil competed in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series and the Cup events at the Napa Valley-based facility. He started the Southwest event from the 11th position and posted a 12th-place finish. He started the Cup race from the 39th position and finished 21st.

When his road course initiation was completed, Kvapil said RiggsRiggs' advice was, "Right on."

"The most important thing I learned is to keep it on the track," Kvapil said. "That has to be my focus. I have to be more disciplined. Keeping it on the track means not over-driving the car; it has to lead the way. I have to be easy on the brakes; I can't lock up the wheels. Those are the kind of things that will take me to a good finish."


While Kvapil plans to carry Riggs' advice with him to Watkins Glen, he knows he has to keep something else in mind - the tracks are "two totally different beasts."

"[At Watkins Glen] you're turning right and left and you've got some elevation, but [I think it is] really an entirely different race track than Sonoma," Kvapil said. "You carry a lot more speed. You're really going fast. It's a fast, open road course, where as Sonoma seemed like a point-and-shoot road course.

"[At Sonoma] you really slow down, point and drive off, whereas Watkins Glen you want to really keep your speed up and carry your momentum through the corners. It's fun. I enjoyed it. It looks like it's pretty easy to get in trouble, especially through the esses. It's really narrow up through there with guardrails on both sides of the track. It's a fun track. I seemed to keep up to speed there, so I'm looking forward to getting there."

Kvapil is still learning his fellow competitors on the Cup side and running in the Busch Series will pose another challenge for him - learning who he can race with on that circuit.

"Racing is racing and I think we all have a certain respect for one another," Kvapil said. "I think there is a certain amount of push and shove when you know you are racing someone who doesn't usually race with you. They are racing for points in the Busch Series. I just want to learn for Sunday, not to mention I have to post a good finish there in Kodak's backyard."

Kvapil has one Busch Series race under his belt. In 2001, Kvapil ran the No. 21 car for Richard Childress Racing at Kentucky Speedway. He started that event from the third position but finished 28th, 20 laps behind the winner after crashing.


Equipment: The Kodak Racing team is taking PRS-095 to Watkins Glen. It is the same car the team tested Aug. 1-2.

Shane Wilson's Thoughts for this Weekend: "May the racing gods be with us."

Upcoming Kodak Racing Birthday Celebrations:

* Aug. 9 - Clay Robinson, Body hanger and front tire changer * Aug. 14 - Steve Williams, Rear-end mechanic


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs , Steve Williams , Ted Christopher , Travis Kvapil
Teams Williams , Richard Childress Racing