Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150, captured his third career pole in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series by claiming the top spot for Wednesday's night's O'Reilly 200. *** TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 6 K&N Filters Ford...
Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150, captured his third career pole in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series by claiming the top spot for Wednesday's night's O'Reilly 200.
TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150
"It's always nice to start up front at Bristol. We had a great test here a couple of weeks ago and really learned a lot. We came here yesterday with our K&N Ford and it's just been fast right off the truck. We really found some speed in it today. I was really happy because the guys sat back at the hotel and talked about it and they came up with a good game plan for today and it paid off. You don't know what to expect for pit strategy and things like that, but being up front is definitely gonna play into our hands."
HAVE YOU TALKED ABOUT PIT STRATEGY? "I think it's gonna depend on how the race plays out. I think everybody is gonna try to pit as early as they can and make it the rest of the way on fuel, but then do you pit again or not? I feel like the track is easier to pass now than it was and the tires don't seem to fall off a whole lot, so it's just gonna kind of depend on how many guys are on the lead lap and how your truck is performing. Hopefully, we can just keep it up front all night and we'll be happy."
DO YOU NOTICE A MAJOR DIFFERENCE FROM A GRIP STANDPOINT WITH THE NEW CONCRETE SURFACE? "It seems like anytime we go to concrete it kind of has that same feel. It has a lot of grip, but at the same time, it's kind of tough to get a hold of it. It's a lot different than what it was a couple of weeks ago. It seems like there's a lot more rubber down in the track, so they did a great job with the track. The groove has opened up a little bit and I think it's gonna be a little bit easier to pass. It's still gonna be a track position type of race, but if we get back there a little bit, I think we can get our way to the front."
TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150 (Finished 11th)
"My truck was a little loose and I thought we could keep it on the outside and run pretty good up there. That was kind of the plan. I was willing to give up the bottom because my truck was just too loose. I needed to just let it roll around the outside. I'm pretty sure I gave him (Kyle Busch) enough room out there, but he just got up into me a little bit and that's all it took."
WHEN YOU SAW HIM IN YOUR REARVIEW MIRROR WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? "He's definitely one of the best and one of the hardest drivers out here. There were numerous restarts before that, so I figured I'd be able to hold him off. He got down on the bottom and I know he was loose down there and he just got up into me."
ERIK DARNELL -- No. 99 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 (Finished 13th)
"It was frustrating. I honestly thought after practice that the Northern Tool + Equipment Ford was gonna be better than what we were in the race. We were second in the open practice yesterday and we were top five in the morning practice today and qualified sixth. I thought we had a really good truck for the race. Unfortunately, it tightened up on us more than I thought it was going to. We made big adjustments on the pit stops, but, obviously, didn't go far enough. It was a frustrating finish."
RICK CRAWFORD -- No. 14 Power Stroke Diesel by Int'l Ford F-150 (Finished 5th)
"This Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel by International made some really bold moves tonight. We made one adjustment on an early pit stop and those four Goodyear Wranglers stayed under me and we finished up with a top five. That was a pretty good run for us tonight."
YOU KEPT YOUR NOSE CLEAN AND STAYED OUT OF TROUBLE. "I'm trying to teach Adam, my son, a racing lesson here. At a place like this the man who wins the race isn't going to have a mark on his truck. You're gonna have to race without touching people and I know we've got some scrub marks on the rear bumper, but that's behind me. I tried to keep the front of the truck clean and that's what you have to do here. You have to survive here at Bristol but you've got to finish first in order to finish first."
WAS IT EASIER TO PASS WITH THE NEW SURFACE? "Oh yeah. This is a great job by Bristol and Bruton Smith and his entire staff here at Bristol Motor Speedway. What a fun place to race. It always has been fun, but this is a really nice place to come and showcase your talent -- especially when you're driving an F-Series pickup."
MARK MARTIN -- No. 21 Mark Martin Ford F-150 (Finished 3rd)
"The race track is awesome. I'm looking forward to watching the race Friday and Saturday night. I want to thank Wood Brothers/JTG Racing for letting me drive such an awesome Ford F-150 tonight. We really wanted to win this thing for our Ford store back in Batesville and all the folks there, but we gave it a good run. We never changed tires all night and the truck came on strong at the end. We were set up for the long run so it worked out, but just not good enough to win."
DAVID STARR -- No. 10 Int'l MaxxForce Diesel Ford F-150 (Finished 17th)
"Our International MaxxForce Diesel Ford F-150 was pretty awesome, but track position was real critical. On that first pit stop we only took two right side tires and probably should have taken four, but it wasn't bad. Todd (Bodine) got in the back of me and I don't know how I didn't crash, but we were gaining spots back. Then the caution came out and we pitted and put tires on it and it was rocket ship. I was coming back up through the field, but on a restart I lost two spots and felt I needed to clean my tires off, so I scrubbed my tires really hard and when we had another restart it just went all the way up to the wall and you couldn't turn. We were really fortunate that we got another caution because we had a cut right-front tire. We put tires on it and gained more spots, but our Ford F-150 was a rocket ship. We just needed a little luck on our side. I'm disappointed. The race is equal for everybody -- it's 200 laps -- but even just five or 10 more laps would have been good because we were coming. It wasn't a bad race. It could have been worse, but I'm just disappointed because we were better than 17th. I'm excited for my teammate Rick Crawford, he had a great night tonight. It was really cool to see him up in the top five, but we're disappointed. Still, we're excited because our International MaxxForce Diesel Ford F-150 was good tonight, but little circumstances resulted in bad luck. We're gonna keep our chin up and keep digging. It's getting better so I'm pretty excited about everything."
DANNY O'QUINN -- No. 50 Northern Tool + Equipment Ford F-150 (Finished 10th)
"That was awesome. It was my second time ever in a truck and this 50 team is really a bunch of great guys. The Roush Fenway trucks are so good that it was just a privilege to drive it tonight. We started off and drove up through there five or six spots and tried a different deal with pit strategy and took only a couple of tires. That really ended up hurting us because we fell way back and I couldn't even drive it. We decided we needed to put four back on it and didn't have a whole lot of green flag racing, but every lap we ran we passed some cars, so it feels really good to come out of here with a top 10. It feels good for Northern Tool because they're a great sponsor and it's just a privilege to be driving these Roush Fenway Ford Racing F-150s."
WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE TO FINISH TOP 10 WHEN YOU'RE NOT DRIVING A FULL SCHEDULE? "That feels good and that's what we've got to do. I tell you, it's not any fun going out there and watching these races every week and not being a part of it, but I've hung in there and tried to stay around everything. I drive whatever I can get a hold of this year. It doesn't matter what you're racing, if it's a go-kart or anything, you've got to stay up to date on everything. I've been trying to do that as much as possible as this year. You've got to take advantage of every opportunity you've got out there when you get 'em because you never know when the next one is gonna pop up."
-credit: ford racing