NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- Round 4 Advance Auto Parts 250 Martinsville Speedway Martinsville, Va. Saturday, April 7, 2001 Chevy Silverado Takes Fourth Straight Second Place TRAVIS KVAPIL, ...
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- Round 4
Advance Auto Parts 250
Saturday, April 7, 2001
Chevy Silverado Takes Fourth Straight Second Place
TRAVIS KVAPIL, #60 CAT RENTAL STORES CHEVY SILVERADO, scored his second second-place finish this season, ending up just .874 of a second behind Scott Riggs' Dodge. Kvapil started from 14th position and credited good pit strategy and an excellent Silverado from Addington racing for the strong move to the front.
This marked the fourth time in four races that Chevrolet has finished second to Dodge.
KVAPIL: "It was pit strategy and a great Silverado that got us to the front. We had a poor qualifying effort. For Happy Hour we completely overhauled the truck. My crew chief Rick Ren and all the guys dug in and made some wholesale changes yesterday. After Happy Hour we thought we had a truck to win. We had good pit stops, good track position and a good finish. This is a high-caliber team. It finished third in points last year. The only thing that changed for them this year was having me. They have a truck that's capable of winning on every race track we go to."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND JACK SPRAGUE? "That was just a racing deal. There was some oil on the bottom groove and he got in it and slid up half-track. I tried to get under him but as I did my right front got up in the oil and it wouldn't turn. I felt really bad. He had a great truck and to take him out like that is just a racing deal. I feel really bad for him."
YOU WERE SLIPPING AND SLIDING AT THE END: "We had some pretty old right side tires. We tried to hang on as best as we could and be there for the last 15 laps to give him a run for the win. We were in a good position on the last restart, but I just got snookered. I have been restarting in second gear all day long and Scott (Riggs) had the restart slowed down a ton. I dropped it down to first and I just spun the tires. The Chevy motor just had too much horsepower, I guess."
RANDY TOLSMA, #61 TEAM RENSI CHEVY SILVERADO (fifth):
ON THE DAMAGE TO THE SILVERADO AND ALL THE PIT STOPS: "It was just a restart situation. When you are back in the 10th or 12th spot and you begin to check up you are kind of at the mercy of what happens. It was a chain reaction, we couldn't get slowed down enough. The Silverado was obviously tough to stand that hit, keep the radiator in and keep going to the end. I'm proud of the guys, they did the job on the pit road, got me out. Team Rensi did what they had to do. We had an awesome truck, we didn't just get the track position after that accident that we needed."
MATT CRAFTON, #88 SEALMASTER RACING CHEVY SILVERADO (sixth, second rookie): "We had a better pit strategy. We were going to pit just two or three times, but the water temperature was soaring and it was starting to drop cylinders the last 50 laps. It dropped a cylinder, then it dropped another one. We just hung on for dear life at that point. We just needed to turn this team around."
ARE YOU HAPPY OTHERWISE? "Yes, very. We had a top-five truck, we brought it home in one piece and in the top 10; that's all that matters."
ON DAMAGE TO TRUCK: "I got a lot on the nose. Here you get hit and you hit someone else and it's a chain reaction. You start hitting people you can't stop and you had no idea who you hit."
RICKY HENDRICK, #17 GMAC/HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO (ninth, still leads rookie points): "Yesterday we had trouble with the tires. Today they were a lot better. We got the pressure up, they came up nicely. We're very happy with the way the Team GMAC Silverado finished. We didn't have the best equipment out here today, but God was on our side and we finished in the top 10."
ON THIS TRACK: "It's a really tough track. I got really hot out there and it's awfully hard to get by anyone."
RESTARTS HAVE BEEN AN ISSUE FOR YOU: "Yes, as always, restarts are very important. I practiced with Jack (Sprague) and it definitely helped with so many restarts at the end."
BRYAN REFFNER, #3 MENARDS/DURACELL CHEVY SILVERADO (eighth): "We finished. I guess that qualifies as having fun. We never did get our miss off the corner after we changed the engine yesterday. That hurt us all day. We had to do what we could with what we had. It was a decent finish for us. We are just going to get back and fix our problems. We probably would have been a little better if (Joe) Ruttman hadn't spun us out. That's kind of the way it goes at this track. At least we got a finish. The wheels are rolling, a lot of the teams can't say that."
ON REAR-END PROBLEMS THE TRUCKS HAVE AT THIS TRACK: "It's tough here because we run the lowest gear ratio here. It's really hard on rear ends and that's why you see that here. We also have more horsepower this year than last year, and that really affects it too."
RICK CARELLI, #66 PHELON MOTORSPORTS CHEVY SILVERADO (12th, with a very damaged Silverado): "It's unfortunate. We had a good truck. I thought we could have run up front. When the accident happened on the lap 93 restart it was too early to start racing. I was a victim of circumstances. We were always trying to catch up to where we needed to be. If (Bobby) Hamilton had let us get our lap back, we would have finished better."
JACK SPRAGUE, #24 NETZERO PLATINUM CHEVY SILVERADO (unfortunately celebrated his 150th race of the series today with a 20th-place finish, DNF): "We had an exhaust valve hang up in the cylinder. The motor just started popping and sputtering. At first, we thought it might be a rocker arm, but that went out the window after we got a closer look at it. It's a real shame the NetZero Platinum Silverado didn't finish the race. That's pretty rare for us. It sure wasn't the way we wanted to finish our 150th race. We want to win every race and I especially wanted this one. I guess it wasn't meant to be."
MARIA ROHRER, assistant Chevrolet Silverado brand manager, who was on site this weekend to present Jack Sprague with a gold and silver Movado watch to honor his 150th race in a Chevrolet: "I thought it was a great race. I thought Travis Kvapil did an awesome job. I wasn't so sure in the beginning, but he seemed to really pull it out towards the end and gave it an incredible effort at the end. Frankly, I thought he was going to do it. I am not sure what happened. It looked like he was closing the gap but something happened. Obviously we are proud of the fact that he got close; it gives us a lot of hope for the rest of the season. He's a calm, cool kid with a strong will. He seems to drive with a lot of control. Certainly we are disappointed about not winning, but we think our time is coming. We will see what happens at St. Louis and beyond. I'm disappointed about Jack (Sprague) and his 150th race. I would have loved to have seen him do better at this one, but I think what happened was out of his control. Overall we are really proud of the Silverado teams. It certainly looked like Dodge dominated in the first half, but true to form they are in it for the long haul and always prove themselves at the end of the day. While we didn't win this one, I think that our time is coming."