Memphis: Race winner interview

Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150 captured his second victory of the season. Kvapil led 66 laps at Memphis Motorsports Park in the O'Reilly 200 race on Saturday. He remains fourth in the points standings after tonight's...

Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150 captured his second victory of the season. Kvapil led 66 laps at Memphis Motorsports Park in the O'Reilly 200 race on Saturday. He remains fourth in the points standings after tonight's victory.

TRAVIS KVAPIL -- No. 6 K&N Filters Ford F-150 -- (finished 1st, qualified 10th)

THIS IS HIS SECOND WIN OF THE SEASON AND SEVENTH OF HIS CAREER, TAKE US THROUGH YOUR RUN.

"Well, right off the truck we were P1 in practice and slid back a little bit as the day went on. We never made a qualifying run in practice and qualified 10th. I knew it wasn't what I thought we should be doing or as good as we thought we'd be. Then we started the race, and it was not bad. We just worked our way up through. Then our first pit stop, I think we came in fifth, told the guys what the truck was doing, Mike Beam [crew chief] and Hal [Ralston, engineer] knocked out an awesome stop and on top of that made adjustments. We came in fifth and out third. Hornaday and Skinner and those guys, they're just crazy. You get those guys on a restart and they're out for blood and they started banging into each other. I got around Skinner and a few laps later got around Ron. The truck was really good. On the second stop, we just made another minor adjustment in the same direction of the first stop. Then kind of drove away from there for a bit. I thought the 9 truck [Brad Keselowski] was the only one I had to race with and he was really good in the long run. Then later in the long run, my truck started coming back. With lapped track, we diced back and forth a few times. It was a great race. I'm a big, big Brad Keselowski fan. I told him in Daytona pre-season testing to keep digging and that he'd find something and I'm a believer in his talent. I told him before the race that this was his chance and definitely not how I race. I did not intend to spin him around, but getting down to it, his truck really was not getting through the middle of the corner at all. Really slowing down, almost to a stop in the middle of the corner to try and get pointed in the other direction to get going. Whereas my truck was still rolling really good. Getting down to it, I had to go, had to make something happen. I bumped him a little bit, just trying to get him to go up a lane, and get under him. I ended up turning him around. As soon as I hit him, I backed off and hoping he could get it gathered up and wasn't able to. I feel bad that I turned Brad around. That's definitely not the way I wanted to do it. And he owes me one down the road."

HAVE YOU TALKED TO BRAD SINCE THE RACE ENDED?

"No, not at all. Just, obviously through our spotters, I apologized. That doesn't mean nothing, definitely. If not, as soon as I get out of here and he's still around, or I'll give him a call tomorrow or track him down. Like I said, I talked to him before the season started and I talk to him as much as I can this season just encouraging him because I believe in his talent. Again this afternoon, before driver intros, I told him he was doing an awesome job and get 200 laps in and this is a great opportunity for him. A few weeks ago in Texas, the Germain truck took me out there with a few laps to go. It's part of racing and especially in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."

YOU REALLY STALKED BRAD FOR A BIT OF THE RACE. WAS IT PART OF YOUR PLAN TO USE HIS INEXPERIENCE A LITTLE BIT TO GET UP BEHIND HIM, HAVE HIM MAKE A MISTAKE AND GET AROUND HIM THAT WAY?

"No, I definitely wasn't going [to do that]. I was going as hard as I could go. Anyway, it was so much fun. We were both coming off the corner sideways and I bounced mine off the wall once, just going as hard as I could go and keep pressure on him. I could roll in the corner better than he could, but he could point and drive off better than I could. It was kind of unique how our trucks were working a little bit differently. I knew, in the long run my truck, I thought would prevail. Anytime you can roll the middle of corner good, it's where you got to have the speed. He was really having to slow his truck down to get it to stop and point and go the other way, where mine would roll through there pretty good. So, I was hoping to keep the pressure on him and he would slip up. A couple of times, in the lapped traffic and stuff, we were racing pretty hard and side-by-side and we both were sliding around and he just did an awesome job all night. I'm really proud of him. I think it showed his talent. He did a really great job and I feel bad that's how his result was, but definitely not the plan."

DO YOU THINK A YOUNG GUY LIKE THAT NEEDS TO BE IN A RACE LIKE THIS TO REALLY LEARN?

"Yes, I think, I mean, it's different. Brad's run a lot of Truck and Busch races in the past. But it's different when you're running, maybe in sub-par equipment running 20th and 25th to contending for the lead, contending for the win. It's a whole different mentality. You've got to be on the kill, almost. You can't be 'Mr. Nice Guy' anymore. He was doing a great job. He was driving the heck out of his No. 9 truck and just doing a great job all night long. That's not how I want to race. I can apologize all I want, it don't mean nothing. He didn't get a good result. I was just really proud how he ran tonight."

YOU SAID HE OWES YOU ONE.

"Yea, I think so. I don't know. What are you going to do? Like I said, I apologized to the kid and said I was sorry, but what are you going to do? That's racing. Like I said, a few weeks ago I thought I had one in the bag and that didn't work out for my favor either. So, you've kinda got to live with it and move on. I just hope something great will come out of this for him tonight. He definitely showed his ability and hopefully he'll get something full-time and be a contender winning for more."

YOU WON TWO OUT OF THE LAST THREE RACES. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOUR TEAM OR FOR ANY CHAMPIONSHIP ASPIRATIONS YOU HAVE?

"Well, this is about the only thing we can do is win races. We're at a pretty big deficit right now from Skinner and Hornaday, I think, and Bodine. We're almost 300 points out going into it. Finishing like we did tonight, I don't think we can win the championship when these guys finish third and fourth. You're not going to gain 300 points in 10 races or whatever we have left on these guys. It's going to come down to these guys having a couple of bad days and we're just going to have to be there in the top-five to capitalize on it. Hopefully, these guys will have it coming. Skinner is having just an unbelievable season. I think his worst finish of the year has been seventh. So, our team has come a long way since races two, three and four of the season. We were not a contender at all. We were running 15th and 16th and kind of embarrassing Jack Roush. He did an awesome job and sitting us all down. He cut the trucks up for me and got them to the wind tunnel and changed the set-ups for me, adapted to what I needed, and what Erik Darnell needed and Kansas was a big turnaround, where my teammate won the race. Ever since then, we've been rolling."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jack Roush , Brad Keselowski , Travis Kvapil