Toyota Tundra Thunders By Field at Michigan Kvapil Captures First NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race For Toyota BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug.1, 2004) Toyota earned its first-ever victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) Saturday when Travis...
Toyota Tundra Thunders By Field at Michigan
Kvapil Captures First NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Race For Toyota
BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug.1, 2004) Toyota earned its first-ever victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) Saturday when Travis Kvapil captured the checkered flag in his No.24 Bang Racing Line-X Tundra at Michigan International Speedway. Kvapil, who recorded his fourth career NCTS victory, led the final 17 laps in the Line-X Spray-On Bedliners 200 en route to the win.
"This is huge," said Kvapil, following the race. "What a day! I needed to go as hard as I could, and as fast as I could and I was able to do that today. I got to about mid-pack about halfway through the race and thought that was all I had. My Tundra just got a little bit tight, it didn't have good balance, and I just didn't have a good `feel.' But, my guys worked on the Tundra all race, gave me some great pit stops, made some good adjustments, and I was able to drive to the win."
Kvapil was the first of three Toyota drivers to cross the finish line among the top-five at Michigan. Mike Skinner, Kvapil's Bang Racing teammate, led 26 laps during the race and was third to the checkered flag in his No.42 Bang Racing Tundra. Johnny Benson, in his first NCTS start since 1997, finished fourth driving the No.22 Bill Davis Racing Tundra.
"Looks like this was our lucky race number 13," said Jim Aust, Vice President of Motorsports. "A lot of people have been working hard towards this goal and they deserve a lot of credit including everyone at TRD and all our race team partners. We're looking forward to more of these before the season is over."
Kvapil brushed the wall during practice Friday afternoon, and then his team made an engine change following the final practice session. The engine change forced the Janesville, Wis.-native was to start the race from the rear of the field.
"Mike Skinner's crew really helped us out yesterday after we had our problems," said Kvapil. "I drove into the wall and then we had to change a motor. The No.42 bunch helped us out with all their notes. They had a really fast truck so we made some adjustments that we picked up from their notes and obviously, it helped."
"The guys on my Line-X team did a great job and everybody at Toyota did a great job," said Kvapil. "Toyota gave us some great horsepower again today like they've been doing all year long."
"It's really hard to put into words what this means," said Lee White, Senior Vice President of Toyota Racing Development. "It all started three years ago and to win in the middle of our first season is pretty phenomenal. We're working with some great people in Travis Kvapil and Mike Skinner and all the people at Bang Racing. Larry McReynolds deserves a lot of credit for putting this team together and making it happen. I hope he was watching today's race."
Following Kvapil, Skinner and Benson to the checkered flag were Robert Huffman, who registered a NCTS career-best seventh-place in his No.22 Innovative Motorsports Tundra. Bill Lester (18th), David Reutimann (24th) and Hank Parker, Jr. were the other Toyota drivers in the field.
After 132004 NCTS races, three Toyota drivers sit among the top-15 in the championship point standings. Kvapil is 7th in the standings with 1,749 points, while Skinner is 9th (1,628 points) and Reutimann is 14th (1,535 points). Reutimann also tops the Rookie-of-the-Year standings.
The next NCTSrace is Friday, August 2, at Indianapolis Raceway Park, beginning at 8:00 PM (EST). At Indianapolis Raceway Park, Darrell Waltrip will be making his second NCTS start of the season in the No.11 Toyota Tundra.