You would have thought there had been a full moon out tonight, with all the weird happenings at the start of the race, but that was last week, at IRP, and it was reasonably sane there. Tonight will not go down in history as a Silverado moment,...
You would have thought there had been a full moon out tonight, with all the weird happenings at the start of the race, but that was last week, at IRP, and it was reasonably sane there. Tonight will not go down in history as a Silverado moment, that is certain. It began when outside polesitter and points leader Jack Sprague stopped on the pace lap with a broken coil wire and had to be pushed into the pits. After losing 11 laps for repairs, he returned to the race to finish 21st in the NetZero Platinum Silverado.
Then it was Travis Kvapil's turn, as he hit the wall while running third. As usual, his able Addington Racing pit crew kept him on the lead lap while they repaired a damaged rear spoiler under repeated pit stops during the first of only two caution periods in the 150-lap race. Kvapil held on to the lead lap for 129 laps until he was passed by eventual winner Scott Riggs. Although he lost a lap, he ended up fifth and the first Chevrolet. Only three trucks finished on the lead lap in a race that saw only 10 laps run under caution.
Matt Crafton destroyed an engine, Billy Bigley suffered a broken valve, Ricky Hendrick got out of pit-stop sequence, and Coy Gibbs had a truck he didn't like. Crafton ended up on the sidelines, Gibbs placed 10th and Hendrick held on to finish 11th. Dennis Setzer and Lance Norick rallied to finish eighth and ninth. All in all, maybe it wasn't so bad for Team Silverado.
However, the bad news is that Sprague dropped from first in points to third, while Dodge drivers Joe Ruttman and Scott Riggs moved to first and second.
Chevrolet drivers continue to lead in Rooke if the Year standings, though, as Kvapil took over the lead from Hendrick, and Crafton held on to third.
TRAVIS KVAPIL, NO. 60 CAT RENTAL STORES SILVERADO (fifth, first Chevrolet, first rookie; takes over Rookie of the Year point standings) :
"For us we ended up battling ourselves. I had a really good start at the beginning of the race. I got up to third, by the time I got to turn 3 a few laps in I just got a little bit too loose getting down into the corner and slid up to the second groove. There was no rubber there to hold me and I backed it into the wall. Fortunately for me the caution came out a few laps later. The Cat Rental Stores team didn't give up. They pounded back the spoiler and stuff. We came back to the top five. We were really concerned. This is a bonus points race for the rookie of the year race and we needed to come out of here with a good finish and we did that. We won rookie of the race again."
DO YOU FEEL AS A ROOKIE YOU ARE ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD WITH THE REST OF THESE GUYS?
"Coming to a new race track, definitely. Nobody really had any notes to fall back on coming into this race. We all had an open practice day on Thursday and we got our truck running pretty good. Coming into a new venue like this it's nice because everybody's on an even playing field and it gives us rookies a little better chance, I feel."
ON HITTING THE WALL EARLY IN THE RACE:
"I've been racing a lot of years. You've got to overcome adversity. That was real early in the race. I knew we had 150 laps to go. It happened on lap four. We knew we had the whole race to rebound. We knew we had a good truck. Luckily, a caution fell right way and we were able to get into the pits and get this problem taken care of and from that point on we were able to go ahead and race for a good finish." "They've been pretty strong all year. Last couple of weeks Scott's had a couple of bad races. At similar tracks like this, Kentucky and Kansas, Ted was really fast, had problems. I felt Jack had a pretty good shot of running with the 1 and 2 trucks tonight. I was pretty consistent with the third-place truck on the lap times, but the Dodges definitely had a little bit of advantage on us tonight. I can't complain just on the Dodges, maybe their teams got their trucks working a little better. I feel like they've got still al little more front downforce on us, on the Chevrolets definitely. when you've got more front downforce it's going to make the truck turn better. When the truck turns better, you're going to go through the corners faster."
DENNIS SETZER, NO. 46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES SILVERADO (eighth): "We were pretty good the first part of the race; we were top three for awhile. We got it working and we were adjusting it a little bit, but the Silverado just got out from under us there. We didn't spin or anything, but we lost our handle and couldn't get enough adjustment toward the end to get it back under us. It didn't come out like we needed it to. It was not a Chevrolet kind of day. Jack had bad luck right out of the box. I don't know, the Dodges looked awful strong today; they were pretty strong. The Fords too. NASCAR's got these guys where they want them, I guess."
LANCE NORICK, NO. 90 AVENTIS BEHRING CHOICE SILVERADO (ninth): "The first part of the race we were really fast. We were just kind of riding. We came in for a pit stop and loosened it up a little bit. God, I got real loose. So I had to kind of hang out there awhile. During the race we were pretty fast; we were a little tight. Those Dodges have a big-time unfair advantage right now. I can run with them somewhat through the corner and they would fly by me on the straightaway and then they'd cut and turn right up underneath me. It looks like it would be a lot of fun if you could do that. The Chevrolet ran good. We'll go to Chicago next week and see what we can do."
RICKY HENDRICK, NO. 17 GMAC SILVERADO (11th): "The GMAC Chevy was really tight and lacking forward bite. We had some trouble with communication, but we're learning. We are very disappointed because we dropped the lead in the rookie race and we are a few points further out of the championship race. It just wasn't our night, but we are in this for the long haul. There are still plenty of races to go. Team GMAC will be ready for Chicago."
JACK SPRAGUE, NO. 24 NETZERO PLATINUM SILVERADO (21st): "I've had a lot of things happen to me in my career, but never have I had a coil wire break in two. The NetZero Chevrolet was pretty good tonight. Not as good as it has been in recent weeks, but as it turned out, probbly ood enough to win. I don't know where we're at in the points (third, 43 points out of first), but this cvertainly didn't help. The guys on the NetZero team did a great job in the pits tonight after we got one problem fixed and for the mmost part the truck was pretty good all night. We just didn't need the problem (with the coil wire)."
BILLY BIGLEY, NO. 75 SPEARS MANUFACTURING SILVERADO (23rd): "We can't catch a break. We got up to sixth or seventh there after that pit stop and we come across the finish line and it backfired. I didn't know what happened. We ran on and it ran pretty good and about three laps later it backfired on the back straightaway and we started losing rpms. Then it started backfiring a lot. It either broke a rod or a valve spring. And then at the end it started getting worse again. I don't know if another valve spring broke or what. But we finished. 23rd ain't great. We started 17th and got all the way to sixth or seventh, so we had a really good truck. The guys dug hard and we worked real good. In Happy Hour the guys made a bunch of changes and the truck came right to me. At the start of the race we started moving up. It was almost too easy, and then lo and behold something happened to the motor. That's all right. We'll come back next week in Chicago."
MATT CRAFTON, NO. 88 FAST TRACK DRIVEWAY SEALER SILVERADO (25th): "There's a hole in it big enough to put a dog inside that motor. It threw a rod or something there. We had a bad weekend. When we were leaving the track on the first day -- I'm a real superstitious person -- a black cat ran out in front of the whole team. That's a bad deal. When we were in Daytona, at the test day there, a black cat ran in front of us there and we blew a motor there also. If I see a black cat running in front of us, I'm going completely the opposite way."
COY GIBBS: "We weren"t very good. You didn't have to be very good today. If you ran pretty decent you could finish in the top five. we'll take this Silverado apart and see if we can't make it better. It's a top 10; that's better than we started and it's better than we have been all weekend. I'm disappointed with the whole weekend, I think we're a better team than that." ON INCIDENT WITH BILL LESTER: He was way too loose. I could tell about six laps before that. It wasn't his fault, he just couldn't drive the thing. He would go into the corner really loose. Then he just come off the corner and he lost it, and put the back end into the wall. I didn't touch him; I just watched the whole thing unfold. I could tell it was coming."
1. Joe Ruttman, Dodge 2460 2. Scott Riggs, Dodge 2428 3. Jack Sprague, Chevy 2417 4. Travis Kvapil, Chevy 2385 5. Ricky Hendrick, Chevy 2330 6. Ted Musgrave, Dodge 2300 7. Terry Cook, Ford 2259
1. Dodge 127 2. Chevy 107 3. Ford 70