TRAVIS KVAPIL WINS HIS FIRST RACE FOR SILVERADO You knew he was due, you knew that Addington Racing and crew chief Rick Ren had the talent, the wherewithal, and a dependable Silverado race truck to get their rookie driver into the victory lane...
TRAVIS KVAPIL WINS HIS FIRST RACE FOR SILVERADO
You knew he was due, you knew that Addington Racing and crew chief Rick Ren had the talent, the wherewithal, and a dependable Silverado race truck to get their rookie driver into the victory lane one of these times, and this was the time. Travis Kvapil won his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race by being in the right place at the right time in the Silverado 350. He only led 12 laps; six of them after a quick pit stop put him out in front during a caution and the final six laps, including the final lap -- the one that counted.
The Dodges of polesitter Scott Riggs and Ted Musgrave had this race in the bag. Riggs seemed to have the edge, but Musgrave was never out of the running -- until lap 138 of the 146-lap race. Musgrave, running second behind Riggs, was suddenly forced to pit with a cut tire. Three laps later Riggs was served the same fate and he came into the pits. Kvapil, who had dropped to third after leading laps 102 through 107, was the beneficiary of the Dodges' demise, holding off Rick Crawford's Ford -- the only Ford to finish in the top 10 -- to take his first career win by a half a second over Crawford.
Points leader Jack Sprague struggled with a poor-handling Silverado, but ended up in third, maintaining his lead in the championship.
Seven Silverados finished in the top 10.
TRAVIS KVAPIL (first Craftsman Truck Series win of his career; retakes Rookie of the Year lead): "We didn't know what the cold track was going to do. We figured it would take a good 10 laps to get the tires heated up good and get a little bit of heat built into the track. We just wanted to get in line run in the top 10 and race them hard for the last 50 laps. The biggest thing was that I got communicating back to the crew chief Rick Ren what the truck was doing, where we could make some gains. Every pit stop he made it happen for me. He just kept making adjustments, kept making adjustments. We were going to be best in class tonight, we were going to be the top Silverado. We capitalized on Dodge's problems."
YOU QUALIFIED IN WARM TEMPERATURES AND IT WAS COLD TONIGHT. DID YOU HAVE DIFFERENT SETUPS? "We didn't really change our setup so much for the weather conditions because it was cold. The Wizard I call him -- Rick Ren, my crew chief -- we needed just a little bit. So this morning he changed all four springs on me. Apparently he did the right thing. I have a lot of confidence in him. He's never done anything wrong for me this year. He's got a lot of experience and it showed up again tonight."
ON THE FINAL LAPS: "It was getting towards the end there, I figured we got a solid top five, we'll come out of here and be the top Chevrolet. That was our biggest goal tonight was to be the best Chevrolet. We thought the Dodges were definitely superior to us tonight. We thought they were definitely going to run away with the race and they did for the most part. I don't know what their problems were; it looked like they both cut right front tires. I don't know if they had too much camber or maybe they just run something over. Fortunately we were there to capitalize on it. This team's won the Like a Rock award for the last two years, and we're leading the point standings right now and that proves that this team is Like a Rock along with our Silverado. We got to be there at the end to win races and that's what we did tonight."
A BIG CHEVY WIN AT THE CHEVY SPONSORED EVENT: "I'm glad we could pull through for Chevrolet and put our Silverado into victory lane. It wasn't looking good there for a little bit. As it turned out we stayed out, ran strong and ran consistent -- that's the main thing - and it paid off."
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO WIN YOUR FIRST RACE: "It feels incredible. I'm loving it. There are so many people back in Wisconsin. I could sit here all night naming names of who helped me get to this point. I've definitely got a lot of people to thank. the phone calls will be coming for the next couple of weeks. I've got a lot of people I appreciate helping me get here. I'm extremely proud and I'm just glad I could do it for them. All the hard work they put into me finally paid off."
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU SAW THE DODGES GO OUT? "First I couldn't believe it. When I first saw Ted I was driving down into 3 and I kind of caught out of the corner of my eye a white truck heading into the pits. I thought it was a slower guy having problems, a lapped vehicle. I recognized it as the No. 1. I said, Holy Christ, what's going on here. They're going to give me second place. Then I come off 1 and 2 and I see Scott side by side with somebody, actually a lapped guy looked like he was passing him. The spotter called me and said 2 is off the pace, 2 is off the pace. Once I cleared him I just couldn't believe it. So many emotions were rushing through my body trying to be calm yet concentrating on what I was trying to do for the last two, three laps and bring it home to victory lane."
NO. 24 NETZERO PLATINUM SILVERADO (third):
DID YOU HAVE A CLOSE CALL EARLY IN THE RACE: "The only one I got a part of was when that cat blew a motor going into 3. I was outside of him, he took me up to the wall with him. I tagged him with my right rear a little bit. I had enough of my own close calls and my own problems going on, I sure didn't need anything else going on. This is the same truck we won with here in June, but the NetZero Sivlerado was way out to lunch when we started the race tonight. It was miserably loose and I could hardly drive the thing. I could hardly get it into the corner without spinning it out. I felt like I was going to wreck the thing almost any minute, so I just found a spot and rode there for most of the race. I was just hanging on. Dennis (Connor, crew chief) made some good calls and the guys worked their tails off to make the truck better. I did what I had to do to get to the next pit stop and some adjustments. We made a lot of changes and by the end of the race I wasn't loose going into the corner at all. We certainly didn't have a third-place truck. I would have been ecstatic with a fifth-place finish. We just got lucky tonight"
HOW BIG OF A BULLET DID YOU DODGE TONIGHT? "It was trying real hard not to be good to me again. This thing was evil loose. We were tight last night. We made some wholesale changes like we always do. Usually it hits, this time it didn't. The guys worked hard all night. I just had to find a place to ride by myself in the beginning, because I was sideways going in. I've hit hard here before and I know I can't do that all night. I did what I had to do to make it to the next adjustment. At the end they got it pretty good in, I was just a little throttle tight. I've had trucks that should have won races and didn't too. Lucky night for us, we'll take it and go."
DAVID STARR, NO. 3 CHASCO CONTRACTING SILVERADO (fourth): "We're real excited with a fourth-place finish tonight."
DOES RUNNING A DRIVER'S SCHOOL HELP YOU TONIGHT? "It's a great school for the people who come to the race track here and watch this race; they can come out here and drive a real race car. We only go 150 miles an hour in our driving school. We come out here (tonight) and run 180 miles an hour. It's like night and day. All these guys in front of me are professionals and behind me. There's no advantage to knowing the race track. You either got a good handling truck, good horsepower and you make good pit stops. That's what wins races. The other night we just messed up a little on the gear. We're ecstatic to have a fourth-place finish after the way we started. It's been a great weekend."
LANCE NORICK, NO. 90 AVENTIS BEHRING CHOICE SILVERADO (fifth): "The Silverado was awesome. Our pits stops, man. We picked up spots in pit stops that last two times we came in. I got passed by the 3 truck there at the end. I was way faster. I didn't see him behind Musgrave. I new Musgrave was a lap down. That was my mistake. We will take a top five and go to Vegas and see if we can do better there."
DENNIS SETZER, NO. 46 ACXIOM/COMPUTER ASSOCIATES SILVERADO (sixth): "We just plugged around all night with out Acxiom Silverado. Had a decent run in sixth. But I'm really proud of that Cat Rental Stores Silverado. It won the race: at least a Chevrolet won a race."
THERE WERE SEVEN CHEVROLETS IN THE TOP 10 AT THE FINISH: "It doesn't reflect how the race went, though. I hope NASCAR will look that far. I'm proud of how these Chevrolet teams do. They all stick together. You can see they ran pretty consistent together, working together trying to make this program better. They finished. We didn't have anything for the top three or four. We didn't have anything for those guys. We're working on our speedway program, making that better each week."
COY GIBBS, NO. 20 MBNA SILVERADO (seventh): "I'm disappointed. We got some stuff to work on. We couldn't get this Silverado to handle behind people. I don't know why it is. It's frustrating. You're sitting behind them and know you've got a motor on them and you're behind them. Congratulations to Travis."
RICKY HENDRICK, NO. 17 GMAC SILVERADO (eighth): "It was good. I think the worst we were is sixth all night. The guys gave us a good truck. We struggled there for a while. One time I was loose in and I was real tight off. The Chevrolet was fast, the guys gave me a good motor. We had Team GMAC up front and the guys had good pit stops. It was just one of those deals. If we wouldn't have lost a cylinder I think the worst we could have finished was second. I don't think we had enough time for Travis. I think if we had another 25 laps under the green the motor would have stayed together. Hindsight being 20-20. We would have won it. The 1 and 2 truck had the bad luck. They by far had the edge on everybody with the manufacturer deal and the aero. All in all, we were good. I was happy. I'm not really disappointed we lost a cylinder. We lost it about eight to go. I was trying to baby it and make sure we wouldn't lose the rest so we could at least finish. I think we gained overall. We lost some to Travis, that's the only downfall. We lost one point to him. I'm happy for him, the team works hard and he's a great driver and those guys deserve to win. and that's what they did. They won and they kept their act together."