This Week in Ford Racing 1999-06-29

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series One of the bright surprises in the Ford camp this season has been the performance of Kevin Cywinski in the ...

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

One of the bright surprises in the Ford camp this season has been the performance of Kevin Cywinski in the #31 Auto Trim Design Ford. The 1997 American Speed Association champion started the 1999 season strong with a career-high NCTS finish of sixth at Homestead. Since the opener, Cywinski has bettered his career-high mark with a fourth at Martinsville and a third at Bristol. Overall, Cywinski has six top-10 finishes. The Wisconsin native is confident going into the action this weekend as he runs for his first series win on his self-proclaimed "home track", the Milwaukee Mile.

KEVIN CYWINSKI, #31 Auto Trim Design Ford F-150: DID YOU THINK BEFORE THIS SEASON STARTED YOU WOULD BE THIS FAR UP IN THE POINTS WITH THE NUMBER OF TOP FINISHES YOU HAVE ACCUMULATED SO FAR? "We went through the off-season and did a lot of re-evaluation, and I don't know if you would call it soul searching. We changed a bunch of things. We changed our motor program. We changed three people. And that (top-10 finishes) was one of our goals. We set our goals at what we thought were high, but that was something we really wanted to achieve. And so far, we have been right on schedule to this point. Looking at the schedule we thought we were going to be strongest on the short tracks, and the way the schedule was lined up at the beginning of the season, with the exception of Homestead, they were tracks I had been to before with the trucks or with a different series. We were a little concerned about Homestead. Of course we had the opportunity to do the Ford test down there in the beginning of the year. We had a pretty good test, and we thought the beginning of the schedule would be beneficial to us. You can never say we are going to finish one, two or three or have as many top-10s as we have had, but again that was one of the top points we looked at - consistency, and consistency breeds finishing in the top-10. Now we are shooting for top-five finishes. If we can consistently be there we can position ourselves for a win."

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU RACED AT MILWAUKEE? "We've been there a lot of times. We were there three times with the ASA car, once with the truck and numerous times with the now NASCAR ARTGO ReMax cars, so I've got a lot of time on the track both before they repaved it and the way it is now. So we feel real comfortable going back there. It is what I would classify as my home track with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."

HOW DID YOU DO AT MILWAUKEE IN THE CARS? "My rookie season in ASA we sat on the pole and won the race. In ARTGO we've run in the top-five there, and we've run in the top-five with ASA there, so we've had a lot of success there. We're real excited about going back."

COULD MILWAUKEE BE YOUR FIRST WIN? (Laughing) "We were up there a few weeks ago and did a lot of promotional stuff with NASCAR. And that was one of the main questions I got from the reporters up there. I'll tell you, it couldn't be better than if we could go up there and win in front of our hometown fans and families. I think we can do it. It's like anything in this sport. You are going to have to have a little bit of luck to do that."

YOUR FIANCEE, TRACI SHIVERSKI HAS BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE BREVAK RACING TEAM. AT SOME TRACKS SHE HAS HELPED TO PIT THE TRUCK, AND HELPS WITH OTHER AT-TRACK ACTIVITIES. WHAT HAS TRACI CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR RACING PROGRAM? "She's supported me throughout my whole career. She's been a part of it. She was able to work on my cars. As we moved up the ladder she's not been able to do as much as she has in the past. With this team she has been able to do a lot in the pit. She rolls tires. She cleans the grilles. One week she was the gas catch can person. She keeps me going in the right direction more or less. It's really beneficial to me. She kind of keeps me sane and keeps me going in the right direction and keeps me calm. In my ARTGO days she used to change the gears, do whatever she could do. If we had to work late after work she would come in and help with whatever she could. Riveting, cutting, anything she could do. She changed the quick-change gears a lot. In ASA she was there too, doing basically the same things. The truck team is different. We run a different style rear end so the gear changes are quite a bit different. But whatever she can do ... she still comes to the shop quite a bit - putting crush panels in, stickering the truck, riveting, whatever she can help with she will do. She is not afraid to get her hands dirty and get in there and help us."

WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR? "If we can get going, and get back to the race tracks for the second time now for myself, we're going to have a little bit better chance for running up front. The consistency is the biggest thing. We have to keep our equipment maintained. That's the biggest thing that I strive for is just to keep the equipment first class and keep it together. If we can do that I think we're going to put this Ford F-150 up front and in victory circle shortly."

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Series NASCAR Truck