By Thomas Chemris Nazareth Pa At twenty five years of age, running for the Championship in the Craftsman Truck Series, and being a leading contender for the Rookie of the year would leave most competitors satisfied, but not Travis ...
By Thomas Chemris
At twenty five years of age, running for the Championship in the Craftsman Truck Series, and being a leading contender for the Rookie of the year would leave most competitors satisfied, but not Travis Kvapil.
"This is right where we want to, but we have to keep running consistent to keep in the mix", notes the young driver.
Kvapil, who cut his racing teeth on the short track of Wisconsin, believes the Mid-Western tracks prepared him for the variety of competition that comes with one of NASCARS major divisions.
"There are a lot of race tracks in that area that run the same type of race cars, they run the exact same rules, it gives a driver an opportunity to run at several different race tracks, against different drivers to gain more experience. You can take your car and run four or five nights a week".
Running in Late Model division, Kvapil earned the honor of track champion at Madison International Speedway in 1999, prior to touring with the Remax Challenge Series for the past two years, were he found victory lane on two occasions.
Both wins coming in Colorado, at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Showing talent, Kvapil was marked to replace Andy Houston in the No. 60 Cat Rental truck fielded by Addington Racing.
Finding some differences between the familiar late model cars and the trucks, Kvapil comments. "These things weigh thirty four hundred pounds and push seven hundred horse power, I was surprised how well the Goodyear tire grips. You can really drive well down in the corner, unlike a bias ply tire, that when you drive down you slide around quite a bit".
Travis handles the pressure of moving up in series well.
Commenting on the demands of filling in for Andy Houston, who led the team to a third place finish, He feels he has adjusted well.
"They are big shoes to fill, but at the same time it gives me a lot of confidence.
"I am the only thing on this team that has changed form last year, and we are right in the thick of things".
Handling the pressure also includes a new pressure of dealing with fans.
Kvapil had two autograph sessions throughout the weekend, and he handles himself well, and represents the team's sponsor admirably.
"It's pretty neat, it is good for the series, and the ESPN coverage is great. It is more important that the series gets recognized, rather than me".
Kvapil has been quietly dominant in the series, not by victory's, by an impressive string of fifteen consecutive top ten finishes, witch includes a recent string of five top fives in a row.
Unlike his predecessor, Kvapil has no intentions to move up in NASCAR too fast, he has his sights set on that illusive first win, and a Championship in the Truck Series, that is well within his reach.