ATLANTA, Ga. (March 7, 2008) – Travis Kvapil and the Zaxby’s team will tell you that they struggled with the handling of their truck from the time they unloaded on Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. They worked all day on trying to find the right adjustments, including during the race but the truck just wouldn’t respond. After starting 22nd, Kvapil fought a loose truck all night and took an 18th place finish in the end.
Kvapil qualified 22nd during time trials on Friday afternoon for a starting position on the outside of row 11. By the time the field had completed three laps, he had dropped back to 26th with a loose Ford F-150. The handling seemed to improve a little, however, and Kvapil was running 18th when the first caution of the night came out on lap 18. Kvapil brought the Zaxby’s Ford in for right-side tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. The crew sent him out in the third position for the restart on lap 26.
When green flag racing resumed, Kvapil was able to hang on to a top-10 position until the next caution on lap 40. Kvapil radioed the team to let them know that the truck was good at the restart but got looser as the tires began to wear. This time the team opted for left-side tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. He came into the pits in the ninth position and the crew sent him right back out in the ninth position for the restart on lap 45.
Ten laps later, Kvapil and the Zaxby’s truck were back in the 18th position as he reported that the truck was so loose, he could barely maintain control of the machine. On lap 85, a round of green flag pit stops began. Kvapil and the team opted to pit on lap 93 for four tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and an air pressure adjustment. He was 20th when the round of green flag stops was complete on lap 95 and picked up one position before a caution for rain was put out on lap 110.
This time the team decided to make a few spring rubber adjustments as well as another round of track bar and air pressure adjustments when Kvapil pitted on lap 114. The field restarted on lap 115 and Kvapil was in the 19th position. Another caution for rain came out on lap 120 and the field was brought to pit road under red flag conditions while the track was dried. Kvapil made one last pit stop on lap 125 during which the team replaced a spin panel to try to tighten the car up a bit.
The final restart came on lap 126 and Kvapil was 19th in line. He was able to pick up one position in the closing laps for an 18th place finish.
“We just missed something,” said Kvapil. “This is a different truck than what we raced in California. It’s just really loose all the time and no matter what we threw at it in practice and whatever we through at in the race, it didn't matter. It was spinning out and wanting to wreck. Luckily we held on to it all day. If you compare it to the 99 [Erik Darnell] and the 6 [Colin Braun], this truck should never turn compared to the set-ups. I don’t know if it is aerodynamics or what, but we missed something and we won’t let that happen again. We’ll take new stuff, better stuff all season long and we’ll win with the Zaxby’s Ford F-150.”
The Craftsman Truck Series races next at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, March 29, 2008.
Zaxby's provides fresh, prepared-at-order chicken fingers, Buffalo wings, sandwiches, salads and more in a fun, relaxing atmosphere. A pioneer of the quick-casual format, Zaxby's provides services and amenities that fall somewhere between fast food and a sit-down restaurant. Zaxby's currently operates more than 400 locations in 10 states throughout the Southeast - Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. For more information, visit www.zaxbys.com.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.