Concord, N.C. (May 16, 2008) – In his fourth start in the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150, Travis Kvapil fought a tight truck from the drop of the green flag until the end of the race. After cutting a tire in practice and making heavy contact with the wall, Kvapil got only two practice runs in before qualifying. He was 12th fastest in time trials and drove into the top 10 early in the race before reporting that the truck was just too tight. The team adjusted on the truck during three pit stops but had to settle for an 18th-place finish in the end.
Kvapil was seventh in the final practice on Friday after bringing out the backup truck. He was the 23rd driver to take the track for time trials and qualified 12th later that afternoon for a starting position on the outside of row six. He was 10th on the board by lap 10 but had dropped back to 14th when the first caution came out. He reported that the truck was tight in traffic.
The team opted not to pit during the caution and Kvapil restarted 14th on lap 16. He picked up two spots before the next caution came out on lap 20. Crew chief Chad Norris made a decision to bring the Zaxby’s Ford to pit road for fuel and a wedge adjustment. Kvapil returned to the track in the sixth position for the restart on lap 29 and was running fourth within eight laps.
The truck began to tighten up a bit and Kvapil found himself in the 10th position when a round of green-flag stops began around lap 70. He brought the Zaxby’s Ford F-150 in for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment on lap 72. During the round of green-flag stops leader Kyle Busch made his way by Kvapil, putting him one lap down. Kvapil was 16th and one lap down when a caution on lap 99 allowed him to pit for right-side tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
Kvapil restarted 21st on lap 103 and would not pit again during the remaining 35 laps. He was able to pick up three positions before the checkered flag while still reporting that the truck was just too tight and he had no grip in the front tires. The No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 is now 19th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings.
“It’s been a rough weekend,” Kvapil said. “I thought we were really gonna have a chance to win here tonight. We had a great truck here last year and going off those notes I thought we were gonna have a good shot at it, but we hurt that first truck. We popped a tire and I really thought we got this truck up to speed in practice and I was pretty confident in it, but we just started the race off too tight. We were just a little bit off the leaders and during the long green-flag run we ended up going a lap down. I think we put scuffed tires on it under that green-flag stop and that one set of tires in particular was really tight. We lost a lot of time and lap times were really slow. Once we got them back off there, it looked like the truck was okay again, but we were trapped a lap down and just kind of stuck there.”
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action at Mansfield (OH) Motorsports Park on Saturday, May 24. John Wes Townley will make his truck series debut there in the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150.
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, Travis Kvapil and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.