FT. WORTH, Texas (October 31, 2008) – Travis Kvapil got his first career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in 2001, and hoped to get his second win there Friday night in the Chevy Silverado 350k. He did his best to accomplish that after leading twice for 15 laps, but in the end had to settle for seventh place.
Kvapil started the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 fourth. On the second lap of the race he went to the inside to go three wide. Cale Gale was in the middle, and although Kvapil gave him plenty of room, Gale got up into Rick Crawford which created a multi-truck accident. Kvapil was able to get by and move into second place when the race resumed on lap 13.
Early on Kvapil said the truck was perfect, but as the race continued he said it lacked rear grip as he fell back to third. The team prepared for a green-flag pit stop on lap 59, but as luck would have it the yellow flag came out the lap before. Kvapil came to pit road for four tires, track bar and air pressure adjustments. The Zaxby’s team had a quick 15.8-second stop which gave them the lead.
The race resumed on lap 62, but within a few laps Kyle Busch was able to pass Kvapil for the lead. He settled into second as the truck became a little free. The longer the race continued the loose condition became worse and Kvapil told the team he needed more rear grip.
The final caution of the night came on lap 95 which gave the Zaxby’s team one final opportunity to pit for new tires and adjustments to tighten up the truck. The pit crew had another fast 14.7-second stop which again gave Kvapil the lead off pit road.
As he led the field to the green flag for the restart on lap 99, Kvapil pulled away from second place. Ron Hornaday was coming up through the field quickly and overtook Kvapil for the lead on lap 108. The truck became loose again the longer he ran and he fought to stay in the top 10. Kvapil was in seventh place when he crossed the finish line. Hornaday won the race.
“We just didn't keep up with it,” Kvapil said. “We were really good on the short run. The longer we ran the truck got looser and looser and we unfortunately didn't get another caution or anything to work on it one more time. I thought that last adjustment was going to be what we needed. The guys on pit road did a great job; they got me out in the lead twice. We just didn't have the truck tight enough to keep it up there. I could really go fast and hard for 10 laps or so, then it would get too loose then I'd have to get out of the throttle. It's a big disappointment. I thought we were going to be a top-three truck for sure, then we just had a really long run there and the truck wasn't good enough to keep our track position. The guys did a great job and I'm looking forward to driving it at Homestead. I really want to get these guys a win. They've really given me good stuff the last few times I've been in this truck. I'm excited to get back into again."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday, November 7. John Wes Townley will pilot the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 at Phoenix.
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.