FONTANA, Calif. (February 23, 2008) – Travis Kvapil made an impromptu return to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series today when he got behind the wheel of the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150. After two solid practice sessions on Thursday, rain squelched Friday’s time trials and the field started by 2007 points on Saturday afternoon for the 100 lap race. Kvapil started 22nd as the No. 09 team was working off of the points earned by Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 50 2007 truck owner’s points. He fought a tight truck most of the race but after the team sent him out seventh during a pit stop on lap 15, Kvapil didn’t drop out of the top 10 for the remainder of the race. He was able to hold on for a seventh place finish when the checkered flag dropped.
Kvapil was 17th in Thursday’s first practice session and ninth in Happy Hour. With qualifying rained out, Kvapil took the green flag from the outside of row 11 but quickly began to gain ground on the front of the field. By the time the first caution flag flew on lap five, Kvapil had piloted the Zaxby’s Ford to the 14th position. He reported that the truck was a little tight and the team began to calculate adjustments. The team opted to stay out and restarted 14th on lap eight.
Kvapil was still fighting a tight race truck when a caution on lap 13 allowed him to pit for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. He entered the pits in the 11th position and the pit crew sent him out seventh for the restart on lap 17. Kvapil and the Zaxby’s Ford would not be seen outside of the top 10 for the remainder of the race.
By lap 25, Kvapil had picked up the sixth position but began to fall back around lap 40 as the truck’s handling began to tighten up again. A caution on lap 45 gave him a second opportunity to pit for four fresh tires, fuel, an air pressure adjustment and a track bar adjustment to try to loosen the car up a bit. The crew sent him out in the ninth position for the restart on lap 48 and he began to methodically pick his way through the field.
On lap 58, Kvapil passed David Starr for eighth after racing him for several laps and held the position when a round of green flag stops began on lap 81. Kvapil and the team opted to pit on lap 85 for right-side tires, fuel, an air pressure adjustment and a wedge adjustment as the truck was still just a little too tight. Kvapil was sixth on the board when the green flag pit cycle was complete.
Kvapil held on to the sixth position for several laps but Ted Musgrave was able to edge by with three laps remaining, leaving Kvapil with a seventh place finish.
“It was a good day,” said Kvapil. “We fought track position all day long. And not being able to qualify probably didn't help. The truck was a little tight, which we kind of thought that's where'd we be. But all in all, the guys did a good job on pit road. We had to take two tires twice to try and get track position and in doing that, it really didn't help the handling of the truck. It compromised a tight situation that we were in. All in all, it was a great job by the Zaxby’s team and it was fun working with those guys and I look forward to doing it again.”
The Craftsman Truck Series races next at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, March 7, 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 and Joey Clanton; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.