Pocono Raceway threw lots of changes at the Sprint Cup Series during its previous venture to the 2.5-mile track. A fresh racing surface required a new car setup to accommodate higher speeds. A shorter event length necessitated a different strategy for calling the race. Although the new variations were significant, Travis Kvapil and the No. 93 Burger King/Dr Pepper team showed their ability to adapt and chalked up a 26th-place finish. The performance marked his best finish at a non-restrictor plate track at least two miles long. Kvapil looks to build on the team's success in this week's Pennsylvania 400.
Kvapil has 10 starts at Pocono to his credit. He's scored three top-20s and has a best finish of 16th place, which he achieved in 2008.
Comments from BK Racing Driver Travis Kvapil heading into Pocono:
"Last time we went to Pocono it had just been paved. It's a lot different for sure. Plain and simple, it's just a lot faster now. The new pavement gave us tons of grip and we can get through the corners a lot faster than we used to. We're carrying a lot of speed on the straights, especially going into Turn 1. We've made changes to our shock and bump stop package and adjusted on the car to accommodate for all the additional speed.
"We have a pretty good handle on the track. The test session and the race gave us a lot of data that we could build on. Our last race there went really well. We finished just outside the top 25. It gave us a good starting point for our return. I've talked with Todd (Anderson, crew chief) about the setup and we've got a few ideas that we're going to try for this race. Hopefully we'll make a few improvements and come back with a more competitive package.
"Another difference was the race length. We only ran 400 miles instead of 500. That was a nice change. It put a little more urgency into the event. You're seeing guys racing harder earlier on. It also put more emphasis on pit stops and making the right adjustments. If you make a mistake, there's less time to make up for it, so each one counts.
"Of course one of the biggest changes is not having Doc Mattioli there. He was such a big part of the race and had such a presence during the weekend. I really missed seeing him at the driver meeting and being at intros. He's left a legacy there and the track will always be associated with him, but it's just not the same without him."
BK Racing PR