Travis Kvapil is ready to show how fast his Long John Silver's Ford really can be. The Front Row Motorsports driver had a quick No. 38 Fusion at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway last weekend, earning a top-25 finish in the most challenging race of the Sprint Cup Series season. The team could have finished higher if not for a mechanical issue that kept Kvapil from getting up to speed quickly on each run.
The team now looks to show its true speed at Kansas Speedway during Sunday's STP 400. Kvapil has four Cup career starts at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, including a top-20 finish in 2006 (19th).
"We should've finished somewhere between 15th and 20th in the 600. Our Long John Silver's Ford was fast. But we had something break on the shifter on Lap 60 and were stuck in fourth gear for the rest of the night. My guys had to push me out of the pit stall to get me going after every pit stop and it took me several laps just to get up to speed. We had a competitive car - just had some bum luck with a mechanical thing. I'm eager to get jump back in and take some of what we learned at Charlotte to Kansas.
"Kansas is actually very similar, in my mind, to Las Vegas and Chicago - a medium-banked, mile-and-a-half track. I think it's a really cool place. It's a track where the groove has really widened out, even though it's a fairly new racetrack, probably 10 years old or so. But the groove has widened out the last couple seasons so it lets you run three- and four-wide. There's a lot of opportunity and a lot of room to move around at that track.
"It's fast. You have to have great horsepower and you have to have a good-handling racecar. But we had some pretty good racecars the past couple weeks at Charlotte and we can definitely take what we learned and apply it at Kansas. They are similar types of racetracks so we'll have very similar set-ups. It's good to be able to roll off the truck knowing you're in a good set-up to start with.
"I really feel like we are making gains. I'm really happy with my crew chief, Jay Guy, and all the guys on the Long John Silver's team. They've been working really hard. We've had a few rough weeks, but I feel overall that we're making good progress. We've had some competitive racecars - more than we've had in the past. We just need to keep going in that direction, keep learning and getting better, and I feel we will.
"We had some bad luck at the beginning of the season that knocked us out of the top 35 in owners' points, but we've been working hard to get back in and I'm confident we'll get there. We've made some progress through our own performance and we've also benefited from some other guys missing races or having a bad day on the track. We never expected to be in this position coming into this season, but I think we've got everything going in the right direction to get us back up where we need to be."
Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports PR