Very few NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events present the challenges of the Coca-Cola 600. As the longest race on the schedule, drivers not only endure the physical trials of racing 600 miles, but the demands of keeping up with the car's handling as the temperature changes with the sunset. Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota, has five Coca-Cola 600s to his credit and has learned a few tricks along the way, namely preparing the car for a myriad of conditions.
Kvapil believes that the key to a successful night is having a car with lots of adjustability. He anticipates several changes in the track's conditions throughout the event and hopes to set up his car to roll with the punches.
Kvapil has a total of 10 Cup Series starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His best finish (17th) came in 2005 after starting in 42nd place.
David Reutimann will team with BK Racing for the third time this season. It will be the second time that the organization has fielded a third car. Reutimann will drive the No. 73 car as a teammate to Kvapil and Landon Cassill. Kvapil is hopeful that the third team will strengthen the organization's performance.
Comments from BK Racing Driver Travis Kvapil heading into the Coca-Cola 600:
"The Coca-Cola 600 is obviously a different race. It's one of the few races where we start in the daylight, go through the evening hours, go through sunset and then into the nighttime. That presents some challenges. As the track is cooling down and the temperatures fall, the track goes through changes, which affects your car's handling. You have to have a setup on your car that has some adjustability, not just set up for the heat or for the nighttime. You need something that's 'middle of the road' and need to be able to tighten it up or free it up. It's a long race. It's grueling. It's a long night. It's a unique race for sure and it presents a lot of challenges, but I love Charlotte (Motor Speedway). I love racing at the track. It has a lot of grip. I feel like last weekend during the All-Star events, we learned a lot that we can apply to this week for the Coca-Cola 600 and have a competitive race car.
"This will be the second race for us to field a third car. Darlington weekend was a little stressful because it happened so fast. The guys had to put in a lot of extra hours and effort to get everything ready. I feel like we've had some more time to prepare for this race and get the car ready. I think it's going to be helpful to BK Racing to have another car. It's more information. It's another driver that can offer feedback. Another driver, another team with input will bring more ideas to the table.
"First and foremost it's important to get that third car in the show. The speed that Landon (Cassill) and I had for qualifying in the Sprint Showdown made me feel like the 73 car will be in good shape to make the show. We want to make sure we do everything we can to get qualified for the race. There are always a lot of cars that show up for Charlotte, so it will be a tough field. Once we get that behind us, we can get all three teams working together and bouncing ideas off each other and trying different things. Hopefully we'll elevate all three teams to a higher level come race time."