Statesville, N.C. – Martinsville Speedway brings a smile to Travis Kvapil’s face. Not only did he make his first Sprint Cup Series start at the historic, half-mile oval in 2004, but he knows that this weekend’s Tums Fast Relief 500 is a great opportunity for his No. 93 Burger King/Dr Pepper team to score a solid finish. The low-banked, tight course places less emphasis on the car’s engineering and puts the race in the driver’s hands. It’s all that Kvapil hopes for.
Kvapil has a total of 13 Cup Series starts at Martinsville. His best finish is 16th place, which he scored last year. It was his best finish of the 2011 season. In NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition, Kvapil has one top-five and three top-10 finishes in 10 starts.
Comments from BK Racing Driver Travis Kvapil heading into Martinsville: “Martinsville is basically two drag strips connected with a set of turns. You all but park your car when you’re in the corners and then hammer down for the straights. It’s easy to abuse your equipment and have nothing left for the end of the race, so it takes a lot of concentration and focus to not overdrive it, especially when it’s early on.
“At most of the tracks we go to, we’re running too fast to bump and bang with each other. If you get too aggressive, you’ll either wreck yourself or someone else, so we have to race pretty clean at the majority of places we go. At Martinsville, you can use your bumpers. Towards the end, it becomes a necessity. That’s the kind of racing that fans love. It’s the kind of racing that the drivers enjoy. Most of us got our start driving at tracks like Martinsville, so it’s always a lot of fun for us to go back.
“I think of Martinsville as a pure race track. Aerodynamics don’t play a big factor in the race. A lot of times, the car that wins is all beaten up. Horsepower isn’t as critical as it is at other tracks we go to. The driver plays a big role in the performance. This is a more level playing field for some of the smaller teams. It’s definitely a great place for some upsets to take place. I’m excited about this weekend and what’s in store for the Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota.”