HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – Travis Kvapil and the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry team finished 18th at “The World Center of Racing” in Daytona Beach, Fla. on Saturday night. Kvapil had a strong race car and logged several laps inside the top 10; however, when a late accident left debris on the grill of his car the driver was forced down pit road and had to fight his way back through the pack during the closing laps. Dodging two wrecks during the final green-white-checkered finish, Kvapil crossed the finish line in the 18th position.
Marking the halfway point in the 2013 season, the Sprint Cup Series competitors returned to Daytona International Speedway for their second and final stop of the year at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway. With only two practice sessions to prepare for the 400-mile race and realizing that starting positions don’t carry much importance at a track where positions change quickly, Kvapil and his BK Racing team spent their time preparing their car for the race. After recording the 11th-fastest lap during final practice, Kvapil secured the 40th starting position for Saturday night’s race.
Kvapil began his charge to the front of the field as soon as the green flag waved. In the opening 10 laps, Kvapil had picked up 20 positions but noticed that his car started to overheat if he stayed in line too long. Knowing that it is a long race, Kvapil gave up his track position and fell back in the field where he was able to get more air on the grill and cool the motor. As the race progressed, the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper team made minor adjustments to their Toyota Camry to keep the balance dialed in throughout the night.
During the closing laps, the action on the track started to heat up and Kvapil needed to stay alert to avoid any trouble on the track in front of him. A multi-car pile-up on lap 150 resulted in grass on the grill of the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry and forced Kvapil down pit road to avoid overheating. Following a nine-minute red flag period, Kvapil restarted the race in the 30th position. After running three laps under green, the field was slowed again for one last caution period before a green-white-checkered finish. Dodging two separate on-track incidents on the final lap of the race, Kvapil crossed the finish line in the 18th position after 161 laps of competition at Daytona International Speedway.
“I’m happy we were able to survive all the chaos tonight for a clean race at Daytona International Speedway,” commented Kvapil. “We had a few close calls with the No. 93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, but we were able to avoid any significant damage and brought home a solid finish. Our car was capable of the speed necessary to run up front; we just had to watch our temperatures to ensure we didn’t overheat the motor while racing in the draft. The guys built a really strong car, and I’m looking forward to taking what we learned this weekend and applying it at Talladega Superspeedway later this season.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return to short-track racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this Sunday, July 14. Fans can tune in to SPEED on Friday, July 12 to see live coverage of practice (12 p.m. EDT) and qualifying (3:30 p.m. EDT). Final practice from the one-mile oval will also be broadcast on SPEED at 11 a.m. EDT on Saturday, July 13.