Statesville, N.C. – Without any prior notes or data to fall back on, BK Racing had a fresh slate when they started the season. Now that they’ve raced at most tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, their notebook has strengthened considerably, and so have their results. Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 93 Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota, set a new milestone for BK Racing last weekend at Michigan. He finished 15th in the Pure Michigan 400, which marked the organization’s best finish to date. It was 11 positions better than his finish in the Michigan spring race. Kvapil expects similar improvement to be shown as he returns to Bristol Motor Speedway in this weekend’s Irwin Tools Night Race.
In Sprint Cup competition, Kvapil has 12 starts at BMS. He carries a best finish of fifth place (2005) into this weekend and only one DNF (2006). In this year’s spring race, Kvapil started 34th and finished 27th.
Comments from BK Racing Driver Travis Kvapil heading into Bristol: “In the spring, our car was pretty good. We had a decent run. I’m looking forward to going there and implementing some of the things we’ve learned since then. Last week proved what a difference a return trip can make. Our first race and second race at Michigan were night and day apart. We’ve gained a lot since the spring and our cars are getting better and better each race. I feel like it’s all coming together. Hopefully we’ll show just as much improvement at Bristol as we did last week at Michigan. You’ve got to remember, we had nothing but equipment when we started BK Racing in February. All of our notes and data have come from what we’ve learned at each race track. So as we return to these tracks in the second half of the season, we expect to be a lot better than our first time there.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what the track is like now. We’ve heard that the upper groove has been ground away and that area isn’t able to be raced on anymore. We’ll see if that’s the case, or if that changes when rubber gets worked into the track. Of course it could be that we’ve lost a third of the groove and we just have to work with it.
“Ever since the resurfacing in ’07, you could run two lanes, sometimes even three-wide. There were really three racing grooves in the corners. It sounds like that won’t be the case now. It’s going to tighten up the field to take a lane away. You’ll have the cars running closer and guys will make mistakes. Accidents will happen, but there won’t be as much room for correction. It could make things more exciting. There might be a few more caution flags. I remember us having green-flag pit stops in the spring, which is unheard of at Bristol. Maybe we’ll be getting back to some of the crazy racing this week that we were used to.
“I really enjoy Bristol. There’s nowhere else we go that’s like it. It’s a high-banked, short track. It’s so fast. You really have to be looking ahead when you’re racing there. When accidents happen, you’re in the wreck before you know it, so you’ve got to be alert at all times. Your spotter has to be paying attention. You can’t race off your hood pins. Your eyes have to be looking ahead. Even with all that going on, it’s still a lot of fun to race there.”