Tag:Travis Kvapil
Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:01 am
Edited on: February 18, 2012 11:34 am

New BK Racing team officially announces lineup

By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Sprint Cup Series "mystery team" is no longer mysterious.

BK Racing, which bought the assets of the former Red Bull Racing organization, announced its plans for the 2012 season.

The team will field two full-time entries for the coming season with Landon Cassill driving the No. 83 Toyota and David Reutimann and Travis Kvapil in a No. 93 entry.

Reutimann is set to pilot the No. 93 in the Daytona 500 with Kvapil taking the wheel for the remainder of the schedule.

The team ownership group is comprised of Wayne Press and Scott Gunderson with Harry McMullen serving as General Manager.

"All of us have been involved in the Sprint Cup Series over the past few years," Gunderson said. "However, this is still a new team with a focused outlook of where we want to go. We're going to grow this team with commercial partners that we'll announce in the near future. We feel confident that we can immediately be competitive and only improve as we continue to build the team."

Cassill, who spent last season driving for Phoenix Racing, is excited about this new opportunity.

"BK Racing is already miles ahead of most start-up teams that I've seen," commented Cassill. "The race shop, equipment, ownership group, leadership and crew members are in place for us to race at Daytona, but also continue to be prepared for success for the rest of the season. We have a lot more to do, but there is a strong base here."

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:43 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 3:47 pm

Team Review/Preview: Front Row Motorsports

By Pete Pistone

Image Detail
(Gilliland's third place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 was Front Row's highlight of 2011)


One of NASCAR’s smaller teams, Front Row Motorsports enjoyed periods of success in 2011 as it tried to compete against the powerhouse organizations of the sport. 

Led by the two-car effort that primarily saw David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil pilot the team’s pair of lead Fords with J.J. Yeley running a part-time schedule in a third entry, Front Row did improve from its previous season effort. 

The No. 34 and No. 38 entries both ended up the season inside the Top 35 in owner points, which guarantees spots in the first five races of 2012 including the Daytona 500. 

“We went into this season scaling down from three full-time teams to two and I applaud the effort put forth by this entire organization,” said team owner Bob Jenkins. “The performance at times was very gratifying to see and the result of a lot of hard work of everyone inside this team and of course what David, Travis and J.J. were able to accomplish behind the wheel.” 

Gilliland began the year nearly winning the biggest race of the season at Daytona. He was in the mix for victory on the final lap of the Daytona 500 finally settling behind Trevor Bayne and Carl Edwards for an impressive third place finish. 

“We knew it was a 500-mile race and to preserve,” said Gilliland of his run to the checkered flag. “I hadn't finished in the last three or four plate races. I knew that Front Row Motorsports had put together a fast car for us. We talked to Carl's spotter and knew we could get to the front. We just needed the line up a little bit further. It's great to see Trevor win, but I'm happy for all our guys too." 

The performance proved to be prophetic for Gilliland who also turned in solid efforts at the three other restrictor plate races of the season. He had another Top 10 finish in the July Daytona race and although wasn’t able to come home with the finishes for the effort ran competitive at both Talladega races.

He struggled enough at other times to end up in position 30 in the final driver standings. 

Kvapil made 29 starts for Front Row in 2011 and was unfortunately not able to match the high water marks set by Gilliland. His best outing came in the October Martinsville race when Kvapil was able to post a sixteenth place finish 

Still the former Camping World Truck Series driver was realistic about the challenges working with a team the size of Front Row. 

“We do with what we can with the resources that are available,” Kvapil said. “Bob is a great guy to work for and the opportunity to stay and compete at the highest level of the sport is tremendous. There are times when we make strides to improve and those are the things we have to look at as building blocks for the future."



Jenkins plans to again field two cars for the full schedule in 2012 with at this point a third on a limited scale, all depending of sponsorship. 

"Next year, there's no reason we can't have a car somewhere in the mid-20s in points," General Manager Jerry Freeze said recently, "which I think would be real acceptable, even if we're not any more funded than we are now." 

There was some speculation that David Ragan would be a potential candidate to take a seat with the team after he was squeezed out of Roush Fenway Racing due to sponsorship issues with that organization. Front Row continues to share a technical and resource alliance with RFR as well as with Richard Petty Motorsports for its Ford engines and chassis inventory. 

However Ragan now appears headed to Penske Racing to fill the vacant seat of Kurt Busch, but he could be back in the Front Row mix if that deal does not come to fruition.

At this point Gilliland, Kvapil and Yeley are not resigned for the coming season but the organization plans to have its line-up and plans firmed up in a matter of weeks.



Things won’t be any easier for Front Row in 2012 despite having a few less teams to deal with in the aftermath of Richard Childress Racing and Roush shrinking to three entries. Funding will again be the biggest story to impact how much further along the team can grow. Should team owner Jenkins reach out to a higher profile name like a Ragan or even a Kurt Busch, he may be able to generate additional sponsorship but even that’s a long shot at this point of the year with the start of 2012 looming. A repeat of this season with a few more finishes inside the top twenty would have to be considered a successful campaign for Front Row.


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Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:26 am

Video of the Day: 2001 Nationwide at Kentucky

Posted by Pete Pistone

Kentucky Speedway first hosted the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2001 and the race included a wild crash with current truck series driver Travis Kvapil winding up on his roof sliding down the backstretch:

Posted on: June 7, 2011 9:58 am

Sam Hornish Jr. subbing for Kvapil at Pocono

Press release:

Statesville, N.C. (June 7, 2011) - Sam Hornish Jr. will make his 2011 return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway this weekend, manning the wheel of the No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford while Travis Kvapil competes in the Camping World Truck Series in Texas. The three-time IndyCar Champion has 108 Cup races under his belt since making the move to stock-car racing, but this weekend's event in Long Pond, Pa., will be his first this year.

The 2.5-mile track known as the "Tricky Triangle" is the perfect place for Hornish to make his return.  The low-banked, sharp-turning tri-oval suits the former open-wheel racer.  He has a top-five, two top-10 and four top-15 finishes in his six Cup career starts there.  Hornish is also familiar with No. 38 crew chief Jay Guy, whom he was a co-worker with at Penske Racing in Sprint Cup.

Comments from Long John Silver's driver Sam Hornish on Pocono and driving for Front Row:

"I'm really excited to get back in a Cup car.  And it's not just an opportunity to run a Cup race, but I get to race at Pocono.  That's a track that a lot of drivers don't like and it puts them in a bad mood trying to figure it out.  And that actually can pay dividends for me because I like racing there and I go there with confidence.  I've run well there the past two years with four top-15 finishes.

"I got a call from Penske asking if I was interested in running the '38' while Travis was racing trucks, and I was on the phone with Front Row about half an hour later working it all out.  It came together pretty fast but I was excited to do it.

"It's going to be a little difficult, obviously, because there's not a lot of time to work together to prepare.  Pocono is hot and it's 500 miles, so it can be pretty uncomfortable over the course of the race, so it's important to have a good fit in the car.  I was at the Front Row shop last week and again Monday working on getting fitted.  And I've been spending some time with Jay Guy, going over the set-up of the car, so we have a good game plan going in.

"I knew Jay from when he was at Penske, but I didn't work directly with him.  But I'm looking forward to working with him this week.  As challenging as it's going to be coming in for one race with a team I haven't worked with before, it's refreshing at the same time.  I've only raced a stock car with Penske, so it will be good to try something different and get that experience."
Posted on: January 28, 2011 12:13 pm

Kvapil joins Moss truck series team

Posted By Pete Pistone

Former Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil has signed on to pilot the Randy Moss Motorsports Toyota entry for the 2011 season.

Kvapil replaces veteran Mike Skinner who parted ways with the team at the end of last season.

The Janesville, Wisconsin native will drive the team's No. 5 Toyota Tundra and have veteran Ricky Viers as crew chief.

"I'm excited to be competing with Randy Moss Motorsports and International Truck/Monaco RVs for the 2011 season," said Kvapil. "The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a great series with a lot of tough competition and I'm excited to be there full-time."

Kvapil won the 2003 series title and has scored nine wins in his NCWTS career.

Viers was part of Roush Fenway Racing's Nationwide Series crew chief rotation in 2010 and is a 28-year veteran of NASCAR racing.

The team will debut its new drivers as well as a new paint scheme at the series' season opener on February 18th at Daytona.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 11:54 am

New crew chiefs for Front Row's Blaney, Kvapil

Press release follows:

Statesville, N.C. (October 6, 2010)  - The teams of Front Row Motorsports will have new leadership atop the pit boxes beginning with this weekend's race events in Fontana, Calif.  Front Row has named Brian Burns crew chief of Travis Kvapil's Long John Silver's team, and moved crew chief Greg Conner to lead the A&W All American Food team, which will have Dave Blaney at the wheel at Auto Club Speedway.
Burns has been an integral member of the Long John Silver's team, serving as its lead engineer since the beginning of the 2009 season.  He gained experience calling the shots for Kvapil's car earlier this year when he served as interim crew chief for the June race at Michigan International Speedway.  Before coming to Front Row, Burns spent six years with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, providing engineering support to its three race teams.
Conner moves over to the A&W team after serving as crew chief of the Long John Silver's team for the past three months.  The racing veteran has experience in all three of NASCAR's top series and has called races for drivers including Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Craven and Kevin Lepage.  His leadership experience will strengthen the efforts of Front Row's "youngest" team as the organization makes a late-season push to get all three of its cars into the top 35 in owners' points.
"We still have seven races to run and we want to make the most of them," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports.  "I think the world of both of these guys, and having them in these positions now is going to make us stronger at the end of this season and also help prepare us for next year."
Peter Sospenzo remains the crew chief for the Taco Bell team - Front Row Motorsports' third car - which is driven by David Gilliland.

Posted on: September 10, 2010 5:07 pm

Front Row may be forced back to two teams in '11

If Front Row Motorsports, which recently lost sponsor Extenze with the departure or rookie Kevin Conway, doesn't get its third car back in the top 35 in owner points by season's end, there's a good chance it will only run two cars in 2011, general manager Jerry Freeze told frontstretch.com.

“It’s a big question mark right now. Unless we have some phenomenal success in finding sponsorship, I don’t see any way we can carry three cars next year.”

“I think the likely scenario is that FRM will run two cars next year. We really like David [Gilliland] and Travis [Kvapil], we’re planning on those guys coming back and we’re talking with them about it, so that’s the direction I think we’ll be going in. Then again, maybe we start next year running that third car if it’s in the top 35. If it’s not, it may just go away.”


Posted on: May 26, 2010 10:43 am

Drivers play musical chairs at Front Row

Front Row Motorsports is shifting its drivers and sponsors around. Effective immediatley Kevin Conway will shift from the No. 37 car to the No. 34; David Gilliland goes from 38 to 37; and Travis Kvapil goes from 34 to 38.

The 34 car is currently 32nd in owner points (953 points), the 38 is 35th (899) and the 37 is just outside the top 35 in 36th (897). That's going to put the pressure on Gilliland this weekend to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 on speed.

Complete press release follows:

Statesville, N.C. (May 26, 2010) - Using a unified approach to give its three-car team the best opportunities to continue to succeed as a whole, Front Row Motorsports announced changes to its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series line-up effective this week for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. 
The team is moving Kevin Conway and the ExtenZe Racing sponsorship to the No. 34 Ford Fusion, David Gilliland and the Taco Bell program to the No. 37 Ford Fusion, and Travis Kvapil and the Long John Silver's program to the No. 38 Ford Fusion.  The changes are aimed to optimize all three teams' ability to score more points and strengthen the organization.
The 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has been one of continued growth for Front Row Motorsports.  The team announced at the beginning of the season the expansion to a three-car team with backing from Ford Racing.  The team hired 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil and Nationwide Series winner David Gilliland to take lead roles.  Raybestos Rookie of the Year leading candidate Kevin Conway was also hired to complete the team based in Statesville.
"I'm proud of how we've performed this year - our first year with three full-time cars," said Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports.  "We are not a powerhouse three-car team, but we work as an organization to grow together as one.  Our teams have to be unified to be stronger instead of operating as three separate groups. 
"Moving our drivers, along with their respective sponsors, to different cars gives us the best chance to succeed as an entire team.  It has been this attitude and strategic growth plan that has allowed us to become the team we are today."
All three Front Row cars have made the starting lineup of all 12 Sprint Cup Series races in the 2010 season.  The team is working with potential sponsors now to become stronger and take the next step to become a top-25 team.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com