Kvapil lands new Cup ride
This time last year, Janesville native Travis Kvapil had full-time rides in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck series.
By the end of the 2011 season, Kvapil had lost both jobs and his future in stock car racing was cloudy at best.
Front Row Motorsports hired former Roush Fenway Racing driver David Ragan to replace Kvapil in one of its Sprint Cup cars for 2012. Earlier last season, Kvapil was displaced as the driver for Randy Moss Motorsports’ truck by NASCAR veteran Todd Bodine.
Kvapil has landed with a new Sprint Cup team, BK Racing, which announced this weekend that Kvapil will drive its No. 93 Toyota Camry beginning with the series’ second race in Phoenix on March 4. David Reutimann is piloting the car at Daytona this week.
BK Racing’s second car, No. 83, will be driven by Landon Cassill.
“It’s for the majority of races, a possibility for the remainder of the season,” Kvapil said of his new ride. “It’s still something we’re looking at.
“I’m excited about it. Obviously, it’s a brand new team. A group of investors bought the majority of the Red Bull (Racing) assets. They bought race cars, equipment and haulers.”
The team, based in Statesville, N.C., is led by an ownership group which includes Wayne Press and Scott Gunderson. General manager Harry McMullen will lead the team at the race shop and at the track.
According to a news release, BK Racing will make sponsorship announcements in the near future.
Kvapil said he started talking with BK Racing about a month and a half ago.
“We’re less than a month old,” he said. “I think our expectations are realistic. We don’t expect to set the world on fire, but we expect to run competitively and definitely build each and every week and improve our team.
“Hopefully, by mid-summer we’ll hit our stride and have some good runs.”
Kvapil, the 2003 Truck series champion, said he was most disappointed about losing his Truck ride last year because he had high expectations entering the season.
“The Cup team we got pretty much what we expected,” he said. “We had some bad luck but ended up on a good note. We kind of rallied and got our team back in the top 35 in points.”
Kvapil said he is optimistic knowing that the former Red Bull cars he’ll be driving are some of the best in the Cup garage.
“They’re more up to date, which is something I haven’t had the opportunity to race in the last few years.”
As for not being able to compete in the Daytona 500, Kvapil admitted it will tough to be a spectator this week.
“The Daytona 500 is the biggest race of the year,” he said. “Everybody’s really excited to come out of the box. I am disappointed I’m not going to be in the Daytona 500, but they had the deal already with David.”
Kvapil, however, will be racing a truck at Daytona on Friday night. He said details of his truck deal will be released early this week.