8/11/07

Kvapil Strikes the Right Chord at Nashville Superspeedway

Mike Skinner wrapped up the most laps led bonus one circuit beyond halfway at Nashville Superspeedway but it was Travis Kvapil who claimed the coveted Gibson guitar in Victory Lane.

The point leader claimed his eighth pole award of the season and then had the field covered for the first 102 laps until Kvapil passed him for the lead. He lost another position to Ron Hornaday five laps later and that’s where he was running when the checkers fell. “In dirty air, we didn’t have anything for Travis,” Skinner explained. “His truck was just really, really strong. It was a pretty good day. It could have been a lot worse. We’re not happy with third, but it beats fourth.”

Once Kvapil got around Skinner his biggest challenge came on a restart with 27 laps to go with Hornaday right in his tire tracks. Despite Hornaday’s best efforts, Kvapil was able to successfully defend his position and race to his eighth career victory. Even more important to the big picture, Kvapil climbed up the standings from fourth to third and now sits 236 points behind Skinner and 154 behind Hornaday who occupies second. “I got to hand it to these guys,” said Kvapil, “We weren’t very good when we came off the track yesterday and they stuck with it. It really hauled butt on the long runs. We know our best shot at getting the championship is to win races. That’s what we’re going to have to do. We’re not going to run Skinner and Hornaday down finishing in the top-five.”

Hornaday is the undisputed master of restarts and he gave it his all in an attempt to score his first victory in Music City. “Man, I wanted that trophy bad and towards the end if we had a green/white/checkered finish I don't know if I could have let Travis (Kvapil) win that one cleanly,” Hornaday admitted. “We were better through the corner than he was but he had just enough to keep the air off the nose and we couldn't get a good run on him.”

The Craftsman Truck Series will take another one-week hiatus before heading to the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway where the drivers will be challenged by a brand new concrete surface.