NEWTON, Iowa – After sitting out the last few NASCAR XFINITY Series races, veteran driver Travis Kvapil returns to the series for Sunday afternoon’s running the American Ethanol E15 250 at Iowa Speedway.
Kvapil who will pull double duty for the second time this season will pilot the No. 25 CorvetteParts.net / Keen Parts Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing. The Janesville, Wisconsin native will make his fourth start of the season and look to improve on a season-best 25th place run, matched twice at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway respectively.
“I’m glad to be busy this weekend at Iowa,” Kvapil joked with a laugh. “In all seriousness, just thankful for another opportunity to be back in the XFINITY Series driving for Rick Ware Racing this weekend. Even though we haven’t had the finishes we wanted this season on the XFINITY side, I’m still having a blast and hopeful we can keep inching our way forwardSunday afternoon with CorvetteParts.net and Keen Parts.”
Oddly enough, despite a heavy presence on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series tour over the last few years, Kvapil has only visited the 0.875-mile speedway once.
When? Last year.
“Even though I only have one race under my belt at Iowa, it’s a pretty bad to the bone short track,” added Kvapil who finished 24th in the Truck Series race last June. “It’s a track that really reminds you of Richmond (International Raceway) with its layout and such, but with the varying weather, Iowa seems a little bit rougher. A good balanced car, one that will rotate and get off the corners good should have an advantage this weekend. If we can keep adjusting on the car during practice, we should be fine for the race.”
Teresa Keen, owner of Keen Parts is excited to be back with Kvapil and the crew this weekend.
“Travis has always been a great ambassador for our brand for a long time and the more opportunities he has to be in a race car, we want to be a part of it,” she said. “The team has welcomed us with open arms this season and we couldn’t turn down another opportunity to be a part of the action.”
The 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion also added that more track time because of pulling double duty can have its advantages.
“When you’re able to jump out of a truck and get into the car and go back out, you keep a rhythm,” added Kvapil. “Yes, there’s a lot of things different between a truck and a XFINITY car, but the fundamental and mental game of hitting your marks at Iowa Speedway remains the same. The more track time the better. Hopefully, it pays off Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for both teams.”
Kvapil will be a teammate alongside Timmy Hill who will drive the No. 15 Ford Mustang in a collaborative effort between Rick Ware Racing and B.J. McLeod Motorsports. McLeod competes full-time in his No. 78 Ford Mustang.
Before the 40-year-old can fully concentrate on his ninth career XFINITY Series race, he’ll race in Saturday night’s Speediatrics 200 at Iowa for MAKE Motorsports in the No. 50 GasBuddy Chevrolet Silverado.
The American Ethanol E15 250 (250 laps / 218.75 miles) is the 14th of 33 NASCAR XFINITY Series on the 2016 schedule. XFINITY Series practice begins on Friday, June 17 from 3:30 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. A final practice has been etched in from 6:00 p.m. – 6:55 p.m. Qualifying is set for Saturday, June 18 beginning at 5:45 p.m. The 40-car field will take the green flag shortly after 12:30 p.m.the following day, Sunday, June 19 with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are Central.
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Credit: Chris Knight