Former truck champ Kvapil to tackle Bristol in Busch car
Former Craftsman Truck Series champ Travis Kvapil will try to tame Bristol Motor Speedway in a Busch Series rig Friday night.
Kvapil, who is third in the 2007 truck standings, will race the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. He will make just his fourth career Busch Series start, but he's had some practice behind the wheel of Busch Series cars this year.
"I've only made a couple of Busch Series starts in my career," Kvapil said, "but I've spent some time this year in the No. 60 Ford helping Carl Edwards with practice and qualifying at some of the noncompanion events."
Kvapil won at Bristol in a truck in 2003. In all, he's started six events at the track -- four in Cup cars and two in trucks -- and finished in the top 20 in five of those tries. He finished in the top 10 three times, including the 2005 Food City 500 in a Cup car.
He started Wednesday night's truck race at Bristol on the pole but settled for 11th after a late-race tangle with Kyle Busch.
After testing and working with the Busch team, Kvapil is just looking forward to climbing into the car Friday night.
"We had a great test here with the [truck] a few weeks back." Kvapil said. "The resurfacing project that was done here was amazing, I can't get over how smooth the track is. I've won at Bristol in a truck before and it's one of the places I really look forward to racing at. Hopefully we'll be able to make the most of this opportunity. I know Eddie's [crew chief Eddie Pardue] got a great group of guys over here on this No. 16 crew, and I'm really looking forward to working with them."
Jarrett makes comeback
Dale Jarrett returns to the Busch Series at Bristol. Jarrett, a charter member of the series with 329 starts and 11 wins, will drive alongside David Reutimann for Michael Waltrip.
"This is a big weekend, so any time I can get on the track with extra lap time is going to help me," Jarrett said. "I'm looking forward to getting back in a Busch car."
Rookie battle heating up
Just a month ago, David Ragan had a comfortable 25-point lead in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings. But that was before Marcos Ambrose had solid outings on the Montreal and Watkins Glen road courses.
Last weekend at Michigan he finished two places better than Ragan and gained a few more points. Heading to Bristol, Ambrose is within 18 points of the lead with 10 races to go.
"As long as we keep working hard as a team and maintain the high level of preparation, we will be fine," Ragan said. "We have struggled a little bit lately, but we are still fifth in points and fully capable of getting a few wins this year."
Part-time Biffle soaring
Greg Biffle is ranked ninth in the Busch standings despite sitting out three events. The feat is even more impressive when you consider he failed to finish seven races. Bristol, however, does not figure to be site of an eighth DNF.
"We had a real fast car here in the spring; we were quickest in the second practice and backed that up with a top-10 finish," crew chief Newt Moore said. "At the test session here a few weeks ago our car was very good, and we think we can come out of here with another top-10 finish and compete for the win. Greg Biffle always runs well here and we are excited about our chances of going to Victory Lane on Friday night."Rupen Fofaria has covered NASCAR for ESPN.com since 2002. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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