Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Debut for Kvapil in K&N Filters No. 28

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Travis Kvapil and the No. 28 K&N Filters Ford Fusion finished 30th Sunday afternoon in the 50th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

No. 28 K&N Filters Ford Fusion at 50th Running of the NASCAR Daytona 500
No. 28 K&N Filters Ford Fusion at 50th Running of the NASCAR Daytona 500
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Travis Kvapil
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Travis Kvapil
Kvapil started Sunday’s race from the 30th position on the starting grid. He was directly in front of Yates Racing teammate, David Gilliland. The green flag waved at 3:41 pm to begin the golden anniversary of the historic race and Jimmy Johnson led the field. He quickly lost the lead to Michael Waltrip on the opening lap.
Travis Kvapil finished 30th at season debut at DaytonaTravis Kvapil finished 30th in season debut at Daytona

Kvapil dropped back towards the rear of the field in order to see how the No. 28 was handling on the turns. He did not want to risk being caught in an accident early in the race. The front of the field battled for positions from the opening laps, but Kvapil’s plan was to stay out of trouble then make a move later in the race.

Kvapil called in over team radio at lap 17 and told the crew the K&N Filters Ford was handling the turns, but the track surface was slippery due to the high temperatures. At lap 28, Kvapil said he felt as though the rear of the car was loose.

The No. 28 K&N Filters team decided to pit on lap 37 for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to the track bar. Handling continued to be an issue for the K&N Filters team and on lap 59 Kvapil said the car felt free while entering the high-banked turns of Daytona and felt light on the exit of the turns.

The sun began to drop behind the grandstands on the front stretch of the speedway around lap 77. The front half of the track was shaded and the track surface temperature was dropping.

On lap 80 the first caution of the day came for debris on the surface of the track. Crew chief Todd Parrot called Kvapil to pit road on lap 83. After the restart on lap 85, Kvapil held steady in his position in the field and was able to move up to 30th on lap 114. He called in over radio communications and said the car’s handling was taking a turn for the worse and the track surface continued to drop.

The team made another green flag pit stop on lap 122 and the K&N Filters Ford Fusion received four fresh tires and fuel. Kvapil started to gain positions immediately upon returning to the field. The No.28 moved up to 25th by lap 139 before the handling concerns returned.

Bad luck caught up with the team on lap 189 as the No. 22 machine of Dave Blaney clipped the No. 8 of Mark Martin. The contact between Blaney and Martin caused a back-up on the high line and Kvapil’s No. 28 made contact with the back of the No.8.

The hood and left rear panes of the No. 28 were damaged. The K&N Filters crew swung into action on lap 191 and made an effort to repair the car enough to finish the race. Kvapil restarted with the rest of the field on lap 198 but the No. 28 finished at 30th for the day. Yates racer Gilliland crossed the finish line at 28th.

“We tried to run a smart race today,” said Kvapil. “It was just really unfortunate that we got caught up in that accident with less than 15 laps to go in the race.”

Ryan Newman won the Daytona 500 and Kurt Busch came in second with Tony Stewart rounding out the top-three.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next race is the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway.

Follow Travis Kvapil at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit