Statesville, N.C. (March 22, 2011) - Travis Kvapil heads to the West Coast this week with confidence his Long John Silver's Ford will be stronger at Auto Club Speedway this season. He'll also go with a new crew chief, with Jay Guy coming on board to lead the No. 38 team. Guy is a veteran in the NASCAR garage, having worked with teams such as Penske Racing, Furniture Row Racing, Wood Brothers and others.
In addition to a new leader on the pit box, the team's upgraded cars and motors should translate to an improved performance on the two-mile, low-banked track, where Kvapil earned two top-30 finishes last season. Sunday's Auto Club 400 will be his ninth career Sprint Cup start at Auto Club Speedway. His best finish at the track is 18th.
Comments from Long John Silver's driver Travis Kvapil on Fontana and Jay Guy:
"We made big improvements over the off-season for going to the mile-and-a-half or two-mile racetracks. I feel like last year we had set-ups that were pretty reasonable. The cars drove pretty well - we just didn't have a lot of speed. So, in the off-season, Bob Jenkins and the guys at Front Row Motorsports did a great job at buying a bunch of newer equipment, newer racecars.
"Probably the best thing that's helped our mile-and-a-half/two-mile program for going to a track like Fontana is going to be the new Ford FR-9 engine. It seems to have a lot of power, especially in comparison to the engines we were running last year. So, I can't wait to let that FR-9 engine stretch its legs on a two-mile racetrack. I think we'll have some good horsepower, which should lead to a good run for us.
"Last year at this race, we lost a cylinder toward the end of the race, so our result didn't look as good as our day had been going. So, I think we can run well here, especially now with the improvements we've made.
"It's good to have Jay Guy on board with us. He's got a ton of experience with Penske and some other teams, which I know will help us. And he's going to get the chance to jump right in this weekend. The car was actually set up and prepared before he even joined us, so there's going to be a little adjustment period there. But he's a veteran guy and I think he's going to be a great asset to our team. I'm eager to work with him."