Daytona 500: Travis Kravil Locks In, Securing All Three Front Row Motorsports Cars
Going into Daytona 500 qualifying, two of the three cars for Front Row Motorsports were locked into the Daytona 500.
Following qualifying, all three cars are locked in.
Travis Kravil, who was the only one not locked in before qualifying, had the 20th quickest time to lock himself into the Daytona 500.
"It's the Daytona 500," Kravil said in a press release. "It's the first race of the year. Being a go-or-go-homer is just so incredibly nerve-racking. The qualifying format here is very unique. If you're not locked into today by the top three on speed, you can always race your way in on Thursday, but tonight, Monday night, Tuesday night and Wednesday night you don't hardly sleep. All you think about is the race on Thursday, especially this week because it's so different."
Following the Bud Shootout, NASCAR saw a whole different form of racing as instead of cars working in big packs, people seperated in seperate two-car trandrums, reaching speeds over 206 mph. NASCAR has changed the dynamics by changing the cooling system, though some say it may not be enough as you see it still going on to a smaller scale. "In the past, you could not have a very fast car, but if it handled good, you could race your way in on Thursday," Kravil said. "Now it's all about speed in those two-car drafts and a lot of us guys don't have any experience with that, so I was hoping we could do what we did today. The next couple of nights we'll rest easy and take care of this race car throughout practice and the duels and get a good, solid finish on Sunday for the 500 and kick our year off great for our Front Row Motorsports team."
Kravil's teammates David Gilliland and Robert Richardson Jr. were already locked in so it was all about setting themselves up for the Gatorade Duels. The pair of them qualified 38th and 43rd, respectively, so look for them to try to improve their starting positions with the Gatorade Duels on Thursday.
"It was good," Gilliland said. "It drove great. They've done a great job repaving this place. It's really smooth and drivability is not an issue anymore. We didn't really put a whole lot into qualifying our car. Our main focus at Front Row Motorsports has been to focus on Travis Kvapil's car and getting him locked into the race today. And we did that. I'm proud of all the work the guys in the shop have put into his car, but we didn't really do anything special for qualifying. I feel like our car has good speed, much better speed than we had last year, and I feel like it's gonna race really well."
"This is really my first time on the race track," Richardson Jr. said. "I didn't get to come down here and do any of the tire testing with all of the other teams, so they kind of have an advantage over some of us."This is our first time on the race track this week and we're trying to get the car dialed in as quick as possible. The car is driving really good. It doesn't really matter where you qualify today because the duel races kind of determine where you start for the 500 anyway. We'll see how it drives next week in the draft and go from there."
The Gatorade Duels are set to run on Thursday, live on SPEED at 2pm EST. Richardson Jr. will be in the first Duel while Kravil and Gilliland are in the second.