Race Weekend Central

2010 NASCAR Driver Review: Travis Kvapil

Travis Kvapil

2010 Ride: Nos. 34, 37, 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford
2010 Primary Sponsors: Long John Silver’s, A&W (2 races), ExtenZe (1 race)
2010 Owner: Bob Jenkins
2010 Crew Chiefs: Brian Burns (No. 34), Greg Conner (No. 37), Steve Lane (No. 38)
2010 Stats: 34 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s, 0 poles, 33rd in points

High Point: The one race he drove with ExtenZe as his sponsor. No, not really; but at the same time, given Kvapil’s 2010 performance, simply being in the Great American Race might actually have been the highlight of his year. Following a 29th-place finish in that event, Kvapil’s season-best result came at the next plate race, an 18th at the giant roulette wheel known as Talladega in the spring. That was his only top-20 recorded in 34 starts.

Low Point: Pocono in June. That’s where Kvapil’s team was penalized 150 points for illegal valve stem caps on the car’s tires, enough to knock the No. 38 team out of the Top 35 in owner points. From then on, the team was at a serious disadvantage, forced to qualify on speed for every other race in 2010. That’s why Kvapil ended up missing two events – Loudon in the summer and the fall Talladega race.

Summary: Much like Colorado in the Big 12 until their departure for the expanded Pac-10, Kvapil simply existed in 2010. There’s no other way to put it. Kvapil showed up for every race, made 34 of them, and then kept his car off camera for 95% of the laps he completed.

See also
Beyond the Cockpit: Travis Kvapil on Addition by Subtraction at Front Row

It’s not all his fault – owner Bob Jenkins runs his organization with limited resources, and it’s safe to say that survival is a more important goal than winning races. With that in mind, Kvapil did his job, finishing just high enough to keep the No. 38 in the Top 35 if not for that summer penalty outside his control. At season’s end, his primary car was 95 points out of 35th place… do the math.

2011 Outlook: The future of Front Row Motorsports remains in doubt. There’s been no indications that the team won’t return in 2011, but it may be with two cars instead of three. For 2010, FRM was able to run three cars only because of the expected income from ExtenZe, which left in August and was promptly sued for partial non-payment. Without that extra boost of cash – remember, Jenkins owns Long John Silver’s, Taco Bell and A&W restaurants – the team will be in the same situation in 2011 that it was in 2010, no matter its car count. It’ll simply exist.

But in this economic climate, a low-budget team simply existing is victory enough.

2006 Frontstretch Grade: D
2007 Grade: N/A
2008 Grade: C
2009 Grade: N/A
2010 Grade: C-, with the full caveat that it’s a B- with a guaranteed spot in the 2011 Daytona 500

About the author

The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.

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