Unless something good happens, and happens soon, Travis Kvapil won't be racing at Martinsville next Sunday - the bottom line is that the #28 Yates Racing Ford needs sponsorship to continue the 2009 Cup campaign.
Kvapil did his part Sunday, finishing 18th at Bristol on a dismal day for the Ford camp. During one stretch, he battled race winner Kyle Busch lap after lap in an attempt to stay on the lead lap, a contest Busch eventually won.
“Today, we weren't laying over for anybody,” he said, “We had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I raced 110 per cent every lap. It was frustrating. I hate it for Kyle. I'm sure he was frustrated and wanted to just wreck me, but he did a great job of racing me clean.
"Who knows? If the caution would have come out, we would have stayed on the lead lap and we could have finished four or five spots higher at the end of the day."
With the top 35 owners' points now carry greater weight in determining who gets the free pass to race each weekend, Kvapil finds himself on the wrong side of the divide for Martinsville - if he makes it that far - but knows that, with better fortune, he could at least have had a guaranteed start and one less thing to worry about.
“I know some other guys had some trouble, but I thought we were gonna finish around tenth or twelfth there for awhile," he admitted, " I had a really good car but, on one run, I just got my car too tight and lost us a bunch of track position. Then we kind of ran out of time and couldn't get our lap back.
"But I'm just proud of my guys. I just hate it that we've had top-15 or top-20 cars or so every week and, except for a couple of races, we've had horrible luck and haven't got the results. It's unfortunate."
Although only Carl Edwards, in 15th, had a better result for the Blue Oval, Kvapil knows that the effort and determination he showed Sunday still might not be enough to attract backing for his team.
“Right now, Martinsville is questionable," he confirmed, "Hopefully, in the next 24 hours, something great happens to this team. That's all we can pray for."
by Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service