Sprint Cup team preview: BK Racing
January 26, 2014, Zack Albert, NASCAR.com
Two-car operation skews young for '14, adds Bowman, Truex
-- 2013 marked the second full season for the two-car BK Racing group for team owner Ron Devine. Travis Kvapil drove the team's No. 93 Toyota entry to a 31st-place finish in final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points. Teammate David Reutimann was 33rd in the team's No. 83 Camry in the season-long standings.
-- The high-water mark for each driver last season was a 16th-place finish. Reutimann finished there in the season-opening Daytona 500. Kvapil matched that result in Bristol Motor Speedway's annual night race in August.
2014 Driver Lineup
Alex Bowman, No. 23 Toyota; Ryan Truex, No. 83 Toyota.
The infusion of young talent in NASCAR's three national series remains in full swing, and it's clear BK Racing didn't want to miss out on the movement. The team announced Jan. 6 it had parted ways with Reutimann. Two weeks later, Bowman and Truex were named as BK's new full-time drivers competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.
Kvapil's status with the team was undisclosed as part of the announcement. He brought the team its only top-10 finish to date (eighth at Talladega in October 2012), but one year later he was forced into the spotlight after his arrest for a domestic abuse charge.
The team opted to switch car numbers for the No. 93 Toyota to No. 23 to create a tie-in with sponsor Dr Pepper, the soft drink touted as having that number of flavors.
BK Racing's decision to shake up its status quo trades out two veteran drivers for a pair of excited, impressionable youngsters. Both have shown glimpses of promise, but have a combined three Sprint Cup starts between them, which could mean a steep learning curve for the third-year team.
Both drivers got their feet wet with their new team at Preseason Thunder testing in January at Daytona International Speedway. The team showed patience with Kvapil and Reutimann during their tenure; if the same time is afforded the rookie tandem through the early growing pains, the move toward youth will likely help the team achieve moderate gains.