Sprint Cup driver Travis Kvapil set to achieve two milestones Sunday at Fontana

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Travis Kvapil may not be the flashiest or most successful driver in NASCAR, but he definitely has staying power.

Ever since he made his first starts in 2001 in both the-then Craftsman Truck Series (now Camping World Series) and the-then Busch Series (now Nationwide Series), he’s built a career based upon decent talent, persistence and a drive that is still as strong today as when he first began.

In Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway, Kvapil will set not one but two significant personal milestones.

First, the Janesville, Wis., native will make his 250th career Sprint Cup start.

In addition, he’ll make his 400th overall career start across all three NASCAR national professional series.

Here’s his career breakdown to date, by series:

Sprint Cup: 249 career starts, no wins, no top-fives and seven top-10s.

Nationwide (formerly Busch): Five career starts.

Camping World Trucks (formerly Craftsman Trucks Series): 145 starts, nine wins, 51 top-fives and 85 top-10s.

Kvapil turned 38 on March 1 and is in his first season of driving for team owner Frank Stoddard.

Thus far in the Sprint Series this season, he failed to qualify for Daytona, finished 38th at Phoenix, 39th at Las Vegas and 33rd this past Sunday at Bristol.

Overall, he is 41st in the Sprint Cup standings coming into Sunday’s race.

While those may not be the greatest of stats, Kvapil deserves a lot of credit: he’s been running at the end of each event.

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Alex Palou fastest as several go off course during IndyCar practice at IMS

IndyCar Harvest GP practice
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Alex Palou paced the opening practice Thursday for the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Dale Coyne Racing rookie turned a 1-minute, 10.177-second lap around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in his No. 55 Dallara-Honda.

Jack Harvey was second, followed by Colton Herta, points leader Scott Dixon and Max Chilton.

Qualifying for Friday’s race will be at 6:20 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Will Power, who won the pole position for the July 4 race at the track, spun off course with just more than a minute left in the session after the left rear of his No. 12 Dallara-Chevrolet made slight contact with the right front of Alexander Rossi’s No. 28 Dallara-Honda.

Power was among several drivers who went off track, but there were no damaged cars during the session. Marcus Ericsson missed the final 5 minutes of the practice after being penalized for causing a red flag with a Turn 8 spin.

Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Helio Castroneves, who is driving for the injured Oliver Askew, also veered off course as did rookie Rinus VeeKay and Santino Ferrucci.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson was in attendance at the session before racing Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson will be driving a partial schedule in IndyCar next season for Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Literally, the smallest of details, I can pick up on,” Johnson told NBC Sports pit reporter Kevin Lee. “It’s been really nice today just to see how a session starts and obviously to jump on the radio and listen to how the systems work and then obviously you get into the car and the setup and such. I’m at Ground Zero right now, a 45-year-old rookie trying to learn my way into a new sport essentially.”

Fans were in attendance Thursday for the first time this season at IMS, which is allowed a limited crowd of 10,000 for its races this weekend.