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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F1’s Valtteri Bottas to compete in first-ever rally race in his native Finland

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Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.

More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.

Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.

He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.

“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.

“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”

Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”

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