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Travis Kvapil who drives for Team Xtreme Racing was forced to pull out of the Sprint Cup race because his car was stolen from the hotel where he and other team members were staying. The No. 44 Chevrolet race car was to compete in this coming Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway but after being taken early in the morning from the Drury Inn the team had no option but to withdraw.
The owner of the team, John Cohen, told reporters that Kvapil will still race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend. As far as the value of the supped up racecar, Cohen was unsure but according to the official police report, it has a value of $250,000.
Immediately upon finding the racecar was gone, Kvapil and others took to the social media to spread the word. At this point, the only lead law enforcements have is a surveillance tape that shows the unmarked dually trailer with the racecar inside being stolen. The only thing that was already at the racetrack was the hauler that contained all the necessary tools for race.
When asked, Cohen said the only information he has at this point is that someone drove up in a silver colored Jeep. One man exited the Jeep and pulled off with the trailer and car in tow.
Kvapil was trying to qualify for the race on Sunday in the car taken. While at the track, he received a text message from someone on the team advising him there was a problem with the car. He said he really did not give the text much thought and in fact, thought his guys were giving him a hard time. However, he soon received a number of voicemail messages and was told an hour later by his crew chief that the car was gone.
Kvapil stated that when he was told there was something going on with the car, he thought it had to do with NASCAR confiscating it or something technical but once he discovered the truth, he was sick.
Just last week, Team Xtreme qualified to race in the Daytona 500 with driver Reed Sorenson finishing in 32nd place. Because Sorenson was driving for another team this week, Kvapil would have driven the same car that qualified in Daytona.
Because teams had already tested at Atlanta yesterday, all of the other cars were inside the track secured. At the race shop are two Daytona cars, one destroyed during qualifications and run that ran the Daytona 500. The last car getting ready to run in both Atlanta and Las Vegas was the car taken by thieves.
The team had gone back to the track on Wednesday with the hauler in preparation for an incoming storm but the car was not yet ready. Working on the car until about midnight were up to ten crewman who had until 5:00 pm yesterday to get the car prepared. For that reason, the car arrived Thursday night on a smaller trailer.
Kvapil said that there is a lot of money inside the trailer, referring to the racecar, and that for the sake of the owner but everyone associated with Team Xtreme, he hopes it will be found without damage. Without the car, the team faces a major setback.