TERRY COOK-29-K-Automotive Ford F-150 (Finished 4th) YOU BROKE WHAT YOU EARLIER CALLED A SLUMP. "It was time to break the slump. We were long overdue. We've been running up front and we just haven't been able to put the finishes with our...
TERRY COOK-29-K-Automotive Ford F-150 (Finished 4th)
YOU BROKE WHAT YOU EARLIER CALLED A SLUMP.
"It was time to break the slump. We were long overdue. We've been running up front and we just haven't been able to put the finishes with our runs. Today was finally that day. The crew did an outstanding job all day long. This is a hard track to pass on; you've got to worry about track position and the crew got us out of the pits awesome all day long. Unfortunately, the last one was the slowest stop of the day, which was still a good stop, but we lost one spot and we couldn't catch Travis and the 60 truck. We ran him down, but we just couldn't finish the job."
DID THE EARLY CAUTION PERIODS ALLOW YOU TO ADJUST ON THE TRUCK FOR THE LONG GREEN-FLAG RUNS TOWARD THE END?
"Actually, the tire sheet was showing us a little free, and the way it was driving, I was afraid to tighten it up because we were so tight through the center of the corners. We wanted to take advantage of the early cautions to adjust on it, but we didn't. I don't think it hurt us because we were fighting that all weekend, and from what we could do on a pit stop, I don't think we could have fixed it because we tried earlier in the weekend."
WITH THE EARLY HEAT, DID YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OVERHEATING?
"No, we were quite cool and that might have hurt a little bit. We may not have had as much tape on the nose as those other guys, and that's one reason we ran a little cooler, but they had some more front downforce."
DID THE CLOUDS AFFECT THE HANDLING OF YOUR TRUCK TOWARDS THE END OF THE RACE?
"If anything, all it hurt was my vision. I could barely see out of my tinted visor because the windshield was so dirty and the sun went behind the clouds. I was having a hard time getting into the corners and judging my braking points, but, no, the weather didn't have an effect on the handling of the truck. This track tends to get greasy as the run goes on, and we fought that at the mid-part of the race, and the as the tires fell off, the thing would push like a freight train through the center of the corners. It was just hard to get it to the bottom to finish off the passes that we needed. We were good on a mid-race run. If it was a 50-lap run, we were awesome from 20 to 30, and then we would taper off on the last 30."
KURT BUSCH-99-Eldon Ford F-150 (Finished 5th)
"That wasn't too bad. I didn't expect to set the world on fire coming back in and needed to tiptoe back to where the truck needs to be. We spent most of practice and Happy Hour just getting the truck back to where it needed to be. I had a decent run. We showed a little bit of strength and faded towards the middle part and had a little bit of a mechanical deal with the exhaust breaking apart, so we lost a little bit of horsepower at the end. All in all, it was a good top five."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN THAT YOU CAN TELL JACK ROUSH?
"We went in here trying to see whether the truck was behind or the drivers were behind or the crew chief. All in all, it was a good top five for us, but the shock package that we used may have been too aggressive from what we used to be able to get away with last year. That's what I noticed, but that's my fault because I asked for these shocks and they were the same things we won with last year. It's just a matter of getting a solid feel for the truck and giving direction for the other guys to take."
WHAT KIND OF ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO THE NEW DRIVERS?
"What they need to do is work with a different type of setup. They might be getting themselves in a hole where they're too tight all the time. It's just different scenarios that they've gone through with the crew chiefs. So hopefully, with what we laid out this weekend with track bar changes and sway bars changes, they might have a different approach."
YOU LOOK A LITTLE WORN OUT.
"This is only halfway for what I'm used to running. With the cool box quitting and the exhaust breaking, we had a little bit of trouble as far as mechanical problems, and I was probably too aggressive with the shocks, but we made some good changes this weekend in the right direction to help out Chuck Hossfeld, Nathan Haseleu and Jon Wood. I think we gave them some more insight."
YOU WENT WITH A DIFFERENT TIRE STRATEGY ON YOUR PIT STOPS THAN MOST.
"We were sticking to our plan of taking on lefts while most teams took on rights on the first stop. We faded a little bit, which played out at the end. We were the ones with the top five at the end and it's something that the team can build off of."
DID THE HEAVY CLOUD COVER WITH 50 LAPS REMAINING THROW YOU ANY CURVES? "No, we were just so ill-handling. Once you're two to five-tenths off, it really doesn't matter with weather."
BIFFLE HAD RANDY GOSS WITH HIM LAST WEEK IN MEMPHIS. DID IT TAKE SOME TIME TO BUILD A LINE OF COMMUNICATION WITH JEFF CAMPEY?
"It was different working with Jeff Campey, just being with a different crew chief with the trucks. Matt Chambers and I worked real well together, and Jeff has some things to learn as far as race strategy and things to do during a race. He has a good checklist, but it's more of a feel. Once he grabs the driver's feel, he will be able to make more successful changes."
RICK CRAWFORD-14-Milwaukee Electric Tools Ford F-150 (Finished 25th)
IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR STREAK OF 32 RACES WITHOUT A DNF CAME TO AN ABRUPT END.
"We blew up. This is the first race since we started using Roush motors that we haven't been able to make it to the finish. It's pretty unfortunate because we wanted to give Milwaukee Electric Tools a good finish here in Milwaukee for their 50th anniversary. I don't think we had something for the win, but we definitely had a truck better than that."
JON WOOD-50-Eldon Ford F-150 (Finished 12th)
YOU IMPROVED ON BOTH YOUR QUALIFYING AND FINISHING EFFORTS FROM LAST WEEKEND.
"I don't know where we were going to end up, but we lucked out with that long green-flag run because a lot of guys went a lap down and we were able to keep our position one lap down. Early on, something was just terribly wrong with the truck. It was just pushing terrible and we came in and pitted and got it fixed. After that, it was as good as at least half the field. It was a top-10 truck but we were a lap down, so we were just trying to pick off as many positions as we could. Then the 03 wrecked me and we had to come in again and put on lefts. We learned a whole lot, though. It was a bad day but a good day."
YOU DID A GOOD JOB OF KEEPING THE TRUCK OFF THE WALL WHEN YOU MADE CONTACT WITH THE 03 TRUCK. WHAT HAPPENED?
"I was way up in the groove and he just drove right up into my door. I saw where he was doing that with some other people, but that's just how it goes, I guess.
LARRY GUNSELMAN-63-Waterloo Tool Storage Ford F-150 (Finished 19th)
YOU HAD A QUIET TOP-20 FINISH.
"The engine ran real good, but we made a mistake and changed the gear before the start of the race. That was kind of my call and we probably shouldn't have done it. We just had a problem; we fought a tight truck all day long. Everything we did to change it would not help it turn. It was great getting in, but it would not turn coming off. I think we had a top-10 truck if we could get the thing to turn and didn't change the gear. Still, a 19th-place finish isn't too bad, and we'll take this truck to Kansas City next week."
YOU HAVEN'T COMPETED IN THE PAST COUPLE OF EVENTS. DID IT TAKE SOME TIME TO GET BACK IN SYNC?
"Well, we've got our trucks out together, so we're in pretty good shape in that department. We're really looking forward to running five of the next six races and getting back behind the wheel of that Waterloo Ford."
BRAD MUELLER-31-Pace Trailers/Greater Milwaukee Auto Auctions Ford F-150 (Finished 15th)
THAT WAS YOU FIRST TOP-15 FINISH IN THE TRUCKS HERE IN THREE ATTEMPTS.
"I'm pretty happy, especially with this being my hometown track. We had a good truck. I was surprised with how well this team worked together. I know they haven't been able to compete week-in and week-out, but they didn't skip a beat this weekend. That's what I really have to attribute everything to. We made one stop and adjusted on the truck and probably made it a little too loose. It probably wouldn't have lost two laps if we were more conservative, we might have been one lap down at the end, but all in all, we're pretty happy with today. This deal was in the works for about two weeks, but I hadn't been in this truck until yesterday. What really impressed me is the fact that we were able to run so competitive without even testing."